December 18, 2017

Martin Kobler Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Iraqi Government for Voluntary Relocation of Residents of Camp New Iraq

UNAMI Press Releases

Baghdad, 25 December 2011- The United Nations and the Government of Iraq signed today a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a humanitarian and peaceful resolution of the situation of the residents of camp New Iraq (former Ashraf).

The MoU was signed on behalf of the United Nations by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, and on behalf of the Government of Iraq by the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Faleh Fayad.

“The United Nations involvement in this issue has been from a purely humanitarian perspective. It has done its utmost as an impartial facilitator to find a peaceful and durable solution to the situation of the residents of the camp. The MoU respects the sovereignty of Iraq and its international humanitarian and human rights obligations and protects the security and rights of the camp’s residents”, SRSG Kobler said. “At the same time, the residents of camp New Iraq have to abide by the laws of Iraq”, he added

The MoU was developed through a series of joint meetings between the United Nations and Iraqi government representatives. UNAMI also consulted extensively with the residents of the camp.

In broad outline, the MoU establishes a process whereby the Government of Iraq will relocate the residents to a temporary transit location for a process of refugee status determination by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a necessary first step for their resettlement outside Iraq. The United Nations will provide around the clock monitoring until the completion of the process. The UNHCR will immediately deploy a team at the new location to proceed with the verification and adjudication of the claims for refugee status it had received. The MoU includes a clear commitment from the Government of Iraq that it will ensure the safety and security of the residents at the new location. The Government also commits to the substantial involvement of its Ministry of Human Rights throughout the process, including the provision of a liaison officer.

“I want to make it very clear that this MoU is about voluntary relocation and its implementation is based firmly on all sides acting peacefully and in good faith. This will permit the UN to remain engaged in the process.” SRSG Kobler said.

“I would like to highlight that the Government is exclusively responsible for the safety and security of the residents both during their transfer and in the new location until they leave the country”, SRSG Kobler added.

“I also reiterate my call to Members States of the UN to accept the residents of the camp in their countries”, SRSG Kobler said.

SRSG Kobler expressed his gratitude to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its valuable and active support to the UN facilitation process as well as to the UNHCR for its full engagement and tireless efforts to help ensure a humanitarian, peaceful and durable solution for the camp’s residents.