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MRG statement on Iraq’s commitments taken during its Universal Periodic Review

25 March 2015

Geneva, Wednesday 25th March 2015

Speaker: Mr. Glenn Payot
Human Rights Council – 28th Regular Session

Thank you Mr. President,

The occasion of the adoption of the UPR report comes at a crucial time for Iraq. The on-going armed conflict has opened millions of civilians to serious human rights violations including forced displacement, summary executions, abductions and sexual violence. Iraq’s minorities have been targeted by violent campaigns seeking to eradicate Iraq’s ethnic and religious diversity and their future is at grave risk.

Minority Rights Group therefore welcomes Iraq’s commitment to strengthening the legal protection of minorities and combating discrimination. MRG also commends Iraq’s willingness to increase the representation of minorities in security, governance and decision-making bodies, and hopes that this will be done on the basis of equality. MRG urges the Iraqi government to take concrete measures to ensure that minorities participate on an equal level in building the future political, social and economic life of the country.

MRG applauds Iraq’s pledge to improve the human rights situation of internally displaced persons in cooperation with the international community. MRG encourages all parties to take the particular needs of minority and women IDPs into account and to seek long-term solutions to facilitate the return and reintegration of displaced persons into Iraqi society, including through the restitution of their property.

However, MRG regrets the Iraqi government’s decision, at this point, not to accept recommendations concerning accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Iraq is facing a systematic attack on the civilian population from the forces of Daesh and accepting the jurisdiction of the Court would demonstrate Iraq’s commitment to ensuring both that perpetrators of the attacks are brought to account, and also that the measures taken to confront them conform to international law.

I thank you.