Sunday, 21 April 2013 13:05

First compact between Parliament, Government, and NGOs in the Middle East finalized

Erbil 21 April 2013 (UNOPS) - The text of the compact on partnership and development between Parliament, Government and NGOs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has been finalized.

The compact is the first of its kind in the Middle East and is the result of a year of discussions and consultations. It will institutionalize the relationship between public authorities and NGOs and outline the values and principles governing their relationship as well as the mutual responsibilities of the parties.
 
“Our vision is that this compact will contribute to the further democratisation of our region. By outlining the responsibilities and expected roles of all parties, good conditions for cooperation are created and we hope that this will benefit not just the NGO sector but civil society at large through the enlargement of space for civil society. The compact firmly recognizes NGOs as partners to public institutions with an important role to complement the work of the public sector,” says Dr. Dana Sofi, Chair of the Civil Society Committee of the Kurdistan Parliament of Iraq.
 
The text, which has been negotiated through consultations involving over 500 civil society organisations in all the governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq as well as with parliamentarians and members of the government, will be presented to parliament for ratification.
 
“This compact will become a bridge between the parties. Before, everyone was working according to his or her own agenda, but this will help to organize the parties and give a new horizon for the work of NGOs and civil society in the region. The most important aspect of this compact is that the points of view of civil society organisations have been taken into consideration and that we have been treated as a real partners throughout the process. This can become the base of activities of NGOs and civil society in the coming years. We hope that this process will be followed by real implementation,” says Mrs. Salwa Jawhar, Director of Hema Organisation in Erbil.
 
Parallel to the reading in parliament, the final text will be sent out for endorsement to NGOs and government institutions.
 
“This is a brilliant idea and will give a better foundation on which to implement the NGO law of the Region. All parties – parliament, government, and NGOs –have worked together to agree on this compact which we can base future cooperation and work on. The Presidency of the Region supports this and I have been informed by the Civil Society Committee of the Parliament that the Council of Ministers and the Presidency of the Parliament have also expressed their support. I hope that it will lead to speedy ratification and implementation,” says Dr. Azad Mulla Effendi, Advisor to the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq on Legal Affairs.
 
The process of developing the compact has been supported through a project implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and funded by the Government of Denmark.
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For more info, please contact:
Kareem Elbayar, UNOPS Programme Manager for Civil Society & Reconciliation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel:   +964 771 275 0030, +962 775 466 010
 
Caroline Hammarberg, UNOPS Public Information Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel: +9647700472519, +962 775466008, or visit www.unops.org/iqoc
 
Dr. Dana Sofi, Chair of the Civil Society Committee of the Kurdistan Parliament of Iraq, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Tel: +964 750 705 4393
 
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has supported the multi-year process of developing the Iraqi NGO law as well as the NGO law of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and currently supports the processes of implementation of the two laws. Part of the activities focus on awareness of the laws and of constructive relations between public authorities and civil society among various groups in society.
 
As part of these activities and under a project funded by the Government of Denmark, UNOPS supports the development of a policy document for cooperation between civil society and authorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

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  • Agency: UNOPS

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