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Security Council Press Statement on Iraq

Published Tuesday August 05 2014

The members of the Security Council condemn the attacks on Sinjar and Tal Afar in Iraq’s Ninewa province by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and express their deep concern about the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – many of them from vulnerable minority communities, especially Yezidis – displaced by ISIL’s attacks and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.  The members of the Security Council note that these minority communities have lived for hundreds of years in Sinjar and elsewhere in Ninewa Province.  Many of these Iraqis have been displaced or forced to flee and seek refuge, while many others have been executed and kidnapped.

The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the systematic persecution of individuals from minority populations, including Christians, and those who refuse the extremist ideology of ISIL and associated armed groups.  The members of the Security Council call upon all of Iraq’s communities to unite to respond, with the support of the international community, to this violent and senseless threat to Iraq’s unity, identity and future. 

The members of the Security Council note that the large-scale offensive carried out by ISIL in Iraq and Syria has a trans-border nature and affirm that ISIL poses a threat not only to these countries but to regional peace, security, and stability.

The members of the Security Council recall that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and reaffirm that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, or civilization.  The members of the Security Council also remind Member States of their obligation to implement and enforce the targeted financial sanctions, arms embargo and travel ban imposed on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and associated groups and individuals under the sanctions regime pursuant to resolution 2161 (2014).

The members of the Security Council express their strong support for the Statement by the President of the Security Council (S/PRST/2014/14) of 28 July 2014 strongly condemning any engagement in direct or indirect trade in oil from Syria and Iraq involving terrorist groups.

The members of the Security Council further recall that wide-spread or systematic attacks directed against any civilian populations because of their ethnic background, 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 tackle the terrorist threat facing all Iraqis, and call for an intensification of these efforts.

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.

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