Support for Integrated Reconciliation in Iraq
Several national reconciliation programmes undertaken in Iraq since 2003 focused on the political elites with limited civic participation and have yet to realize the goal of national unity and stability, and fully match demand for accountability and transitional justice.
The recent defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) presents an important opportunity to support Iraq to undertake a nuanced, systematic approach to civic-led reconciliation. Therefore, preparing the ground for transitional justice whilst supporting urgently needed community-based conflict resolution to expedite the return of internally displaced people (IDPs) as a major contributing factor to stability.
In January 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnered with the Implementation and Follow-up National Reconciliation Committee (IFNRC) to launch the project Support for Integrated Reconciliation in Iraq (SIRI). This project is supporting efforts to promote reconciliation as a pathway towards a more non-violent, representative and resilient Iraq.
• Establishment of Local Peace Committees (LPCs) to increase the level of trust within communities and between communities and authorities, enhance social cohesion and coexistence, and develop a greater focus on civic concerns through national reconciliation mechanisms.
• Victim Support with an emphasis on the redress of sexual and gender crime to record and address victims' testimonies, experiences and perspectives on Gross Human Rights Violations (GHV); recording and dissemination of victims’ views on transitional justice post-ISIL; and fostering recognition by the Iraqi State of GHV victims in a uniform and inclusive manner.
• Public awareness raising through the development of higher levels of civic consultations for top-level political processes; messages targeting vulnerable groups such as women, youth and minorities, as well as academics and the media; and creation of a base of supporters and advocates within communities.
What we have achieved so far
Since the launch of the SIRI project in early 2017, the following results have been achieved:
• Concerns of hundreds of returnees directed for addressing through 6 Local Peace Committees UNDP helped to establish: 3 in Salah al-Din, 2 in Anbar, and Iraq’s first all-women LPC in Diyala.
• 508 women benefited from the women centre in Tikrit, Salah al-Din, established in September 2017: 142women benefited from skills and economic empowerment schemes, 265 women sought and received social support including individual interviews and dialogue sessions with specialists, and 101 women received legal support including consultation and representation related to incidents of violence.
• Concerns and perspectives of 6 minorities groups in Ninewah recorded through focus group discussions, feeding into a provincial conference organized in December 2017 to address some of the grievances.
• Public awareness campaign on track as outreach and key messages have been defined through consultative sessions with agents of change, media experts and journalists with different backgrounds identified, a pool of national supporters mobilized via public sessions and online platforms targeting youth, and Public Service Announcements started.
• Coordination mechanism created for non-governmental organizations, agencies and government bodies engaged in civic-led reconciliation.
• Social Cohesion Measurement tool in design for early warning capacity for informed, coordinated action.
The estimated budget of SIRI is US$ 50 million over a period of 5 years. Funding is illustrated in the following table.
The United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
|Germany's Federal Foreign Office (FFO)||$2,830,463 (2017)|