As Iraq struggles to deal with the increasing security threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as with dire financial and humanitarian conditions, the United Nations envoy to the country has cited an inclusive political process as vital to finding comprehensive solutions.
In an interview with UN Radio, Nickolay Mladenov, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), said that there is “general agreement,” not just in the UN but in Iraq as well, that the security element of dealing with ISIL is one part of the solution, but is not the comprehensive solution to the problems facing the country.
“What also needs to happen is a political process, and a political process that allows for the various communities of Iraq to come back together,” Mr. Mladenov stressed.
“The last decade has seen a lot of violence that has been driven by divisive politics, that [in turn] has been driven by the communities looking more inwardly rather than working together, and it is time now to address that,” he added.
Indeed, he said, the new Government in Iraq is inclusive of all the political parties, and is embarking on an agenda of addressing some of the long-standing grievances that exist within Iraqi society, including those related to poverty, security, participation in decision-making and revenue-sharing.
As such, the UN is working “intensely” with the Government of Iraq, as well as with Kurdish authorities and with various groups on the ground to find where agreement can be reached on security, political and social solutions, and, ultimately, pushing for those agreements to be implemented, Mr. Mladenov said.
“Our role really in this process – what I think is fundamentally the role of the United Nations around the world – is to bring people together, to facilitate dialogue, and to come up with proposals for solutions that could work on the ground, and to help implement them,” he said.