UN mission to Iraq inaugurates offices in Mosul

LONDON, Sep 20 (XINHUA/APP):The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on Friday said that it has formally inaugurated its offices in Mosul, the capital of Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, pledging to continue its support to local communities after liberation from Islamic State (IS) group.

In a ceremony attended by local government officials, senior UNAMI staff, UN agencies and partners, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, cut the ribbon and planted a tree as a symbol of peace, in a symbol of “establishing continuing presence in the Nineveh province and pledging to strengthen its support to the local communities and authorities in this period of post-conflict recovery,” a UNAMI statement said.

“The inauguration of the office marked a milestone, a step that will deepen our collaboration, enhance our coordination and provide a constant interface with the UN for all stakeholders,” Hennis-Plasschaert said in the ceremony.

The head of UNAMI told the ceremony that “in the Arabic roots of the name ‘Mosul’ one can find the idea of a linking point, of a coming together. And indeed – we intend this office to be a meeting place for all those with a stake in the development and prosperity of Nineveh. A junction where visions become plans, and where plans come to life,” according to the statement.

Since the liberation of Nineveh province and its capital Mosul from IS extremist militants, the UN agencies in Iraq have regularly deployed staff to the liberated areas, “implementing programs in support of the dignified return of the displaced people, preparing for provincial elections, promoting stabilization, social cohesion and human rights, removing explosive remnants of war, rehabilitating houses and reconstructing cultural and religious sites,” the statement said.

After the ceremony, Hennis-Plasschaert toured the ruins of the landmark al-Nuri Mosque, which IS destroyed before its retreat from Mosul. UNESCO is leading the restoration of the mosque and its iconic al-Hadbaa leaning minaret, it added.

The special representative also visited a new distribution center for national unified cards, set to be opened by the Iraqi authorities in the coming weeks, the statement said

The project, supported by the United States High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), will serve over 800,000 residents of Mosul, including thousands whose civil documents were lost or destroyed during the recent conflict, helping ensure their future access to government services, the statement added.

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