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Statement by the SRSG for Iraq, Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert Iraqi Martyr’s Day

9 March 2019


Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very honoured to join you on this special day, the day of the 16th anniversary of the martyrdom of Ayatollah Muhammed Baqir al-Hakim.

We are gathered here to honour his memory first of all, the memory of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, but also to honour the sacrifices of all martyrs of Iraq.
Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim was a true leader for many, a leader who dedicated his life to promoting unity, justice and equality in Iraq.
And he made the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice for an Iraq in which all Iraqis would be able to live without fear and oppression.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is of paramount importance to remember and not to forget and thus to reflect upon the life of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, to learn and to ensure that his sacrifice was not in vain.
Following the military defeat of Da’esh Iraq finds itself at a critical juncture. And really, in this period of post-conflict recovery, the need for national unity goes (in a way) without saying.
A sense of pride and confidence is also justified. Iraq has great qualifications. And with this in mind, a renewed sense of patriotism is not only possible but also necessary. It is necessary to re-emerge stronger.
Now the Iraqi people have overcome so many major challenges, they have overcome violence and conflicts.
However, the country is yet to achieve the dreams of the martyrs.
Divisions continue to remain as an underlying and defining challenge to Iraqi society and politics.
Though bridging differences and grievances will be the way forward, respecting and accepting each other’s special history. And so, it is of great importance to work closely together to build tolerance and a peaceful co-existence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Iraq, with all its diversity, could be serving as an example for many. And it can be done.
Reviving Iraq’s glory will inspire its people regardless of their ethnic, religious or political affiliation. It will command world-wide respect.


A basic principle in life is that we need each other to be our best. Respect all. Accept all. And unite all. Do good to all.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim is more than a figurehead. He is above all a great source of inspiration a man who inspires us to commit and to invest in a common destiny.

So let us not forget.
Let us remember.
Let us honour.
And let us continue.
Thank you.

Last modified on Sunday, 10 March 2019 07:16