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Iraq: Politics and Government

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) the resignation from the Iraqi government of its Minister for Women and (b) budgetary reductions of the Iraqi Ministry for Women on Iraq's ability to fulfil its responsibilities under UN Security Council Resolution 1325. (256652)

We were disappointed to hear news of the resignation of Mrs. Nawal al-Samaraie although there apparently remains considerable uncertainty about whether this resignation has been accepted by the Government of Iraq. We have always enjoyed excellent relations with Mrs. al-Samaraie and have offered our full support to the work of her ministry. Budgetary issues are clearly a matter for the government of Iraq but we understand that the Iraqi Ministry of Women’s Affairs is a Ministry of State and does not have the same autonomy, or budget line, of a full Ministry under the Iraqi Government.

The UK shall continue to work with the Government of Iraq to ensure that the rights of women as provided within the Iraqi constitution are upheld. The Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights also has responsibility towards upholding women’s rights as will the National Human Rights Commission which was established through legislation passed in November 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the reasons for the recent resignation from the Iraqi government of its Minister of Women; and if he will make a statement. (256653)

We are aware of reports of the resignation of the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, Mrs. Nawal al-Samaraie, but have yet to see confirmation that her resignation has been accepted by the Government of Iraq. We are presently unaware of the reason for her resignation beyond that which was reported in the media. We have always enjoyed excellent relations with Mrs. al-Samaraie and so view this news with some concern. This is an internal matter for the Government of Iraq but we shall continue to monitor events closely.