The council will be sending 15 delegates to Iraq in support of the upcoming parliamentary elections. The meeting is scheduled to be held sometime this month. Holland’s ambassador to the U.N. spoke to local press while visiting the U.N. in New York, he confirmed the meeting would be in an effort by the U.N. to support Iraq’s pursuit of the democratic process and their hopes for a diplomatic Middle East.
The Iraqi ambassador to the U.N., Mohammad Hussein Ali Bahr Aluloom, stated that,
Although the details have not yet been finalized, the UNSC’s visit is a message to Iraq and the international community also that Iraq has risen up again and returned to the international arena in full force. The message we carried during the fight against ISIS was clear to the whole world, the whole international community supported the unity of Iraq and that they supported Iraq in the fight against terror.”
Several U.N. diplomats who will be in attendance disclosed to Iraqi media that the purpose behind their visit would be to demonstrate the U.N.’s oversight of a correct political process in the region now that the presence of the Islamic State has been removed. Elections for Iraqi parliament will take place on May 12th and the current political race is in full swing. While campaigning is currently ongoing, the U.N. has yet to disclose its specific date for the meeting. Kurdish and Iraqi candidates are competing for seats in parliament but the spaces are limited to 328 spaces in total, 43 of those are for Kurds.
Much of the electoral race has been centered around Kirkuk and its constant state of disputation by the Kurdish Regional Government and the Iraqi central government. Strong arm tactics have been employed by several political parties as well as attempted assassinations but such is the way of Middle Eastern politics. Several female candidates have suffered smear campaigns to discredit their eligibility as well.
Featured Image Courtesy of Wilfried Huss / Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons