In English

Cronberg in plenary on Iraq

16.1.2013

Thank you, Presidents. The Greens welcome the normalisation of relations and an enhanced dialogue with Iraq. Iraq is a country where oil productivity has been restored to almost full capacity, while parliamentary democracy still needs strengthening. The Greens welcome the government's commitment to do this, at the same time as we deplore the worsening of the human rights situation. The number of executions is increasing, and there is unresolved sectarian violence.

In addition, many live in a deep sense of fear and uncertainty. We want to stress the importance of adequate laws of protecting women and girls' rights, and underline the importance of women participation in post-conflict reconstruction. The normalisation of trade relations is a positive thing, as is the process of Iraq's accession to the World Trade Organisation. A process, to which the PCA should be an important stepping stone.

The Greens have been critical of the trade chapter of the agreement. It is too much tilted towards EU business interests, leaving too little space for Iraqi government's own decisions. We underline that Iraqi authorities should use their oil revenues as a contribution to sustainable social and economic reconstruction. This should also be the EU policy towards the Iraq of today. In this respect, the government should introduce a binding corporate Social Responsibility clause.

This in order to ensure that the Iraqi economy and international trade develop in a way that is beneficial for the entire Iraq society.
Honourable members, we think that we cannot open a new chapter with Iraq on solid grounds, without at least a minimum acknowledgement of what has separated us in the past. It is important at this juncture to bear in mind the recent amendments to the Statute of the International Criminal Court made in 2010, which provide a proper definition for the “crime of aggression”. As both the EU member states and Iraq are either parties to the ICC or are urged to become parties, it is very important that both sides ratify the new amendments to the ICC Statutes as soon as possible. This will strengthen the sprit of the EU-Iraq PCA, as both sides are about to turn a new page in each others' history.

Thank you.

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