Procedure : 2016/2956(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-1166/2016

Texts tabled :

B8-1166/2016

Debates :

PV 26/10/2016 - 12
CRE 26/10/2016 - 12

Votes :

Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2016)0422

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 275kWORD 80k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1159/2016
24.10.2016
PE593.592v01-00
 
B8-1166/2016

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Northern Iraq/Mosul (2016/2956(RSP))


Lars Adaktusson, Cristian Dan Preda, Elmar Brok, Esther de Lange, György Hölvényi, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska on behalf of the PPE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Northern Iraq/Mosul (2016/2956(RSP))  
B8‑1166/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Iraq(1), of 18 September 2014 on the situation in Iraq and Syria, and the IS offensive, including the persecution of minorities(2), in particular paragraph 4 thereof, of 27 November 2014 on Iraq: kidnapping and mistreatment of women(3), of 12 February 2015 on the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria, in particular in the IS context(4), and specifically paragraph 27 thereof, of 12 March 2015 on recent attacks and abductions by ISIS/Daesh in the Middle East, notably of Assyrians(5), in particular paragraphs 2, 5 and 8 thereof, of 12 March 2015 on the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the European Union’s policy on the matter(6), in particular paragraphs 129 and 211 thereof, of 12 March 2015 on the EU’s priorities for the UN Human Rights Council in 2015(7), in particular paragraphs 66 and 67 thereof, of 30 April 2015 on the destruction of cultural sites perpetrated by ISIS/Da’esh(8), of 30 April 2015 on the persecution of the Christians around the world, in relation to the killing of students in Kenya by terror group Al-Shabaab(9), and of 4 February 2016 on the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by the so-called ‘ISIS/Daesh’(10), in particular paragraphs 11, 12 and 14 thereof,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 23 May 2016 on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the Da’esh threat, of 14 December 2015 on Iraq, of 16 March 2015 on the EU Regional Strategy for Syria and Iraq as well as the ISIL/Daesh threat, of 20 October 2014 on the ISIL/Da’esh crisis in Syria and Iraq, of 30 August 2014 on Iraq and Syria, of 14 April 2014 and 12 October 2015 on Syria, and of 15 August 2014 on Iraq,

–  having regard to, among others, the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief; the EU Guidelines on promoting compliance with international humanitarian law; the EU Guidelines on violence against women and girls and combating all forms of discrimination against them; the guidelines for EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment; the EU Guidelines on children and armed conflict; the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child; and the EU Human Rights Guidelines on freedom of expression online and offline,

–  having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Iraq and Syria,

–  having regard to Resolution 2091 (2016) ‘Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq’ adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 January 2016,

–  having regard to the UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq, in particular Resolutions 2299 (2016) and 2249 (2015) condemning recent terrorists attacks by ISIS/Da’esh,

–  having regard to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s ‘Consideration of the report submitted by Iraq’, of 2 October 2013; the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s ‘Concluding observations on the report by Iraq’, of 3 March 2015; the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances’ ‘Concluding Observations on the report submitted by Iraq’, of 13 October 2015; the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights’ ‘Concluding observations on the report by Iraq’, of 27 October 2015; and the UN Human Rights Committee’s ‘Concluding Observations on Iraq’, of 3 December 2015,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the operation for the liberation of Mosul from ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ has commenced, and unresolved disputes concerning internal boundaries in northern Iraq, if not addressed by the military actors fighting ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ and by the international community as a whole, could prevent the rehabilitation of the area and the repatriation of displaced inhabitants, thus posing a threat to the future existence of vulnerable minorities in the area;

B.  whereas the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar, as well as the wider region, have been the ancestral homeland of Christians (Chaldeans/Syriacs/Assyrians), Yazidis, Sunni and Shia Arabs, Kurds, Shabak, Turkmen, Kaka’i, Sabaean-Mandeans and others where they lived for centuries in a spirit of general pluralism, stability, and communal cooperation despite periods of external violence and persecution, until the beginning of this century and the occupation of much of the region by ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ in 2014;

C.  whereas Christians in Iraq once numbered over 1.5 million in 2003 but have dwindled to less than 200 000 - 350 000 today, many of whom live in poverty and insecurity;

D.  whereas the presence of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and the wider Middle East has traditionally been of great social importance as they have been major contributors to political stability, and the extinction of these minorities in the region will have a further destabilising effect;

E.  whereas Parliament recognised on 4 February 2016 that ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ is committing genocide against Christians and Yazidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities, who do not agree with the so-called ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ interpretation of Islam’ and ‘that the persecution, atrocities and international crimes amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity’;

F.  whereas Parliament has been joined by the Council of Europe, the State Department of the United States, the Congress of the United States, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the Australian parliament and other nations and institutions in recognising that the atrocities perpetrated by ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq include war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;

G.  whereas Parliament has requested the international community and its member states, including the EU and its Member States, to ensure the necessary security conditions and prospects for all those who have been forced to leave their homeland or have been forcibly displaced, to make effective their right to return to their homelands as soon as possible, as enshrined in Article 13.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 12.4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to preserve their homes, land, property and belongings, as well as their churches and religious and cultural sites, and to give them the opportunity to enjoy a safe and dignified life and future, and to fully participate as equal citizens in the social, economic, cultural and political reality of their own country;

H.  whereas the liberation of Northern Iraq from ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ could result in the repetition of increased displacement and intensified migration flows which, according to religious leaders, makes the final outflow of Christians a very likely scenario unless there is coordinated humanitarian action involving faith-based relief organisations;

