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KRG official says U.N. officially informed about Kurdistan referendum

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Dindar Zebari, head of the Kurdistan Region Government’s High Committee to Evaluate and Respond to International Reports, said  that the U.N. Security Council had officially been informed about the intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan Region this year. Zebari told the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that the “[United Nations] will be a part of the mechanism set to oversee upcoming elections”, including the referendum. Recent discussions over a referendum in the U.N. Security Council means that U.N. officials have officially been told that a referendum to decide the fate of the Kurdistan Region would be held, he said. “Speeches by the United Nations Envoy to Iraq, who said that Barzani informed them that the region will hold a referendum, shows that an official channel [the U.N.] has been informed [along with] the International Security Council as the political and legal side, about the region’s intention to hold a referendum which no one can stand against”, he added. The United Nations Envoy to Iraq said on May 22 that Kurdistan Region senior officials intend to hold the referendum this year. In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Iraq, Jan Kubis, said Kurdish senior officials have shown their intention to hold a referendum on the region’s future later in 2017. Kubis added that Kurdish officials had indicated their aim was to “show the world the will of the people” on the status of Kurdistan rather than to declare independence immediately.

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