SRSG Ján Kubiš remarks to the press | Governorate of Babel (2 December 2018)

On 2 December 2018, the Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ján Kubiš visited the Governorate of Babel in central Iraq. He met with local officials and toured the ancient ruins of the city dating back thousands of years.

 

In his meeting with Governor Karrar Al-Abadi, Chairman of the Provincial Council Raad al-Jubouri, and other PC members, Mr. Ján Kubiš discussed ways for additional UN support going forward. He said with the military defeat of Da’esh terrorists, the UN will focus, in addition to the ongoing humanitarian effort, on economic and social reforms, development and investment projects to support the delivery of services and productive job creation in Iraq.

Development, encouraging investment to strengthen local economies, water management, including transboundary waters and effective use of water for agriculture to deal with climate change and water shortages, are matters of extreme importance that the UN is engaged in and will continue in the future, the Special Representative said.

Mr. Kubiš heard from the officials requests of support to list Babel on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. The Special Representative said he will raise the matter with the relevant UN bodies, adding that the Iraqis also should enquire about the requirements for eligibility. He added that an area with such a rich history will always be a place for tourists to visit irrespective of its listing. “Babel will remain Babel and there is only one Babel,” he stressed.

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