The Secretary-General of UN: Please Support the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations :
Last June 7th, the Presidency of the Autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan announced Iraqi Kurdistan will hold a referendum on its independence on 25 September 2017. The referendum will be organized despite the opposition of the Federal Iraqi Government.
The Kurdish Province of Iraq is autonomous since 1991 and the Regional Government of Kurdistan was recognized by the Iraqi Constitution of 2005.
For decades, but even more since the rise of the Islamic Jihadist groups in the region, the Kurdish people are seeking their independence through peaceful means in accordance with international law, the UN Charter and the many resolutions adopted by the UN organs on the right of peoples’ to self-determination.
That is why the main political formations of the Iraqi Kurdish Autonomous Region reiterated their willingness to hold a referendum on the independence of Kurdistan.
The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) released a statement informing the Kurdish Regional Government that they would not be “engaged in any way or form” with the independence referendum. They also announced that the United Nations would not support or oversee the referendum on independence that the Kurdistan Region has planned for September 25.
While fully understanding that UNAMI wishes to strictly abide to the mandate given to it by the UN Security Council, we consider that it is not the role of the UNAMI’s responsible to express publicly a political position in supporting or not supporting a decision of a Regional Government which reflects the will of an entire people.
Given the disagreements between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central Federal Government of Iraq over the referendum, there may be fears of increased tension between the two bodies, or even a violent reaction by the Federal Government.
It is for this reason that we call upon you, Mr. Secretary-General, to dispatch a Mission of Observation of the organization and the course of the referendum, which should ensure the application of the UN Charter articles 1.2 and 2, And Article 2 of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960.
We are confident in your firm willingness to strive for a peaceful process, through which, a people that suffered many war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout the last decades, would exercise their fundamental right to self-determination.
The undersigned look forward in reading you and take this opportunity to express you, Mr. Secretary-General, their highest consideration.
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