UN rights chief concludes go to to Iraq

Local weather change disaster

Talking on the finish of his four-day go to on Wednesday, UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk offered a first-hand account of the influence of local weather change in Basra, within the nation’s south.

“In 50-degree-Celsius warmth, within the midst of drought-ridden and barren fields, area people leaders and representatives confirmed me footage of the luxurious date palm timber that – simply 30 years in the past – lined elements of the now dried-up Shatt-al-Arab waterway,” he mentioned. 

“Standing in searing warmth in that scarred panorama, respiration air polluted by the various fuel flares dotting the area, it was clear to me that the period of world boiling has certainly begun.”

Civil society representatives additionally highlighted the air pollution drawback in Basra and referred to as for transparency in regards to the well being and environmental impacts, Mr. Türk mentioned.  

He additionally took be aware of the Authorities’s dedication to handle local weather change impacts, and urged authorities to make sure significant involvement of these affected and respect for freedom of expression.

Human rights considerations

Moreover, Mr. Türk burdened the necessity for a complete response to Iraq’s historic challenges, together with enforced disappearances, torture, and different rights violations below the regime of Saddam Hussein, between 2014 and 2017 when Da’esh took management of huge swathes of Iraqi territory, and since then.

“Key to stopping such critical human rights violations is placing an finish to the impunity that previous perpetrators of human rights violations have loved,” he mentioned, noting that this was a matter he mentioned extensively with the Authorities and civil society.

He additionally took be aware of the Authorities’s fact-finding committee and its help to victims by compensation programmes.  

“Given the passage of time and lack of accountability, I’ve urged swift, clear motion to stem the impunity that has taken maintain in relation to the Tishreen protests,” Mr. Türk added, referring to the protests in October 2019 throughout which dissatisfaction with the then Authorities boiled over within the type of huge protests throughout Baghdad and the southern provinces.

The strengthening of judicial establishments, ratification of worldwide conventions towards torture, and a moratorium on the loss of life penalty have been additionally advisable.

Ladies’s empowerment and gender equality

The Excessive Commissioner highlighted the essential position of ladies’s empowerment and gender equality, and raised alarm over makes an attempt to ban the usage of these universally accepted phrases in addition to the threats and intimidation towards girls engaged on these points.

“This is senseless within the face of the large challenges that the nation has. The usage of these phrases is just not in contradiction with any tradition, faith or custom,” he burdened.

Mr. Türk welcomed the 25 per cent quota for girls in Iraq’s legislature and referred to as for extra girls in decision-making positions, in addition to extra protections in legislation, coverage and society towards violence towards girls.

He referred to as on leaders throughout society to stop the “politics of distraction”.

“Human rights should not be instrumentalized to divide us – human rights are what unites us, what brings us collectively as humanity, in dignity,” he mentioned additionally warning them towards the hazards of disinformation, hate speech and incitement to violence.

Recalling Canal Resort bombing

In conclusion, the UN rights chief recalled the suicide bombing on the Canal Resort in Baghdad 20 years in the past, during which 22 UN staffers, together with then Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Sérgio Vieira de Mello, have been killed.

“These have been colleagues who have been in Iraq with a honest want to help and help the Iraqi folks of their aspirations for a greater, extra simply future. I witnessed how these aspirations stay on right now,” he mentioned.

“I name on all these in positions of authority and affect to be guided by the pursuits and the human rights of the Iraqi folks above all else and to deal with the corruption, discrimination, impunity, local weather change and the remaining obstacles to lasting stability and peace,” Mr. Türk concluded.

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