UN Rep on Human Rights in Iraq

Speech of the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the MOHR Conference, National Centre for Human Rights, Baghdad 19 December 2012.

Minister for Human Rights, Engineer Shiya Al Sudaani, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to be here with you today for the publication of the Ministry of Human Rights’ report on implementation of the National Action Plan for Human Rights.

Making human rights a reality, instead of just a distant dream, is indeed a challenge that faces all Governments, just as it confronts the Government and people of Iraq. Human Rights is above politics. The National Action Plan for Human Rights, implementing the recommendations made by the United Nations resulting from the Universal Periodic Review of Iraq’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, is something for which the Government and people of Iraq are to be congratulated, representing as it does a concrete step along the path to making the promise of human rights a reality for all Iraq’s citizens.

The Iraqi people know only too well from bitter experience what it means to suffer from violations of their basic human rights. They have suffered decades of despotic regimes, war, invasion, occupation and armed conflicts. While there has been improvement in recent years – significant challenges remain that must be overcome if Iraq is to achieve its goal of becoming a truly democratic State, where respect for rule of law and human rights are a reality for all its citizens.

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