By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

UNDP and Denmark Support Mid – Level Police Management Training in Iraq for Citizen Service Oriented Policing

On 11 November 2018 UNDP and Danish National Police started the first of a series of Mid-Level Police Management Training Courses for the Local Police in Iraq.

The courses are developed and delivered in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Training and Qualification Directorate. Each course duration is three weeks and, a total of 300 police officers from liberated and, other provinces in Iraq are expected to benefit from the training.

The key objectives of the course are to:

  • advance the implementation of the Local Police Road Map and, its reform priorities through leadership development at both national and provincial levels.
  • motivate police mid-level leadership to lead Iraqi police transformation from a fighting force to a public security service in post – ISIL Iraq with modern managerial techniques and, skills in-line with national and international standards.

The Danish Ambassador Gert Meinecke expressed, that he hopes “the training courses will contribute to successful transformation of the Local Police Service Road Map into tangible action on the ground”.

Wishing all participants a successful course the Danish National Police Commissioner, Jens Henrik Hoejbjerg said:

“Danish police have a lot to offer internationally. Therefore, I am pleased that Danish police officers will be responsible for the training of mid-level police managers for the Iraqi police. I have no doubt that we can contribute to the fact that both the Iraqi police and the Iraqi communities continue to move forward and develop”.

UNDP Acting Country Director Gerardo Noto added:

… improving Local Police Service is an identified key priority within the Government of Iraq’s ongoing Security Sector Reform Programme under the system priority Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement that is supporting by UNDP and International Partners.

“Therefore, leadership development is a key precursor in the overall implementation of the Government’s Security Sector Programme as a fundamental pillar for rule of law and building sustainable peaceful societies.”

UNDP is grateful to Denmark for its generous funding and, for the highly experienced police trainers to conduct the Mid – Level Management Courses to Iraqi Police.

(Source: UNDP)

Iraq Initiative to Empower Women Candidates run Parliamentary Polls

In order to promote the equal opportunities for women to play their role as an active agent of society and due to the importance of political empowerment, participation and mobilization of women in the Democratic Government in Iraq, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as part of its governance programme to strengthen electoral processes in Iraq, launched an initiative to empower and develop capacities of 200 women candidates, from various political coalitions, who took part in the recent parliamentary elections in Iraq.

Political and electoral processes should be inclusive of women and acknowledge a special circumstances and needs. Women’s participation and representation is supported by many international frameworks, including CEDAW, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, UNSCR 1325, UN Resolution on Women and Political Participation, and the 2030 Agenda. These frameworks acknowledge that women’s participation is fundamental to democracy and essential to the achievement of sustainable development and peace.

This initiative was aimed at strengthening women candidates capacities with a team of experts on electoral laws and regulations, leadership skills, communication using mass and social media (interviews and public speech), formulation of political messages, political campaigns and importance of gender equality. This training carried out in collaboration with Um-Alyateem for Development Foundation UDF, a local NGO, consisted of eight workshops targeting 25 women candidates each. An electronic platform for candidates who engaged in the program was created to exchange experiences and address questions through Facebook and viber. All candidates’ interviews were collected and disseminated by a YouTube channel since April 15th.

The Country Director of UNDP in Iraq, Mr. Gerardo Noto said: “Gender equality and women’s political participation are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indeed, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 and its target 5.5 aim to ensure ‘women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life,’ and are crucial to establish inclusive institutions at all levels, as called by SDG 16”.

The recent Report of the Secretary-General on Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (E/2017/66) unveiled that “globally, women’s participation in single or lower houses of national parliaments reached 23.4 per cent in 2017, just 10 percentage points higher than in 2000. Such slow progress suggests that stronger political commitment and more ambitious measures are needed to boost women’s political participation and empowerment.” In the Arab States, the average percentage of women’s participation in national parliaments is only 18%. This constitutes the second lowest performing region for female representation.

UNDP Gender Specialist, Ms. Sundus Abbas stated “UNDP not only believes in the importance of supporting the participation of women in the political process but also it is convinced of the key roles of women on political levels and the added value that women bring to policies, therefore UNDP promote gender team in IHEC with tools and methods to insure  gender perspective in electoral process”.

Dr. Amira AlBaldawi, the director of UDF and a member of the COR from 2005-2010, confirmed “Although  the Iraqi Constitution, in Article (49 – IV) sets the quota for women in the CoR at not less than 25%, and although the number exceeded 84, yet the impact was very limited and did not meet people’s expectations. In addition to the above, most electoral lists heads stated that they will present high percentage of  new candidates, which requires more support to enhance and empower women capacities, to allow them to  participate effectively in the election. This is why we think such initiative is critical to strengthen women participation in Iraq”.

