Christians and Yazidis Seek Safe Zone in Iraq At the UN Security Council

Assyrian refugees in Dohuk, Iraq.

Assyrian refugees in Dohuk, Iraq.

September 2014

In an historic visit to the United Nations Security Council and Secretariat General, the widest coalition of Iraqi Christian, Yazidi, and Middle East Christian NGOs ever assembled appealed to the international community not to allow further ethnic cleansing of minorities inside Iraq. They also warned against the uprooting of these minorities from ancestral lands for resettlement throughout the world. The joint delegation organized by the Middle East Christians Committee (MECHRIC) and the Yazidi International Human Rights Organization was received on August 22, 2014, at the Secretariat General of the United Nations. The delegation also met with the U.S., Russian, French, and UK missions at the Security Council as well as with the Italian mission at the UN, which holds the Presidency of the European Union.

The joint delegation requested these meetings in response to recommendations issued at the conclusion of the MECHRIC Conference held at the European Parliament in November 2013, and the Middle East Christian special sessions of the Coptic Solidarity Fifth Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in June 2014. Both conferences tasked MECHRIC leaders with outreach to the United Nations and advocated an internationally protected area for the Christians of Iraq in the Nineveh plain, located in northern Iraq. After barbaric attacks, massacres and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the “Islamic State” (Daesh-ISIS) towards the end of June and early July against Christians and Yazidis, MECHRIC reached out to the Yazidi community leaders and included them in a joint delegation to the UN. For more details see the full release.

During July, Coptic Solidarity, in coordination with MECHRIC and the Yazidis, organized a central demonstration in Washington, D.C., and another rally in August, both in front of the White House. The events generated a series of demonstrations throughout the world against the massacres perpetrated by the “Islamic State.” MECHRIC and Yazidi leaders met with officials at the White House, the State Department, the U.S. Congress and foundations to address the threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq against Christian and Yazidi minorities. During the same time, MECHRIC leaders outreached to the United Nations Secretariat General and various missions obtaining the above meetings which occurred on August 22, 2014.

MECHRIC (The Middle East Christians Committee) is a federation of NGOs, including Coptic, Maronite, Assyrian, Chaldean, Syriac, Melkite and others. Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt and is a member of MECHRIC.

© 2014 Assyrian International News Agency