Statement by Mmabatlharo Nono Dihemo, Senior Gender Advisor

16 December 2018
Your Excellency, Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers
Excellency, Thikra Al-Wech, The Chair of the Standing Committee on the Advancement of Women
Ms. Amal Jalal, Representative of the High Council for Women Affairs in Kurdistan
Honourable Members of Parliament
Excellencies, Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps
Distinguished Civil Society Representatives
Distinguished Guests
Colleagues in the UN family

I am honoured to be here for the formal presentation of the 1st Iraqi Report on the implementation of the National Action Plan. Iraq is the first country in the Middle East to adopt the National Action Plan and is the first country to present a report on the implementation of the National Action Plan in the Middle East. As alluded to earlier, the report highlights the gaps, challenges and proposed recommendations on the way forward and I think this is commendable as it provides the necessary guidance for the development of the second plan.

While we commend this development, as well as the Iraqi federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government for their concerted efforts and strong coordination towards the implementation of the National Action Plan on women, peace and security, Iraq’s ability to implement its 1325 National Action Plan will be dependent on allocation of a budget and implementation of related national frameworks including the Joint Communique to address Conflict Related Sexual Violence. Let me also take this opportunity to commend the Cross-Sector Task Force/National Team on implementing 1325, Civil Society, Alliance and Iraqi Network on 1325, Euromed Feminist Initiative, the coordinator on 1325, Ms. Suzan Aref, Dr. Ibtissam Aziz, the D-G of the Directorate Empowering Women, relevant ministries, all stakeholders, International Organisations and International Community who provided funding and remain committed to advancing the women, peace and security agenda in Iraq. I would like to also like commend UNWOMEN, UNHCR, UNFPA,
UNDP and relevant UN agencies who initiated programs to support the implementation of the National Action Plan.

The UN is still advocating for a national machinery or entity on women’s affairs with adequate budget, human resources to coordinate the implementation of all national frameworks advancing women’s rights. As we have highlighted before, on our part, we will continue our advocacy for immediate progress, but also for long-term reforms to structural barriers that inhibit the full and meaningful representation and participation of women in political decision-making. A lot of work remains to be done on the participation and protection pillar. Adoption of the Anti-Domestic Law as well as laws or policies that to enhance the representation of women in the Cabinet, Judiciary and other spheres of governance.

The development of a new NAP will require continuous coordination and collaboration across sectors, in particular involvement of all stakeholders including civil society, IDP’s Returnees and survivors of ISIL, and drawing from the lessons learned from the previous plan taking in to account the needs of each governorate.

Collaboration with Civil society or NGOs is important to achieve the goals and objective outlined in the NAP. Let me commend the current wide consultations with civil society, in different governorates to get a sense of emerging issues at grassroot level. Yesterday I attended a conference on the situation of Women IDPs in Anbar and I am glad that some of the recommendations presented in that conference have been incorporated in the NAP report and will be taken into consideration as well in the development of the new National Action Plan, notably in order to address the concerns and needs of Anbari women IDPS. Only when women are protected and empowered Iraq will claim to be making real progress towards women’s equality and empowerment. We look forward to working together with all stakeholders, the Government, the Council of Representatives, civil society, the international community, (International Gender Group) in the development of the second NAP and advancing the women, peace and security agenda in Iraq.

Thank you.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI

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