Social Cohesion Road Map for the Nineveh Plains launched in Bartela

Mar 14, 2018

During a conference held in Bartela, attendees representing different minorities and ethno-religious groups, religious leaders, political figures, civil society and representatives of the private sector signed the first social cohesion compact in the Nineveh plains. Photo: Israa Mansour/UNDP Iraq/2018

Mosul – On 14 March 2018, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, held a conference in Bartela to launch the Social Cohesion Road Map for the Nineveh Plains.

The Road Map aims to rebuild confidence among ethno-religious groups in the Nineveh Plains and facilitate the return of displaced people.

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister, Dr. Haider Al-Abadi said, “Iraq has become stronger now after defeating ISIL and we have to be united to move on into the next phase to rebuild what has been destroyed. Two years ago, we started the work on community reconciliation and now we have achieved it, all Iraqis must intensify their efforts to strengthen it.”

Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Dr. Mahdi Al-Alaq highlighted the importance of collaboration of all communities in Nineveh Plains: “It has become clear that all communities and ethno-religious groups in the Nineveh Plains must live together peacefully the same way they used to live before. We hope that this Social Cohesion Road Map, which have been fostered by Prime Minister Dr. Abadi, will strengthen the peaceful coexistence in Nineveh Plains and helps to focus all efforts towards the reconstruction phase.”

The Road Map and the Compact were resulted from 8 months of intensive social cohesion dialogues amongst different local actors in Ninawa plains facilitated by the government and UNDP, of which they were purposely designed to openly discuss, unpack, and practically address the political, security and social challenges at the district and sub-district level from the perceptive of each ethno-religious community. During the ceremony, the attendees representing different minorities and ethno-religious groups, religious leaders, political figures, civil society and representatives of the private sector signed the first social cohesion compact in the Nineveh plains. Given the successful outcomes, this model of fostering social cohesion at local level will be replicated in other areas strained by social and political tensions.

UNDP Country Director Mr. Mounir Tabet said, “We at UNDP are committed to maintaining this pattern of action through partnership and consultation with the local authorities so long as we have sufficient funds to finance these projects. Re-construction of what has been destroyed is not enough and our essential role must be focused on humans. We are making strenuous efforts with both central and local authorities, especially the national reconciliation and follow-up committee to enhance social reconciliation through supporting the peace committees at the provinces and district chiefdoms. Through these efforts, we seek to promote the concept of partnership, guided by UN principles and fundamentals.”

Under the leadership of the office of the Prime Minister of Iraq and through the Support for Integrated Reconciliation in Iraq project, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is supporting Iraq’s efforts to promote reconciliation as a pathway towards a more non-violent, representative and resilient Iraq. Through this project, UNDP is working to sustain the development of a three-fold mechanism under the leadership of Iraqi stakeholders. The project is based on the following three main pillars: 1) Public Awareness Raising 2) Local Peace mechanisms, processes and committees and 3) Documenting the experiences, needs and demands of Iraqi citizens with special emphasis on the redress of sexual and gender crime during previous conflicts. The UNDP is working on an approach to develop, support and sustain civic participation in reconciliation and transitional justice processes at every level of society, from communities to the highest corridors of power.

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