On December 17, 2018 Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert took office as the new United Nations Special Representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). The announcement on her appointment had come on August 31, 2018, when UN Secretary General António Guterres nominated her as the successor of Mr. Ján Kubiš
The goal of UNAMI, which was created in 2003 following UNSCR 1500, is to support the national reconciliation and reconstruction process in Iraq; it is active in most of Iraq where it provides political support, notably with respect to electoral assistance, as during the national parliamentary elections in May 2018 and in the regional parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region in September 2018. Moreover, the UN Mission in Iraq coordinates humanitarian assistance and helps develop health and social services.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani, was pleased to meet Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert and congratulated her on her new position. As with her precedessor, the Prime Minister assured his government’s support during her mission and the willingness to continue to strongly cooperate with UN agencies in Iraq.
During their meeting, they discussed the political process in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region, stressing the importance of completing the formation of a new government in Iraq. In this context, they also considered that cooperation and coordination between the KRG and the federal government are necessary: it was agreed that the resolution of all outstanding issues between Erbil and Baghdad should be carried out on the basis of the Iraqi Constitution, particularly in those areas covered by article 140, which have witnessed instability and security issues.