General Debate Under Item 3 - Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Thank you Mr President.
This is a joint statement by International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD), International-Lawyers.org and Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ). We ask the Council to remember that in ten days time, the people of Iraq will commemorate 14 years since the illegal invasion and destruction of their country by the United States and its allies.
The aggression towards the people of Iraq was against a sovereign State, which was one of the founding Members of the United Nations. Beyond the deaths of a reliably estimated 1.5 million Iraqi people, it has since affected all of their fundamental rights. As a result, even in 2017, Iraqi’s are still being deprived of their most basic needs.
Before sanctions were imposed in 1991, Iraq’s health and education systems were among the most developed in the world. Today, with its schools and universities leveled, illiteracy has become higher in Iraq than it was 25-years-ago, unemployment is increasing, and hospitals lack basic drugs, equipment, and health professionals.
Iraqis only want what most people anywhere want - education, a good job, and a safe home to raise their children. Iraqis have the right to truth, the right to justice and the right to reparations. How many more years must pass, how many more Iraqis blood must be shed, and how much more must conditions of life deteriorate, before this Council takes action to insist on the accountability of those who caused these human rights atrocities? We ask you, please do not let it be another 14 years before the Council breaks its silence.