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Human Rights Council 22nd Special Session on Iraq, 1 September 2014, Geneva

UK statement on Iraq delivered at the Human Rights Council, 1 September 2014 in Geneva.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UN building in Geneva
The HRC is held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva

The UK fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.

The UK welcomes this special session of the HRC, focusing on the appalling human rights abuses being committed in Iraq by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant and other armed groups. We also support the proposed resolution.

The UK believes it is vital for the international community- and particularly the UN Human Rights Council - to be sending the strongest possible message of condemnation on ISIL’s abuses and crimes.

The UK is clear about the threat of ISIL and we condemn its barbaric acts, such as targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery and sexual abuse. Appallingly, many of these acts have been carried out on the basis of ethnic, religious or sectarian discrimination.

ISIL’s attempt to stoke sectarian conflict through violence and brutality is a threat to everyone. They have targeted people on grounds of their religion first and foremost, but have killed, displaced and caused great suffering to all Iraq’s communities. We call on religious leaders to speak out against ISIL’s distortion of Islam and to reject violence against others on the grounds of religion or belief.

Our Prime Minister has made clear his contempt for ISIL’s ideology, and the UK’s determination to tackle this threat. UK Ministers in Iraq last week announced an extra £10m in humanitarian aid, bringing the total UK help for those displaced in Iraq to £23 million.

Assistance that we and other countries are giving can provide some relief. However, it cannot undo the horrific abuses that have been committed by ISIL. We therefore fully support the call for the investigation of all violations and abuses. Those responsible must be held to account.

We also support the urgent need for a security and political response to the crisis through a new inclusive government, representing all the communities of Iraq that can push back ISIL advances and create stability and security for everyone.

For all Iraqis, the solution to the current crisis must be action to counter ISIL and a government with a strong commitment to human rights and to protecting all its citizens. The international community, and this special session, must speak with one voice in support of these aims.

Published 2 September 2014