Funded by Denmark, provincial and parliamentary officials sensitized on their legislative role

Mar 17, 2017

"Time has come to look for opportunities to build and strengthen government institutions with inclusive and participatory decisions and legislations.”Mr. Sultan Hajiyev. Photo:Karzan Saadon/UNDP Iraq/2017.

Erbil- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized two workshops, over the period of 12-17 March 2017 in Erbil, to help to strengthen the legislative role of Iraq’s Provincial Councils. With generous funding from the Government of Denmark, Iraqi officials were provided training on legislation, with specific focus on minorities. 

Twenty-one members of the Provincial Councils of Basra, Baghdad, and Kirkuk, and the Council of Representatives (CoR), participated in the first workshop. The second targeted twenty members of the Provincial Councils of Erbil, Sulaimaniyah and Duhok, in addition to representatives of the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). Both workshops were conducted under Protection of Minorities and Vulnerable Groups Project, implemented by UNDP’s Strengthening Participatory and Accountable Governance programme (SPAG).

UNDP Deputy Country Director for Iraq, Mr. Sultan Hajiyev, said: “UNDP continues to extend its support to promote inclusive governance, including through consultations between civil society organizations (CSOs), the Provincial Councils, and the federal and regional parliaments. Time has come to look for opportunities to build and strengthen government institutions with inclusive and participatory decisions and legislations.”

Participants in the two workshops thoroughly discussed the situation of minorities in Iraq, relevant constitutional articles and national laws, as well as international treaties and bills. 

Head of Legal Committee at the Provincial Council of Basra, Mr. Ahmed Abdul Hussein, said: “This is the first time that local governments, represented by members of Provincial Councils and parliamentary officials, gathered at a professional level to discuss issues related to minorities and diversity in Iraq from a legislative perspective.”

”The workshop was a great opportunity to obtain new skills on the entire process of law drafting,” added Head of Human Rights Committee at the Provincial Council of Kirkuk, Ms. Jwan Hassan.

In turn, the Head of the Provincial Council of Erbil, Mr. Ali Rasheed, expressed gratitude to UNDP: “We are thankful for UNDP’s generous support to the Provincial Councils of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). I seize this opportunity to call for more capacity building activities that could enhance the abilities of staff and members of those Councils.”

Besides capacity building, the two workshops are part of an engagement mechanism process that UNDP is helping to build between national and local institutions to support Iraq’s efforts on good governance.

Contact

Zeyad Al Obaidi, Acting Project Manager for SPAG