Text: H.Con.Res.152 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (09/09/2016)

 
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[H. Con. Res. 152 Introduced in House (IH)]

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114th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. CON. RES. 152

    Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States and the 
  international community should support the Republic of Iraq and its 
people to recognize a province in the Nineveh Plain region, consistent 
    with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous 
                                peoples.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           September 9, 2016

 Mr. Fortenberry (for himself, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, 
 Mr. Vargas, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Aderholt, Mr. 
    Wittman, Mr. Donovan, Mr. Harris, Mrs. Comstock, and Mr. Pitts) 
 submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to 
                    the Committee on Foreign Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
    Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States and the 
  international community should support the Republic of Iraq and its 
people to recognize a province in the Nineveh Plain region, consistent 
    with lawful expressions of self-determination by its indigenous 
                                peoples.

Whereas the Nineveh Plain and the wider region have been the ancestral homeland 
        of Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Christians, Yezidis, 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 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) 
        overran and occupied much of the region in 2014;
Whereas Christians in Iraq once numbered over 1.5 million in 2003 and have 
        dwindled to less than 350,000 today;
Whereas the Secretary of State recognized on March 17, 2016, that ISIL was 
        ``responsible for genocide against groups in the areas under its 
        control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims,'' and 
        ``responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed 
        at these same groups and in some cases also against Sunni Muslims, 
        Kurds, and other minorities'';
Whereas Congress and the Secretary of State have been joined by the European 
        Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Parliament of the United Kingdom, 
        the Australian parliament, and other nations and institutions in 
        recognizing that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious 
        and ethnic minorities in Iraq include war crimes, crimes against 
        humanity, and genocide;
Whereas Congress and the Secretary of State found that these atrocities were 
        undertaken with the specific intent to bring about the eradication and 
        displacement of Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Christians, Yezidis, and other 
        communities and the destruction of their cultural heritage in violation 
        of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the 
        Crime of Genocide, which bind the United States to act to protect the 
        victims of genocide;
Whereas it is consistent with the commitments of the Republic of Iraq, the 
        Kurdish Regional Government, the United States, and the international 
        community to guarantee the restoration of fundamental human rights, 
        including property rights, to genocide victims, and to see that ethnic 
        and religious pluralism survives in Iraq, a nation beset by sectarian 
        conflict;
Whereas Iraq's Council of Ministers on January 21, 2014, ``agreed, in principle, 
        to turn the districts of Tuz Khurmato, Fallujah and the Nineveh Plains 
        into provinces,'';
Whereas heroic Sunni Muslims, including Professor Mahmoud Al Asali, a professor 
        of law at the University of Mosul, who condemned ISIL and was murdered 
        by ISIL on July 20, 2014, have resisted ISIL's crimes against Christians 
        and others;
Whereas the Secretary of State, in his March 17, 2016, statement noted that, as 
        the region is liberated from ISIL, its peoples ``will need help not only 
        to repair infrastructure, but also to ensure that minorities can return 
        in safety, that they are integrated into local security forces, and that 
        they receive equal protection under the law'';
Whereas the United Nations' Universal Declaration on Human Rights holds that, 
        ``Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the 
        borders of each state,'' and that ``[e]veryone has the right to leave 
        any country, including his own, and to return to his country'';
Whereas United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60-1 (2005) states ``each 
        individual state has the responsibility to protect its populations from 
        genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity'';
Whereas Article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution ``guarantees the full religious 
        rights of all individuals to freedom of religious belief and practice'';
Whereas Article 125 of the Iraqi Constitution guarantees ``the administrative, 
        political, cultural, and educational rights of the various 
        nationalities, such as Turkomen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, and all other 
        constituents'';
Whereas the Counter ISIL Coalition continues to roll back ISIL in northern Iraq 
        in coordination with Iraqi Security Forces, the Kurdish Regional 
        Government's Peshmerga forces, and indigenous local security forces with 
        a national security mission;
Whereas the repatriation, restoration, and economic revitalization of the 
        Nineveh Plain's indigenous communities to their ancestral homes 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; and
Whereas local self-determination and security protection for the communities of 
        the Nineveh Plain 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: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That--
            (1) the return of the displaced indigenous peoples of the 
        Nineveh Plain, many of whom are displaced within Iraq, to their 
        ancestral homeland should be a policy priority of United States 
        and the international community;
            (2) upon the return of the indigenous peoples of the 
        Nineveh Plain to their homeland, with the support of the 
        governments of the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional 
        Government, these peoples should have their fundamental human 
        rights fully restored, including property rights, superseding 
        any claims of property rights by others;
            (3) the indigenous communities of Iraq's Nineveh Plain 
        region--Assyrian Chaldean Syriac Christians, Yezidis, and 
        others--have a right to security and self-determination within 
        the federal structure of the Republic of Iraq;
            (4) the United States, the Counter ISIL Coalition, the 
        international community, the Government of Iraq, and the 
        Kurdish Regional Government should remain committed to 
        liberation, economic revitalization, and prosperity of the 
        Nineveh Plain region;
            (5) the United States, the international community, 
        international observers, the Government of Iraq, and the 
        Kurdish Regional Government should be committed to the 
        territorial integrity and security of the Nineveh Plain;
            (6) the United States and the international community 
        should make the peaceful resolution of questions pertaining to 
        the Republic of Iraq's disputed internal boundaries a priority;
            (7) the United States, the Counter ISIL Coalition, the 
        international community, and international observers, should be 
        committed to working with the national and regional governments 
        of the Republic of Iraq toward a sustainable security 
        settlement in the Nineveh Plain;
            (8) the United States and the international community 
        should work with the national and regional governments of the 
        Republic of Iraq to oversee the peaceful reintegration of the 
        indigenous peoples, now internally displaced persons and 
        refugees, of the Nineveh Plain to their ancestral homeland;
            (9) the United States and the international community 
        should work with the national and regional governments of the 
        Republic of Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government, to 
        establish the Nineveh Plain as an undisputed territory, 
        politically represented by the indigenous peoples and 
        communities of the region; and
            (10) the United States and the international community 
        should be committed to supporting the Government of Iraq in 
        implementing the decision to create a Nineveh Plain Province in 
        accordance with the Government of Iraq Cabinet decision of 
        January 21, 2014, and support the new provincial administration 
        to attain its full potential, consistent with lawful 
        expressions of self-determination by its indigenous peoples.
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