The Post-2015 Development Agenda National Consultations in Iraq01 Dec 2013
Iraq has made important strides towards reducing hunger, achieving universal education, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. However, despite these achievements much work remains to be done. In particular, promoting gender equality, empowering women and reducing child mortality are crucial areas where figures remain well below the current Millennium Development Goal targets for 2015.
Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General
and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq
Beyond the Millennium Development Goals
All around the world, the United Nations is encouraging communities to gather together and talk about what matters most for a brighter future—for themselves, their families and their communities. The Republic of Iraq is among the countries in which citizens are taking part in defining a global vision for a better future. With only two years remaining before the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations is supporting Iraq to help identify which issues the international community should prioritize beyond 2015. To this end, the UN in Iraq organised a series of consultations across the country to contribute to this global conversation.
What does a better future look like?
As people across the globe respond to this question, the common themes that emerge are a testament to our shared humanity. Opportunity, self-sufficiency, and fairness are widely-shared values. How a better future is realised on a practical level, however, requires an awareness of the local context. It is the local context from Iraqi citizens that has been so important, and will continue to be valued throughout this process.
Recognising that “much work remains to be done,” the UN Development Programme, on behalf of the UN family in Iraq, implemented a series of consultations with Iraqis to listen to viewpoints from various community groups concerning major themes of interest for what should be prioritised beyond 2015. Civil society actors, persons living with disabilities, academia, media representatives, women, youth and others not traditionally consulted in the development process were invited to workshops in March and April 2013 in Basrah, Baghdad and Erbil to discuss what a future development framework should look like.
Participants at the consultations were self-organised into four working groups. Participants engaged in extensive discussions and shared different opinions, ideas, and challenges in relation to their personal experiences. The groups were encouraged to approach this assignment as a mapping exercise, reporting on the actual and current situation and refraining from identifying specific remedies at this time.
- Three regional consultations were held in Basrah, Baghdad and Erbil, followed by a National Validation Conference to allow stakeholders to verify the consultations’ findings
- 287 people, 172 men and 115 women, participated in the face to face consultations.
- The strongest message that emerged from the consultations is the need for increased accountability and transparency