Workneh Gebeyehu Negewo (left), Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and President of the Security Council for September, presides over a meeting of the UN Security Council on September 21. Photo: UN
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council has jumped on the anti-Kurdish independence referendum bandwagon, deeming the self-determinative vote to have a "potentially destabilizing impact."
"Council members expressed full support for United Nations efforts to facilitate dialogue between Iraqi stakeholders," read a statement from the UN Security Council late Thursday night amid its annual General Assembly in New York.
"Council members expressed their continuing respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Iraq and urged all outstanding issues between the federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to be resolved, in accordance with the provisions of the Iraqi Constitution, through structured dialogue and compromise supported by the international community.
Moreover, the United Nations and member states have worried that the referendum will distract from the fight against ISIS. The United Nations added that the vote "could detract from efforts to ensure the safe, voluntary return of over 3 million refugees and internally displaced persons."
Kurdish and Iraqi leaders have for different reasons rejected the UN Special Envoy to Iraq's offer for dialogue. Iraqi leaders reject a referendum on any grounds while Kurdish leaders seem intent to press ahead with the vote unless a better alternative is offered.
The government in Erbil believes that an independent Kurdistan will be a stabilizing force in the region as it has already sheltered more than 1.8 million Iraqi and Syrian refugees and greatly contributed to the war on ISIS.
Speaking at a large rally in Soran on Tuesday, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani said Kurdistan should be proud that the referendum is at the "top of the agenda" at the international level.