Dr. Nada Shaker, professor at Baghdad University and one of the woman MPs, stated “ I participated in the polls in order to serve the people in need via legislation of Codes that deal with investment and basic services, UNDP initiative was  very useful but it should be conducted months before the election so that women candidates can make full use of it”. She said  “Since I have the skills and tools, I am looking forward to create a parliamentary bloc that is able to make change”. She added “I hope that Women MPs can form a bloc that play a key role in the parliament”.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

UNDP and Germany support the Reform Process on the Conduct of Criminal Investigations in Iraq

On 7 November 2018 the German Ambassador to Iraq, Dr Cyrill Nunn received in the German Embassy UNDP-Iraq Country Office representatives and Iraqi representatives of the Higher Judicial Council, the Ministry of the Interior and the Office of the National Security Advisor to discuss the state of reform of criminal investigations in Iraq.

The Iraqi representatives had returned from a study trip to Berlin to observe on site and discuss with German practitioners how criminal investigations are conducted in Germany.

The Iraqi officials are members of the Criminal Justice Working Group who have been working for over a year on reviewing how criminal investigations are conducted by the police in Iraq. To streamline the conduct of criminal investigations and to make them more effective and reliable, the Iraqi working group produced a draft on Standard Operating Procedures for Criminal Investigations.

In Berlin the Iraqi delegation held discussions with German criminal justice experts of the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, police agents of the Federal Investigation Agency, prosecutors of the Berlin Prosecutor General’s Office, the station commander of a Berlin district police station, senior Berlin state police detectives and administrators of the detention on remand facility in Berlin-Moabit.

Ambassador Dr Cyrill Nunn expressed his hope that the visit to Berlin to review German investigation procedures have provided the Iraqi criminal justice working group “with ideas and the right stimulus to identify appropriate mechanisms to advance the criminal investigative process in Iraq.”

Acting UNDP-Iraq Country Director Gerardo Noto added that “UNDP will continue facilitating the working group meetings for the finalization of the procedural guidelines so that they could be adopted by the Government of Iraq, as well as supporting their implementation to strengthen the criminal justice system in Iraq.”

The development and implementation of unified Standard Operating Procedures for Criminal Investigations is an identified key priority within the Government of Iraq’s ongoing Security Sector Reform Programme under the system priority Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement that is supported by UNDP and International Partners.

(Source: UNDP)

UNDP Supporting Women CRSV and SGBV Survivors of Trauma

After a long process of a series training and consultations meetings which started in October 2017 targeting 114 female social workers in collaboration with the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs/ Directorate of women protection, UNDP started developing a national analytical report for women survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) and Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Iraq.

Through an advanced training on expressing writing and listening skills to collect women stories, social workers as first responders were capacitated on appropriate approaches for conducting interviews with survivors and how to handle potential challenges, such as the re-traumatization of survivors. These techniques enable women to share their stories, detail their needs, make their demands for rehabilitation and compensation in a sensitive and secure environment.

The next stage will be collecting stories by MOLSA social workers of women CRSV /SGBV survivors in Ninewah, Salahaldeen, Diyala, Anbar, Baghdad, Karbalaa, Babil, Misan, Kirkuk and Basrah.  These stories will be analyzed to develop a national analytical report to be approved and adopted by the government. This report will be one of the resources that will inform efforts of the Iraqi government to strengthen its social protection and transitional justice policies.

H.E Minister Mohammad Shiaa Alsoudany said: “Iraqi women faced many challenges in life, hence the Government with all its institutions as well as the local and international community must stand with the Iraqi women, who represent patience, strength and willing to move forward in life, in their long and painful journey. He added that. Mr. Alsoudany stated, “Many women are exposed to violence and cannot speak out, which leads to psychological effects reflected on their families as well”.

UNDP’s Gender Specialist, Ms. Sundus Abbas said: “In Iraq, the biggest obstacle facing reconciliation is dealing with the past in ways that make a fresh start possible. Expressive Writing in Dealing with the Past is a key methodology in achieving community reconciliation in Iraq’s post-conflict environment which help increasing the well-being of groups at risk”. She added: “Women voices, roles and stories are often ignored; therefore, we came up with this initiative to reach out to a wider group of women and listen to their stories through our newly-established partnership with the MOLSA team of female social workers”.

