Transcript of Remarks at Security Council Press Stakeout - Iraq
- Human Rights
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
Remarks to the press by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for November 2014, HE Mr Gary Quinlan, following UN Security Council consultations on the situation in Iraq.
I'll be very brief – I just want to recognise the fact that the Council has just concluded consultations this morning, extensive consultations, on the situation in Iraq. That was preceded by a public briefing, of course.
We were briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMI, Nikolay Mladenov; by the Under-Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator, Valerie Amos; and also by the new – or not so new anymore, he's been in the job a couple of months – by the new High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid; this is the first opportunity the High Commissioner has had to present to the Council and we look forward to many presentations and much more participation in the future.
I will let the speakers speak for themselves as they have a lot to say and I'm sure there will be a lot of questions and I would encourage that. But I just want to put on the record from the Council our very deep thanks to Nikolay Mladenov and his entire UNAMI team and to OCHA – Valerie Amos and all UN humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian agencies – who are doing such an extraordinary job on the ground in what are for the Iraqi people now quite "devastating circumstances", to quote a phrase used by the SRSG this morning.
I would also conclude by saying that tomorrow we have an open debate on counter-terrorism – that will be presided over by the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. There will be a number of other Foreign Ministers and Vice Foreign Ministers present. Currently there will be about 60 speakers in that debate. It's an important one and, in fact, moves from today's discussions very specifically about Iraq to broader issues associated with terrorism, specifically ISIL, al Nusra and other al Qaeda affiliated groups. It's all about what we do to follow up the resolutions adopted by the Council in August – that's 2170 – and in September – 2178, on foreign fighters. It will be very practically focused. We're looking to the adoption of a PRST, a Presidential Statement, in order to continue to combat ISIL and associated and similar groups.
I would end by quoting a comment today by the Permanent Representative of Iraq when he spoke in the open briefing, pointing out that those two resolutions (2170 and 2178)did two particular things: one, they have actually helped to combat ISIL, alhough we need to do much more; and second, they have given a measure of confidence to the Iraqi people that they have support in what is quite a decisive battle that we're engaged in.
Please, I hand over to the speakers.
JOURNALIST (inaudible – comment on attacks in Jerusalem?)
AMBASSADOR QUINLAN On Jerusalem, obviously all members of the Council – we have not formally discussed this – but members of the Council individually have and are appalled by the circumstances that have happened. We made a statement at the end of October in earlier circumstances which were also bad and indicated our total condemnation of any acts of violence and terrorism. I have nothing further to say on behalf of the Council because we have not formally discussed this yet.