Dr. Abelnasser Al-Mahdawy
New Iraq Center Advisor
The Security Council adopted resolution No. 2470 on May 21, 2019 on Iraq; following the report submitted by the representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, in which a series of positions were presented by the Council regarding Iraq. The resolution referred to all Security Council resolutions on Iraq from 2003 to the date of the issuance of the present resolution, the resolution also stressed a set of data, including Iraq’s independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and safety. It expresses support for the Government and people of Iraq in addressing the challenges they face in the context of continuing post-conflict stabilization efforts and its transition to recovery, reconstruction and reconciliation. The Security Council welcomed the Government of Iraq efforts through its National Government Program for the period 2018-2033 in order to face corruption and strengthen viable government institutions.
The most important paragraphs of the UN Resolution are as follows:
- Extension of the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until May 31, 2020.
- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General shall:
- Give priority to provide advice, support and assistance to the Government and the people of Iraq on promoting inclusive political dialogue and promoting national and community-level reconciliation.
- Provide further advice, support and assistance to:
- The Government of Iraq and the Independent Electoral Commission on establishing procedures for holding elections and referenda.
- The Government of Iraq and the Council of Representatives on constitutional review and implementation of constitutional provisions, as well as the establishment of procedures accepted by the Government of Iraq to settle the issue of disputed internal boundaries.
- The Government of Iraq to make progress in security sector reform efforts, including prioritizing the planning, financing and implementation of reintegration programs of former members of armed groups, whenever
- The Government of Iraq regarding border security, energy, environment, water and refugee issues.
- Promote and support of the following:
- Coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance and the return or local integration of refugees and displaced persons.
- Improve capabilities of Iraq to provide civil and social services, including health care and education.
- Assist the efforts of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in economic reform and capacity building for sustainable development and reconstruction.
- Strengthening accountability, protecting human rights and judicial and legal reform in full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty.
- Ensure the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels.
- Strengthening child protection.
The Council then decides, in the final paragraph of the resolution, “to remain seized of the matter” which shows that the situation in Iraq remains under the control of the Council.
In brief, we will focus on the Security Council’s welcome of the Government of Iraq efforts through its National Government Program for the period 2018-2033 to face corruption and strengthening viable State institutions; this statement is quoted from the Government’s platform submitted by the Prime Minister to the Iraqi Parliament at its fourth session. This program has sparked a whirlwind of contradictory statements about the reality of the platform and the possibility of applying it on the ground in the fixing files accumulated generations of corruption, depression, dominance of weapons and robbery of the will on several levels. This includes primarily the government will in reform if it is not compatible with regional interests dominating the security and political arena; even attempts to achieve Iraq’s interests remain defenseless in favor of a will that depends on the foreign interests at the expense of the national public good.
Among the paragraphs of the UN resolution that are relevant to the government program, we will discuss two important details that have received the attention of the UN Security Council. This includes the relevant paragraphs of its last resolution, most notably paragraph 2 (a), which includes giving priority to provide advice, support and assistance to the Government and people of Iraq on enhancing inclusive political dialogue and promote national and community-level reconciliation. In addition, paragraph b (II) includes providing further advice, support and assistance to the Government of Iraq and the Council of Representatives on constitutional review and the implementation of constitutional provisions. The disruption of the Constitution has resulted in the violation of human rights in Iraq at unprecedented levels that place Iraq on the lists of countries that are leading the countries of the world in torturing prisoners and the spread of enforced disappearances, at this brief article, we will address dialogue and reconciliation at the national and local levels. Thus, we will discuss the review on constitution implementation after it was disrupted by successive governments.
Enhancing the inclusive political dialogue strengthens the access to genuine national reconciliation as I said before; that the major reform projects were and are still basically political projects and what follow comes after them. Therefore, politicians of all components of Iraq have to take the initiative and advocacy for open dialogue sessions, on a single, extended table, not limited to a specific period; it shall be ended by the end of the its purpose. This dialogue shall include between the representatives of all components of the politicians; involved, boycotted and even the deportees. It shall be transmitted directly to the whole people. Channels of communication with citizens shall be established to enrich the dialogue, and to initially agree that the only way out of the current and past crises is open declared dialogue without any red lines. This shall be conducted under regional and international sponsorship and in conjunction with the simple Iraqi citizen. This means that the articles discussed by politicians shall be written and published to the people with different backgrounds and specialties, and open dialogues shall be transmitted live with specific times. In addition, interactive channels shall exist to monitor the views of citizens on such articles, and undertake questionnaires on each article in a professional manner without any kind of manipulation to monitor the Iraqi public opinion. The accepted articles shall be converted to competent bodies to enroll it and make it legal according to the Constitution and the laws in force.
