Civil Society vital to Iraq’s national reconciliation

Iraqi civil society representatives discussed improving national reconciliation on Saturday.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (K24) – Iraqi civil society representatives discussed improving national reconciliation on Saturday.

A hundred representatives attended “The Establishment of the Civil Peace and Social Coexistence Network” conference in Baghdad. They particularly focused on women's and youth empowerment. The groups want to overcome sectarian and area-based discrimination throughout Iraq to achieve peace and reconciliation in the society.

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Iraq Gyorgy Busztin praised the re-establishment of the Office of Women Affairs in the National Reconciliation Commission.

“It will be a vehicle to facilitate the participation of women in advancing the reconciliation process in line with the commitment contained in the National Action Plan on Security Council Resolution 1325," Busztin commented.

Busztin pointed out that the vital role of civil society organizations is to provide an atmosphere in which the reconciliation values are promoted and to emphasize the United Nations’ (UN) support for Iraqi efforts to accomplish national agreement.

Additionally, he stressed that working at local levels brings added value, especially in the areas retaken from Islamic State (IS) extremists where humanitarian tragedies and displacement issues need to be addressed urgently.

The Iraqi Prime Minister’s Advisor for National Reconciliation Affairs Mohammed Salman al-Saadi emphasized the strategic role of civil society organizations in advancing a comprehensive national reconciliation process.

According to the UN-Iraq official website, the conference was organized by the Implementation and Follow-up Committee for National Reconciliation, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Office, and United Nations Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) with the support of The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The representatives of Germany and the Netherlands also contributed to the event.


Reporting by Gulala Khaled
Edited by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa