Al-Sudani: The government adopted a comprehensive and ambitious reform program
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Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani, in his speech at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, yesterday, Friday, conveyed the greetings of Iraq and its people, which were among the fifty countries that founded this mighty organization seventy-eight years ago, while he renewed his keenness to build an independent and balanced foreign policy aimed at cooperation. And is based on bringing together viewpoints and commonalities. He pointed out that the government has adopted a comprehensive and ambitious reform program to correct the course and restore confidence in the political system.
The following is the text of the speech:
Mr. President of the United Nations General Assembly
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations
Your Majesties, Excellencies and Excellencies
May the peace, blessings, and mercy of God be upon you
At the beginning, on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of Iraq, I extend my sincere condolences, sympathy and solidarity to the Kingdom of Morocco and the State of Libya, the government and people, for the disaster of the earthquake that struck Morocco and the floods that swept Libya, and we ask God Almighty to have mercy on the dead and a speedy recovery for the injured.
I would like to convey to you today the greetings of Iraq and its people, which was among the fifty countries that founded this great organization seventy-eight years ago, and who still believes to this day in the general principles on which it was founded, and contributes to all its programmes, out of the belief that there is no way for us but brotherhood and solidarity. Humanitarianism for the continued safe existence of the entire world.
Ladies and Gentelmen
The will for agreement and understanding prevailed in the new Iraq, and we succeeded in overcoming difficult days, giving birth to our current government, behind which stands a broad political coalition that includes all Iraqi sects and components.
This government has adopted a comprehensive and ambitious reform program to correct the course, restore confidence in the political system, provide a decent living for the citizen, secure their future, and build a strong, capable Iraq. On this path, we have developed a program that carries critical priorities, representing files that cannot be neglected in their implementation, and that lie at the heart of the needs of our people.
These priorities focused on providing job opportunities, achieving a broad renaissance in services, fighting poverty, raising the standard of living, combating corruption, and rooting comprehensive reforms in the economic and administrative aspects, and in the financial and banking sector. To overcome the weak legacy of previous administrative systems, which were unable to meet the transformations and catch up with global development.
We have come an important way on this path in a record period of time, and the investment environment in Iraq has developed to open up to the global economy and fruitful partnerships. Many agreements have been signed in different sectors, and Iraq has become a safe environment that attracts investors to great promising opportunities.
Iraq is still an important oil country, and a pivotal country in the global energy market, and has high-importance opportunities, projects and businesses in this field. We launched the Development Road Project, the pioneering and most recent project in the region, which is the vital land channel linking basic economic parts in our developing region, and the most appropriate road. What is best for trade and economic exchange in the region, and in the space of transportation and economics, has come to represent a strategic Iraqi vision for interconnection and communication with the world, and positive economic interaction.
Many international institutions have reported on the spread of corruption in Iraq, and we have diagnosed this scourge and called it the “corruption pandemic,” and we have made fighting it our first priority.
We have begun to pursue wanted persons wherever they are, regardless of their positions and affiliations, and hand them over to the judiciary, for the purpose of eliminating this scourge, and from here we ask friendly and partner countries to extend a helping hand to us in the fight against corruption, in all its stages, and to facilitate the process of following it up and those responsible for it, as we must all We join hands and cooperate in fighting corruption, and recovering the money stolen from them, because we believe in the interconnectedness between corruption and terrorism, as one supports the other, and this is what we are all fighting.
We have been keen to build an independent and balanced foreign policy aimed at cooperation, based on bridging viewpoints and commonalities, and for Iraq to be a source of stability in its regional and international surroundings, part of the solution to any regional or international problem, and raising the potential for mutual understanding and cooperation, just as we explore ways towards constructive partnerships. It is based on the principles of mutual respect, motivating the participating parties, and helping to formulate policies that achieve sustainable development for our peace-loving peoples.
The government of the Republic of Iraq affirms its commitment to the principles of international law, respect for all UN resolutions, and its determination to establish the best relations with everyone, especially neighboring countries. We reject interference in our country’s internal affairs under any pretext, and at a time when our constitution requires that Iraq not be a launching pad for aggression against other countries. We call on everyone to respect Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we reserve our right to take appropriate measures, in accordance with what has been approved by international laws and conventions, to deter any violation against our country.
Hence, we renew our emphasis on extending our hand to all neighboring countries in order to preserve the security and stability of our region and its economic progress and prosperity, in a way that achieves the well-being of its peoples.
In the same way, we aim to achieve regional integration, remove what hinders free trade in the region, facilitate the movement of people, goods and capital across political borders, and link infrastructure together, which are factors that reduce the possibility of the outbreak of armed conflict in the future, and limit the aggravation of conflicts to a large extent.
We see the possibility of achieving economic integration, through unifying and approaching economic policies, customs tariffs and laws, and linking economic infrastructure together, through joint investment and offering opportunities, and as an initiative to push these efforts towards progress. We are working to organize the (Baghdad 2023) conference for economic integration and regional stability, and we will not adopt the policy of axes as a path in our relations, but rather we deal with everyone according to our national interest, and we are continuing to strengthen Iraq’s natural position in the arena of international cooperation, and do everything that enhances stability. .
Our government has placed the file of displaced persons among its priorities and has taken many national measures to find sustainable solutions and ensure their voluntary and safe return to their original areas of residence, and the reconstruction of their liberated cities. We have also been keen to resolve the file of missing persons and those who were disappeared at the hands of ISIS criminals, and to provide material and psychological support to their families and reintegrate them. .
In Iraq, we are moving towards approving the (Civilian Protection Policy) for the purpose of emphasizing the preservation of human rights and respect for international humanitarian law, through training security forces and monitoring performance with regard to protecting civilians from mistakes that occur during armed conflicts, as well as protecting civilians during natural disasters, so that Iraq It is the first country in the Middle East to adopt such a policy and create an environment for cooperation between security forces and citizens.
We firmly move towards holding local elections for the governorates at the end of this year, after stopping them for ten years. They are one of the pillars of decentralization in Iraq and an essential part of the solidity of the regime and state institutions. The federal government, through its comprehensive and multiple programmes, manages the best relations with the Kurdistan region and all governorates of Iraq equally, and is in constant dialogue with representatives of the region and local governments in all governorates of Iraq to transform opportunities into projects that enhance the development of resources and the Iraqi economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Our region, and our country in particular, Mesopotamia, is exposed to the brunt of the effects of drought, resulting from climate change, and the urgent need to preserve rights to water resources and international river basins.
The natural bodies of water in the marshes are among the lungs with which the Earth breathes, in addition to the fact that their dryness is an environmental and historical loss to every living creature on this planet. It is a human heritage and a story of humanity, its development and livelihood. The first international agreement related to water was drawn up on the land of Iraq two thousand five hundred and fifty years ago. Therefore, the cradle of civilization and light should not be left to die of thirst.
The environmental catastrophe will be more severe for Iraq and the countries of the region, with an unprecedented rise in temperatures, which will turn normal forms of life into extremely difficult, approaching impossible. From this standpoint, Iraq is working and calling for more efforts among the concerned regional countries to work together and find an effective mechanism. To coordinate and form a negotiating bloc within the climate agreement, and to establish an integrated mechanism for managing transboundary water, and to confront the effects of drought, dust storms, and heat waves, and the importance of mobilizing international efforts and international encouragement to ensure the sustainability of water resources.
On this basis, we call for the establishment of a regional grouping that includes the countries of the Gulf shores, including Iraq, Iran, and the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which are the countries that will be more exposed than others to rising temperatures. This grouping is responsible for coordinating regional efforts to manage water, confront climate change, and promote Environmental protection and joint action in confronting drought.
At the national level, our government has taken the necessary steps to reduce emissions and stop burning associated gas and polluting the environment. It has also initiated several projects in the field of waste recycling and encouraging the trend towards clean energy. Our government has also approved a national strategy to confront pollution and limit its repercussions for the years two thousand and twenty-three. Two thousand and thirty, Iraq believes that facing challenges requires building institutions capable of dealing with economic challenges, and most importantly, climate challenges.
Despite the multiplicity of cross-border challenges that face us, as they face all of humanity, we seek to organize their confrontation effectively, within the framework of our national capabilities, in cooperation with partners and friends, and at the top of these challenges stand drugs, which constitute a file that hinders all development efforts and investment in human resources and youth development. Therefore, our government adopted the National Strategy to Combat Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances for the years two thousand and twenty-three - two thousand and twenty-five, and we have no alternative, as an international community, and governments in the region, but to intensify efforts and coordination in combating drugs and all related activities that facilitate their access to our children and communities, The relationship between terrorism and drugs is no secret to you.
According to population statistics, Iraq is classified as a young country, as young men and women constitute sixty percent of the country’s population. Accordingly, the Iraqi government was keen to give them importance in its governmental program and to advance the youth situation. In order to invest optimally for them, the Iraqi government has developed many programmes, strategies, projects and initiatives to support this group in various fields, as it launched the (Riyada) initiative for development and employment, concerned with supporting groups of students and youth, empowering them, and developing their creative energies, in order to obtain decent opportunities in the market. Work, creating an effective economic movement, embracing, developing and nurturing productive scientific and practical ideas in order to motivate groups of students and youth to interact with labor market variables and technological development, investing in individual skills, talents and the ability to innovate and striving to provide thousands of job opportunities for young people,
Here, we cannot fail to emphasize the efforts of our government and its continued programs to empower women and grant them their effective right to contribute to all the foundations of the development process. They have been an essential partner in all our victories over terrorism, and they continue to be a partner in overcoming all difficulties and facing challenges.
We reiterate to the world our clear and firm position on the Palestinian right to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. We also affirm Iraq’s support for the unity of Syria, land and people, and we call for alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and enabling them to extend their authority over the entire Syrian territory.
In light of the continuing threat posed by the ability of terrorist organizations to recruit elements that threaten our security and target our countries, it is important to distinguish between incitement to violence, spreading hatred, and attacking the beliefs of others, on the one hand, and freedom of expression, on the other hand. Burning the Holy Qur’an is a hate crime that aims to attack a quarter of the population. The world, and others, look with respect and appreciation for the sacred, which cannot be marketed as freedom of expression.
In Iraq, we have tasted the bitterness of religious extremism, and we know its consequences, and these actions are at the core of the motives for creating extremism and encouraging it, and the terrorist ISIS is still the best example before us.
In conclusion, the time has come for Iraq to take its natural place in the international community, after its remarkable success in fighting terrorism on behalf of the world and defeating it with the help of friends and partners. The Iraqi people have recorded immortal heroics in combating the most notorious criminals, and the prominent role of the wise authority represented by the Grand Ayatollah, Mr. Ali Al-Sistani and his blessed fatwa and the valor of all Iraqi security and military forces in these victories, as well as laying the foundations of societal peace.
In this spirit, Iraq has become safe and stable, and we will continue the journey and work through productive diplomacy to make Iraq a center for meeting brothers, friends and partners, to build a safe and prosperous region to serve all our peoples.
Iraq is now distinguished by the strength of its resources, its geographical location, and the will of its people, who faced the challenges and triumphed over them with all merit.
Thank you for listening. May God’s peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.
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