I.  whereas Parliament has stressed the importance of the international community providing protection and aid, including military protection and aid, in accordance with international law, to all those targeted by the so-called ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ and other terrorist organisations in the Middle East, such as ethnic and religious minorities, and of such people’s participation in lasting future political solutions;

J.  whereas Parliament has underlined the importance of ensuring a safe haven for the Chaldeans/Syriacs/Assyrians and others at risk in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq, an area where many ethnic and religious minorities have historically had a strong presence and lived peacefully alongside each other;

K.  whereas United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60–/1 (2005) states that ‘each individual state has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity’;

L.  whereas Article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution ‘guarantees the full religious rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice’;

M.  whereas Article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees ‘the administrative, political, cultural, and educational rights of the various nationalities, such as Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and all other constituents’;

N.  whereas military actors are continuing to roll back ISIL in Northern Iraq in coordination with the Iraqi Security Forces, the Kurdish Regional Government’s Peshmerga forces and indigenous local security forces with a national security mission;

O.  whereas the repatriation of the indigenous communities of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar to their ancestral homes, and the economic revitalisation of these communities in a manner that provides an opportunity for diverse ethnic and religious communities to flourish, advances Iraq’s stability and the security interests of the international community;

P.  whereas local self-determination and security protection for the communities of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar within the framework of the federal Republic of Iraq would restore and preserve the fundamental human rights, including property rights, of the indigenous peoples of that region;

Q.  whereas several Christian (Chaldean/Syriac/Assyrian), Yazidi and Turkmen leaders have expressed support for an autonomous administrative region including the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar;

R.  whereas the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stated on 15 April 2015 that ‘if we don’t decentralise, the country will disintegrate. To me, there are no limitations to decentralisation’;

1.  Expresses its support for the Republic of Iraq and its people in recognising a politically, socially and economically viable and sustainable province in the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar regions, consistent with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous peoples;

2.  Stresses that the right of return to their ancestral homeland for the displaced indigenous peoples of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar – many of whom are displaced within Iraq – should be a policy priority of the Iraqi Government supported by the EU, including its Member States, and the international community;

3.  Emphasises that, upon the return of the indigenous peoples of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar to their homeland, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government, these peoples should have their fundamental human rights fully restored, including their property rights which should supersede any claims of property rights by others;

4.  Stresses that the indigenous communities of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar – Christians (Chaldeans/Syriacs/Assyrians), Yazidis, Turkmens and others – have a right to safety, security and self-determination within the federal structure of the Republic of Iraq;

5.  Urges the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government, as well as the EU and its Member States, the international community and international actors, to secure the territorial integrity and security of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar;

6.  Urges the Government of Iraq and its international partners to make the peaceful resolution of questions pertaining to the Republic of Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries a priority;

7.  Urges the EU and its Member States, the Counter ISIL Coalition, the international community and international actors to work with the national and regional governments of the Republic of Iraq towards a sustainable security settlement in the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar;

8.  Urges the EU and its Member States, and the UN and its member states, to work with the national and regional governments of the Republic of Iraq and with all relevant national or international actors to oversee the peaceful reintegration to their ancestral homeland of the indigenous peoples of the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar, who are currently internally displaced persons, refugees or seeking asylum elsewhere;

9.  Urges the EU and its Member States, and the UN and its member states, to work with the national and regional governments of the Republic of Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government, to establish the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar and Sinjar as undisputed territories politically represented by the indigenous peoples and communities of the region; stresses the need for professional capacity building of the future administrations of the Nineveh Plain, Sinjar and Tal Afar, and emphasises the need for the EU, its Member States and the international community to provide special training;

10.  Encourages the EU and its Member States and the international community to support the Government of Iraq in implementing the decision to create a Nineveh Plain Province, in accordance with its Cabinet decision of 21 January 2014, and in further de-centralising by also establishing provinces in Tal Afar and Sinjar and supporting the new provincial administrations to attain their full potential, consistent with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous peoples;

11.  Encourages the EU Member States to add local security forces to the list of forces authorised to receive assistance; believes that local security forces should include local forces that are committed to protecting highly vulnerable ethnic and religious minority communities in the Nineveh Plain, Tal Afar, Sinjar and elsewhere from the threat of jihadi-salafism; urges the EU Member States to provide supplies to local security forces for the long-term protection of their homelands;

12.  Urges the Iraqi Government, with support from the EU and its Member States, to provide means for demining areas formerly occupied by ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ and to work in cooperation with local councils representing the minorities in order to secure functioning coordination and avoid delays that would prevent the return of refugees and IDPs;

13.  Urges the EU, its Members States and the international community to intensify efforts to address humanitarian challenges facing Iraqi people, in particular children, the elderly, pregnant women and other vulnerable persons, and urges all those concerned to allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance without any obstacle; underlines the need for wide-scale humanitarian action in the Nineveh region during the liberation operation; reiterates the importance of involving faith-based relief organisations in coordinated humanitarian action, especially for displaced ethnic and religious minorities;

14.  Underlines the importance of Mosul for the whole of Iraq and urges the Iraqi Government to secure the representation of minorities in a new Mosul administration; considers that the return of refugees and IDPs will depend on the stability of the new administration; stresses the legitimate right of minorities to political participation and to having their property rights restored; considers that there is a great need for balanced media in the region in order to promote peace and fight the further spread of the jihadi-salafism ideology after the ‘ISIS/Da’esh’ occupation of Mosul has ended; calls for support to be given to projects that promote moderate media and combat hate speech;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and Council of Representatives of Iraq, the Regional Government of Kurdistan and the United Nations Secretary-General.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0171.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0027.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0066.

(4)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0040.

(5)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0071.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0076.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0079.

(8)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0179.

(9)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0178.

(10)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0051.

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