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Saturday, 20 May 2017 21:40

“Iraq: Youth and Coexistence” Forum Concludes with Recommendations from Iraq’s Youth for post-Daesh National Reconciliation

Baghdad, 20 May 2017 – After four months of cross-country meetings, the “Iraq: Youth and Coexistence” forum concluded with an overarching national conference in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad today, full of hope that recommendations drawn from deliberations involving hundreds of youth from Iraq’s diverse areas will impact the political drive to achieve national reconciliation in the period after the defeat of the Daesh terrorists.



Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives H.E. Salim al-Jubouri and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Abdel-Hussein al-Abtan, led a number of State officials, dignitaries and diplomats at the final conference today that capped the series of meetings, underlining the seriousness with which Iraqi institutions regard the crucial effort of national reconciliation, notably with the near defeat of the terrorist Daesh by the Iraqi security forces in Mosul.

In seven cities since January 2017, more than 750 participants – activists, students, men and women in the age group of 18-35 - from the country’s governorates came together to debate, argue and, in some instances, vent their frustration about the current state of affairs in Iraq. Some 81 young men and 60 young women participated in today’s conference, the eighth and final of the forums which included representatives of youth from the previous meetings in the cities of Basra, Erbil, Najaf, Baaqouba, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Baghdad which had drawn participants from all Iraqi governorates.

As at every stop, the goal was to give a voice to youth for their crucial role in charting the road to peaceful co-existence in a future Iraq. These fora gave the opportunity to Iraqis across different ethnic and sectarian backgrounds to deliberate post-conflict issues, engage on national reconciliation and voice their opinion. Participants adopted recommendations reflecting their hope for a better future, one of peace, tolerance and coexistence in which Iraqis can reap the benefits of security, prosperity and the rule of law.

The forum was organized by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in cooperation with the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. As in every stop of the forum, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. György Busztin, underscored the importance of the views of the youth on their country’s future and the insistence of the United Nations of including the voice of the younger generation in the discussions on national reconciliation.

“We have been moved by the in-depth national debate and vision of the youth and the reforms you have recommended during your forums,” the DSRSG said in opening remarks at the forum today.

He further added: “It is clear from your deliberations that you, the Iraqi youth, want to live in a country at peace and based on justice, free of manifestations of terrorism, sectarianism, political quotas and corruption, a country in which every citizen builds a future relying on personal effort and merit and far from sectarianism and nepotism.”
Mr. Busztin stressed Iraqi youth constitute a formidable and harmonious force in the country and are capable of making a difference. “You should not be burdened by the legacy of the past because you were not part of it, and you are not influenced by the sectarian or political divisions. This makes you the natural vanguard of both reform and reconciliation, and you are able to make them succeed,” he added.

The youth have worked during the past forums on identifying the key issues that will be crucial to the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation among all Iraqis. Each of the forums adopted a set of recommendations and chose representatives to this national conference in Baghdad where these recommendations were finalized and incorporated into a set to be presented to the government.

Mr. Busztin said a delegation emerging from the conference today will convey the concluding recommendations to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi with the hope of including it in the decisions that support the national reconciliation effort.

In remarks at the closing of the conference, Mr. Busztin praised the youth participation which enriched the discussions on the future of Iraq, noting: “You have done a great service to your country.”


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For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Agency: UNAMI

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