Remarks by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at a UN Security Council Briefing on Iraq

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 24, 2022


Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Special Representative Hennis-Plasschaert, for your briefing and for your ongoing leadership on this critical file. We truly appreciate UNAMI’s support to Iraq’s peace and stability. And I welcome Iraqi Permanent Representative to this meeting today.

The United States again congratulates the Iraqi people for successfully holding free and fair parliamentary elections in October that were largely peaceful. This is a testament to the Iraqi people and their desire for transparent and good governance. We remain hopeful that those elections will yield a government that reflects the will of the Iraqi people and responds to their urgent needs.

Before and after polling, the Iraqi people rejected violence intended to coerce and intimidate politicians, election authorities, journalists, women, and activists. They rebuffed attempts by some to restore old power structures. They stayed strong in solidarity for democracy. The attack on the residence of Prime Minister al-Kadhimi in November was the most visible attempt to thwart the democratic process and nullify the election results, amid repeated threats of violence directed against Iraqi citizens working to safeguard Iraq’s democracy.

Despite all these threats, the Independent High Electoral Commission, with assistance from UNAMI, implemented a secure, technically sound voting and counting process monitored by international observers. After electoral and judicial authorities confirmed the vote tallies and adjudicated challenges, the Federal Supreme Court in December ratified the election results, paving the way for Iraq to proceed with forming a new government.

As a result of these polls, an historic number of women and members of religious and ethnic minority groups won seats. Reformist newcomers have established themselves as a new force in Iraqi politics. Democracy has gained a stronger foothold in Iraq. Now, it’s time for Iraq’s leaders to come together and form an inclusive government, one capable of and committed to addressing the aspirations of the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people need this government because they need security. We have seen that ISIS remains bent on using violence to wreak havoc. In the meantime, we commend Iraq’s security forces for their brave fight against ISIS and will continue to support Iraq in this effort in line with our Strategic Framework Agreement.

The United States looks forward to working with the new government once it has formed to strengthen our strategic partnership on our many shared interests, including economic reform and anti-corruption measures. Inclusive and transparent institutions and systems, including the judiciary, are critical to the next government’s formation – and to Iraq’s future. I was proud to see Iraq participate in the Summit for Democracy in December. Now, it’s time for Iraq’s leaders to meet those commitments and set an example for the world.

Thank you, Mr. President.