The UN support role in Iraq was established by Security Council resolution 1500 (2003) at the request of the Government of Iraq, revised under resolution 1770 (2007) and has since been extended on an annual basis.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) is a special political mission headed by Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, supported by two deputies: Deputy SRSG for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, who also leads on the issues of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives, and Deputy SRSG Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano who leads the humanitarian and development efforts in her role as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq.
The current mandate of UNAMI encompasses, at the request of the Government of Iraq, a number of key areas, including the provision of advice, support and assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq on advancing inclusive political dialogue and national and community-level reconciliation enhanced electoral support; as well as facilitating regional dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and its neighbours; promoting accountability and the protection of human rights and judicial and legal reform; promoting gender equality; and promoting coordination and facilitating, in coordination with the Government of Iraq delivery in the humanitarian and development areas. Furthermore, under Security Council resolution 2107 (2013) UNAMI is mandated to promote, support and facilitate efforts of the Government of Iraq regarding the repatriation or return of all Kuwaiti and third-country nationals, or their remains, and the return of Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.
Iraq has been transitioning through three phases, beginning with an emergency response in 2014; to immediate stabilisation in 2016; followed by recovery, reconstruction, and regular development in 2018. The number of internally displaced persons has dropped to approximately 1.2 million (after a high of over 5 million). Though this is a significant achievement, planning and response must now include integration and resettlement into third locations inside Iraq.
In addition to their humanitarian activities, the UN Country Team is working together to improve the lives of Iraqis across numerous sectors. Under the auspices of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF, formerly UNDAF) for Iraq 2020-2024, in line with Iraq’s national priorities and in accordance with the National Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals, agencies, funds and programmes are working to assist the Iraqi Government towards achieving social cohesion, social protection, and social inclusion to create a fair and inclusive society for all Iraq; growing the economy for all Iraqis; promoting effective, inclusive, accountable and efficient institutions and services at all levels; promoting natural resource and disaster risk management, and climate change resilience to achieve a better, safer and more sustainable future for all; and achieving dignified, safe and voluntary durable solutions to displacement in Iraq.
In June 2015, the Government asked UNDP to establish a Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) to help stabilise areas liberated from ISIL. In April 2016, a second channel, the Funding Facility for Expanded Stabilization (FFES), was established to meet the ‘expanded’ stabilization needs through medium- and large-scale infrastructure projects. Together, FFIS and FFES comprise the Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) which provides stabilization assistance across four areas of work: public works and infrastructure rehabilitation; livelihood assistance and employment; capacity support to municipalities; and peaceful communities and social cohesion.
Key Support Role on Elections and National Dialogue
UNAMI is supporting the government’s efforts to promote an inclusive dialogue on national and societal reconciliation and to help confidence-building measures to ensure the future of Iraq as a stable, federal, united and inclusive state in which all of its citizens can fully and equally participate without discrimination and with equal rights and justice. UNAMI also promotes regional cooperation and dialogue between Iraq and neighbouring countries through its good offices mandate.
UNAMI played a key support role in the process by which Iraqis drafted and adopted a new constitution in 2005, and assisted the country in holding national elections as well as Iraq Governorate Council elections and parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan region of Iraq since 2009. Since the formation of the Independent High Electoral Commission in 2007, the United Nations has continued to provide technical support, policy advice and assistance to the institution. In 2021, in line with Security Council Resolution 2576 (2021), UNAMI implemented one of the United Nations’ largest electoral assistance projects worldwide, in support of the 10 October parliamentary elections, encompassing technical assistance and the deployment of 150 United Nations international electoral experts in advance of, and on, election day.
Activities on Human Rights
UNAMI is working with other UN partners, and all relevant stakeholders (Government, Parliament, law enforcement and civil society) to promote respect and accountability, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights in Iraq, including, inter alia, the rights of women and children and their protection from sexual and gender based violence, the rights of diverse ethnic and religious minorities, the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring their access to basic services without discrimination, and promoting respect for the right of freedom of assembly and expression. UNAMI is also working in partnership with other United Nations, Government and civil society partners, to provide technical assistance, legal and expert advice on content and implementation of Iraq’s international human rights obligations, and on drafting legislation, regulations and policies that promote the respect and protection of human rights, and assist with building the capacity of state institutions, including relevant ministries, the Council of Representatives, the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, and law enforcement and the administration of justice. UNAMI in accordance with its mandate is supporting the work of the investigative team established in resolution 2379 (2017) to promote accountability for ISIL crimes in Iraq.