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SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES TO EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN

SECRETARY-GENERAL CONTINUES TO EXPRESS DEEP CONCERN ABOUT PERSECUTION OF MINORITIES IN IRAQ

  • The Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his deep concern about the persecution of Yezidis, Christians and other religious minorities by the so-called Islamic State forces in Iraq.
  • The Secretary-General has reiterated that any attack on the civilian population or segments of the civilian population because of their ethnic background, religious beliefs or faith may constitute a crime against humanity and those responsible must be held accountable.
  • The Deputy Secretary-General today met with Bishop Sarhad Jammo and Bishop Francis of Iraq’s Chaldean American Community, leading a delegation of Iraqi Christian representatives and community leaders from throughout the United States.
  • The Deputy Secretary-General recognized the serious plight of religious minorities in Iraq at the hands of so-called Islamic State forces. He expressed his deep compassion for the victims and affected communities.
  • He assured the delegation that the United Nations is now taking urgent humanitarian action. He also underlined the need for global solidarity and support to address the needs of these afflicted communities.
  • The Security Council issued a press statement yesterday saying that its members are encouraged by the Iraqi President Fuad Masum’s decision to nominate a new Prime Minister-designate.
  • The Council said that the nomination is an important step towards the formation of an inclusive 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.
  • Council members have urged the Prime Minister-designate, Haider al-Abadi, to work swiftly to form an inclusive Government. They have also urged all political parties and their supporters to remain calm and respect the political process.
  • The United Nations has declared a ‘level 3 emergency’ for Iraq – the highest global humanitarian priority for the UN and partner agencies.
  • The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Nickolay Mladenov, said that the declaration will facilitate the mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of communities impacted by forced displacement.
  • Since mid-June, UN agencies have scaled up assistance and reached tens of thousands of people with food, water, shelter, health care and medical supplies.
  • The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with other humanitarian partners to step up efforts to meet the growing needs of people arriving from Sinjar Mountain. Tens of thousands of people are reportedly still trapped on the mountain, many with deteriorating health conditions.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says that tens of thousands of mainly Yezidis people have now crossed the Semalka/ Peshkabour border, after transiting through Syria, into the Dahuk Governorate over the last 10 days. An estimated 15,000 Yezidis are seeking refugee inside Syria where UNHCR is working with local NGOs and UN partners to provide aid.
  • UNHCR has also begun transporting newly arriving Iraqi refugees from the border area to the Newroz camp near Al Qamishli, where it is providing tents, blankets, hygiene and other essential supplies.