Friday, 09 February 2018 17:24

DSRSG Walpole visits internally displaced families in Baghdad; underlines importance of exercising right of voting in upcoming elections

Baghdad, 08 February 2018 - Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Iraq for Political and Electoral Affairs, Ms. Alice Walpole, visited some internally displaced families living in Abu Ghraib district (Al-Amal, Al-Ahali and Al-Shams camps), Baghdad.

The visit was jointly organised by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the International Organization for Migration and focused on preparations for the internally displaced to be enabled to vote in the upcoming national elections in May. During the visit, DSRSG Walpole discussed some of the major and ongoing challenges facing displaced communities and was able to witness firsthand the conditions under which they continue to live.

“We have a duty to support those who have lost their homes and are far away from their communities,” said Ms. Walpole. “In particular, those who were disempowered under Da’esh should be enabled to make their voices heard through the electoral process. Participating in these elections is a constitutional right,” she added.

DSRSG Walpole spoke to women and young people in the camps, describing the experience as very moving. She reiterated the importance of including the vulnerable in making decisions about their future, warmly encouraging the young first-time voters to seize the opportunity to come out and vote in May.

“The United Nations continues to work closely with the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in providing technical support to the electoral processes. I have confidence that IHEC is working hard to ensure internally displaced populations will be able to participate in the upcoming elections,” she said. “At the same time, I don’t underestimate the challenges of registering displaced voters who lack official documentation.”

With Iraq preparing to hold nationwide elections in May, the return of internally displaced people to different provinces of the country remains a major challenge. It is estimated there are currently over 1.6 million displaced persons of voting age.

Ms. Walpole believes that inclusive participation of the internally displaced is key to a credible and accepted election result.

“Efforts are being made to ensure your vote is counted,” she said, underlining the IHEC’s commitment to provide special facilities for internally displaced populations to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

In the coming months, DSRSG Walpole will visit other vulnerable groups and continue to advocate for their inclusion in a free and fair electoral process.

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For more information, please contact: Mr. Khalid Dahab, Deputy Director of Public Information/Deputy Spokesperson

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 194 0146, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI

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