Sudani and UN High Commissioner discuss human rights

BAGHDAD, August 7 — Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani met with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, in Baghdad on Sunday to discuss human rights issues and the draft law on enforced disappearances.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office said:

During the meeting, Prime Minister Al-Sudani expressed his appreciation for the visit, considering it a message of support for all Iraqis and encouragement to continue working towards safeguarding human rights. He highlighted that Iraqis have endured significant hardships during the days of the dictatorial regime, making them more qualified to respect human rights. He also mentioned that the Council of Ministers has approved the draft law to combat enforced disappearances, which is now in the Parliament for voting.

The Prime Minister also expressed Iraq’s gratitude for the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner’s office in condemning the repeated attacks on the sanctity of the Holy Quran. He emphasized that such attacks intersect with the concept of freedom of opinion and expression, constituting violations of religious beliefs and attempts to incite discord.

Regarding women’s rights, Prime Minister Al-Sudani confirmed that the government has made significant progress, with women representing 28% of the Parliament and holding three ministerial positions, one of which is sovereign.

In response, High Commissioner Volker Turk stated that his visit’s timing was sensitive, given that Iraq is one of the countries most affected by climate change. He offered assistance to address this challenge within the context of economic, social, and cultural rights. Turk expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister’s cooperation and facilitation of the work of the High Commissioner’s office in Iraq. He highlighted Iraq’s diversity as a source of strength throughout history and called for strengthening national dialogue and addressing the issue of missing persons in all crises.