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Press Statement on Iraq

The members of the Security Council condemn the attacks in Iraq’s Ninewa Province, including Sinjar and Tal Afar, by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and again express their deep outrage about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis — many of them from vulnerable minority communities, especially Yezidis and Christians — displaced by ISIL’s attacks and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations and those who refuse the extremist ideology of ISIL and associated armed groups.

The members of the Security Council reiterate that widespread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic background, political grounds, religion or belief may constitute a crime against humanity, for which those responsible must be held accountable. All parties, including ISIL and associated armed groups, must abide by international humanitarian law, including the obligation to protect the civilian population. The members of the Security Council also urge all parties to stop human rights violations and abuses, ensure humanitarian access, and facilitate the delivery of assistance to those fleeing violence.

The members of the Security Council welcome the Government of Iraq’s efforts, in association with local and regional authorities and in cooperation with the United Nations, to address the urgent humanitarian needs of those displaced by the current conflict and to combat the terrorist threat facing all Iraqis, and call for an intensification of these efforts.

The members of the Security Council call on the international community to support the Government and people of Iraq and to do all it can to help alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the current conflict in Iraq.

The members of the Security Council further call on all political entities to overcome divisions and work together in an inclusive and urgent political process to strengthen Iraq’s national unity, sovereignty and independence and for Iraq’s leaders to engage, as quickly as possible, to form a Government that represents all segments of the Iraqi population and that contributes to finding a viable and sustainable solution to the country’s current challenges.