The outcome of the dialogue will be presented to the government, the Council of Representatives at its fourth session and the Presidency for approval and ratification, converting it into a living reality according to a well-known timeframe, and entrusting the relevant authorities to follow it. In addition, they shall consider the creation of international and regional guarantees for the implementation of what is agreed upon. Media, civil society and social networking platforms shall be monitored. Anyone from the political blocs and parties will not abide, shall be subjected to real question and tangible punishment as well as moral sanctions directed by the Iraqi society. This will be undertaken by the heads of blocs, officials of parties and community leaders, without disabling them through the formation of specialized committees, considering that the formation of committees is necessary, but will be a later stage of implementation. At this stage, we call upon the Iraqi society through all its representatives to call on the government to call for a general conference of dialogue including all the current politicians, those who wish to participate from those who boycotted the political process with a political dimension and social influence and leaders and politicians deported by notes and provisions malicious. We demand that the conference shall be in accordance with the abovementioned and considers the following:
- Inviting Iraqi political parties and entities to rein in sectarianism and ethnicity, avoiding confrontation on this basis between different shades of Iraqi society, and seeking to consolidate citizenship at the expense of components.
- Working on promoting the concept of citizenship, and the thought of moderation and centrality, and the culture of national partnership among the various components of the Iraqi people with all forces, sects, doctrines and nationalities, and do not consider any differences except efficiency and responsibility.
- Initiating the process of political and security reform, working on establishing independent professional security institutions, ending the policies of exclusion and marginalization of any component of Iraqi society, and building a participatory democratic political system on the basis of justice that achieves stability and development and fights corruption.
- Ending tyranny, releasing innocent detainees, applying the Constitution in general, especially in the articles of freedoms and human rights, punishing anyone violates freedoms and rights, and clearing the prisons from politicians and violators only terrorists.
- Correcting the course of the judiciary, reforming the judicial system starting from the Federal Court and the Supreme Judicial Council and their affiliates, tracing the effects of sectarian policies of previous governments and addressing them radically, and ending the political targeting file.
- Considering and supporting the previously targeted politicians and their participation in the Iraqi concern in all its details, after returning their stolen rights and lifting their burdens, and tracking those who betrayed and fraud and uncovering the circumstances of their malicious and political targeting.
- Applying the current Iraqi constitution, activating the rights and liberties articles and separating the three authorities in reality, and considering the completion of the constitutional institutions that are disrupted as the Council of Union and others.
- Inviting all Iraqi political forces, entities, bodies and groups to preserve the unity of Iraq and the federal system, and to consider this as a goal for all political forces, regardless of their ethnic or sectarian affiliations or participation in or opposition to the political process.
- Stopping negative and opportunism foreign interference in Iraqi affairs at the regional and international levels, and allow Iraqis to manage their affairs away from attempts to affiliation and domination with full Arab support.
- Inviting the international community and neighboring countries, especially the Arab states, Turkey and Iran, to contribute to a political solution to the crisis in Iraq based national participation, democracy and the territorial integrity of the country and the state and conserving of Iraq’s basic interests and the exchange of interests among nations.
The second point which was stressed by the Security Council is providing further advice, support and assistance to the Government of Iraq and the Council of Representatives on the constitutional review and the implementation of constitutional provisions. The constitutional rules are the highest place in the legal system hierarchy in the country as a whole, as specialists say it comes over every law, regulation, instruction or decision taken by the public authorities including the legislative authority. The constitution establishes the authorities in the state, which determines its competences, and the manner in which these powers are exercised, as well as the rules relating to the rights, freedoms and duties of citizens.
In addition, the Constitution sets out general rules, guidelines and restrictions that should be taken into account by the legislative authority during the process of legislating laws. These restrictions may be formal in relation to the formalities and procedures that must be observed when legislating and issuing objective laws, rules, directives and restrictions on the subject and content of the law. The objective rules and directives reflect the prevailing political, social and economic values at the time of drafting the Constitution, as well as the nature of the system of government and the manner of the alteration of power. Therefore, it is necessary to note that the most disrupting authority of the constitution in post-occupation Iraq is successive governments that dealt with the constitution with double standards. That is to say that articles which serve their interests and the consensus of their vision shall be effective. Whereas articles that limit their power or filter their performance will be disrupted; as in the case of the absence of the Council of Union according to Article 65, which has not been legalized so far, despite its importance. It is regarded as a checkpoint for properly filtering, checking, purifying and drafting laws issued by the Council of Representatives as it is composed of efficient elements who have experience in law.
According to specialists in the law, they explain that informal constitution disruption occurred by authority executives. It is noted that authority officials are not explicitly declaring Constitution disruption, but they are applying double standards; Constitution articles serve their interests shall be effective. They are neglecting what opposes their interests. This is neglected by applying the provisions of the constitution in part or in whole, or applying the provisions of the constitution in a way that is contrary to its content.
Although this Constitution has great value and consideration, the successive governments starting from its legislation in 2005 until the time of writing these words have dealt with it in a selective and duplicative manner, which serves their vision and interests. They neglect articles that oppose their interest or deal with it through practices that are against it. This was the case under al-Jaafari’s government in 2005 and the two terms of al-Malaiki’s government in 2006-2014. Al-Abadi, who inherited the disruption of the Constitution, did not work on reducing this disruption during the four years of his ended term. Today, Abdul Mahdi and his government find themselves at stake; one of the most important steps to reform is the activation of the Constitution. This is the real challenge for this government and the presidency council. Abdul Mahdi is not the only responsible person for activating the constitution but the President, Burham Saleh has a difficult exam, as he is primarily responsible for the safety and preservation of the constitution implementation.