UN urges Iraqi gov’t to address service problems, improve living conditions

The UN appealed on Wednesday to the Iraqi government to respect legitimate concerns of people and try to address service problems, mainly after the recent protests have swept the country.

Protests have been staging in Iraq in a number of provinces calling for improving living conditions and providing opportunities.

In a press briefing today, Deputy Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq called on effective political actors to ensure that the next administration gives priority to good governance, reforms and combating corruption, which will achieve economic development, make progress, create jobs and offer vital public services.

Haq, at the same time, said that UN Secretary General’s special envoy in Iraq is greatly concerned with violence and sabotage acts associated with some public peaceful protests.

The envoy expressed his sorrow over the loss of souls and the injury of several protestors and security men as well as the vandalism of public and private properties, including offices of government and political parties, public infrastructure and oil facilities, Haq noted.

Haq referred that the United Nations affirms people’s inalienable right to freedom of expression, including participation in peaceful demonstrations without fear, intimidation or arbitrary detention, in compliance with the law, and unrestricted access to information.

He said that authorities should allow such legitimate protests and protect protestors.

Being keen on implementing law, security forces should exercise self-restraint and avoid the use of excessive force, warning against allowing intruders and opportunists to use legitimate protests for political purposes, with the aim of stimulating disorders.

On Syria, Haq voiced UN’s grave concern towards the protection of civilians affected by atrocities in southern Syria where military operations are taking place.

He stated that continued air strikes and bombardment on Nawa town in western Daraa governorate led to several deaths and injuries.

He pointed out that Syrian Arab Red Crescent offered humanitarian aid to the UN that covered about 10,000 people in six areas in eastern Daraa, which has recently been controlled by the Syrian government.

He renewed his call for all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and infrastructure in line with humanitarian international law, and the safe and sustainable access to all needy directly.

Source: Kuwait News Agency