Baghdad/Nasiriya, 2nd November 2020 – Twenty-eight young men and women from Dhi Qar Governorate participated in a three-day virtual workshop, from 29th October to 1st November 2020, to discuss their role in addressing challenges facing their communities.
Held under the theme “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability”, this workshop was the eighteenth, and final one, in a series organised by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in cooperation with the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. All four workshops convened in 2020, including in Dhi Qar, took place online due to the ongoing health crisis.
The workshop provided an opportunity for these young men and women to discuss a number of issues they identified as important in their Governorate. These included: enhancing the role of youth in decision-making processes; fostering young people’s economic empowerment; strengthening the rule of law and law enforcement in Dhi Qar; improving local employment and investment opportunities; asserting state control over weapons; protecting women from domestic violence; and providing better public services.
At the closing session on 1st November, workshop participants had an opportunity to share their views and conclusions with local officials, including Members of Parliament, the Director of Youth & Sport in Dhi Qar and representatives from the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace in the Prime Minister’s Office, in the presence of the United Nations Deputy Special Representative for Iraq, Alice Walpole.
Ms. Walpole encouraged participants to speak their mind and contribute their ideas on how to overcome the challenges facing Iraq, especially against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and its health and financial burden on the country. “Young people leading the public demonstrations for national reform over the past year have initiated fundamental political and social change in Iraq. They have reminded the political elite that Iraq’s youth must be consulted in political, social, economic and reconciliation efforts […]. If we are to create a more peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Iraq, we need you as partners and leaders,” she said.
Source: United Nations-Iraq, October 2, 2020.