Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

At the request of Baghdad, the UN Security Council unanimously decided Friday that the United Nations political mission in Iraq will leave the country at the end of 2025 after more than 20 years.

Earlier this month, in a letter to the council, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani called for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to be closed.

Al-Sudani said UNAMI had overcome “great and varied challenges” and that “the grounds for having a political mission in Iraq” no longer exist.

The UNSC resolution adopted on Friday extended the mission’s mandate for “a final 19-month period until 31 December 2025 after which UNAMI will cease all work and operations.”

Farhad Alaaldin, the Iraq prime minister’s advisor for foreign affairs, welcomed the move, expressing on X his “thanks to UNAMI for all their work during the past two decades.”

The mission was established by a UN Security Council resolution in 2003 at the request of the Iraqi government after the US-led invasion and fall of Saddam Hussein.

It has about 700 staff, with key tasks including advising the government on political dialogue and reconciliation, as well as helping with elections and security sector reform.

During the mission’s previous renewal in May 2023, the Council asked the secretary-general to launch a strategic review, which was overseen by German diplomat Volker Perthes.

In a report issued in March, Perthes signaled that the closing schedule would reassure reluctant Iraqis that the transition “will not lead to a reversal of democratic gains or threaten peace and security.”

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