Senior Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs Mr. Falih Al-Amiry highlighted that “social workers play an active role in showcasing what is happening within the society especially civilians that been subjected to violence”. adding that: “this kind of documentation is much needed now in Iraq especially in post liberation phase”.

Mrs. Uttor Almusawi, Director General of Women Social Protection Department at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs explained that, “women are the most targeted group in Iraq; therefore, we hope to be able to reach out to all women who have experienced violence through our teams of social workers across Iraq. With UNDP’s support, we count on this project to help women victims to document their stories and to draw lessons through this initiative for future use. We also want to record all stories of those who play an active role as peace builders in their communities. And we are interested, not only in individual stories, but also those of communities”. She added that: “This is one of our main responsibilities in the department of Women Social Protection”.

Bedaa Mohammed, a 36 years old social worker has been working in Baghdad for the last 7 years. She commented: “Women usually keep their stories and their communities’ stories in their hearts, especially when it refers to sexual violence. This is our role as social workers to help them in dealing with this dark past and document their stories. Expressive Writing in Dealing with the Past approach is a very important tool, especially in our current situation. This initiative gave me many new skills, and I feel that I can contribute with my colleagues in documenting Iraqi history”.

Though its Support to Integrated Reconciliation in Iraq Project, the UNDP is working in partnership with the Implementation and Follow-up Committee for National Reconciliation to develop, support and sustain civic participation in reconciliation and transitional justice processes at every level of society, with a focus on communities. The project is comprising 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 for reconciliation with special emphasis on the redress of sexual and gender violence during previous conflicts.

(Source: UNDP)

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed partnership agreement today for USD 5M million to support stabilization and recovery in newly liberated areas in Iraq.

Korea’s contribution will be channelled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS) which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from ISIL. This is Korea’s fifth contribution since 2015 to FFS.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair essential public infrastructure, boosts the capacity of local government, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

“Since Iraq was declared free from ISIL, significant progress across the country has been made – schools and hospitals have reopened, bridges are functioning, and water and electricity networks are up and running,” says UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Marta Ruedas.

“But we still have a long way to go – a number of key areas are in desperate need of stabilization efforts. We are very grateful to the Republic of Korea for this generous contribution. It comes at exactly the right time,” she adds.

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob, said, “The Iraqi people have achieved a great victory in the war against ISIL, and have also exerted enormous efforts to stabilize and rehabilitate the affected area by the violence of the terrorist group. As a responsible member of the international community and a close friend of Iraq, the Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting the stabilization and recovery efforts in Iraq, and I firmly believe that our continuing support will contribute to laying the foundation for peace and prosperity in Iraq.”

UNDP’s Funding Facility is implementing over 2,800 projects in key areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Diyala, Kirkuk and Ninewa.

(Source: UNDP)

Promoting the alignment of development plans with the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in partnership with the Ministry of Planning in Baghdad and the Ministry of Planning in Kurdistan region, organized two consecutive workshops to review and discuss the alignment of plans and policies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and identify priorities.

This initiative comes at a particular juncture, as Iraq will be presenting its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) report at the High-Level Political Forum in 2019 to share about its experience with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

The Government of Iraq, with support from multiple development partners, has engaged in developing new strategies and plans to meet the challenges of transitioning from a crisis context to sustainable development. The Government of Iraq has prepared the National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2022) with the support of UNDP and other UN Agencies; it also developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) with the purpose of targeting the most vulnerable groups, especially in most deprived and peripheral areas; as well as a Reconstruction and Development Framework (2018-2027).

The Government has also engaged in developing a ‘Vision 2030’ that is aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDGs and identifies and addresses medium and long-term strategic development priorities.

The two-day workshop (October 3-4, 2018) organized in Baghdad engaged over 60 professionals and representatives from different ministries and civil society organizations on assessing and discussing alignment of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) and Iraq draft Vision 2030 with the SDGs targets and indicators. In Erbil, the two-day workshop (October 7-8, 2018) was attended by 20 representatives from different ministries and discussed the alignment of KRI Vision 2020 (Kurdistan Region of Iraq: A Vision for the future) as well as the Kurdistan Region Government’s new Economic Reform Roadmap from an SDG lens.

During the workshops, experts from UNDP Regional Hub, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Team in Amman (Dr. Nathalie Milbach Bouché, Team Leader, and Mr. Fekadu Terefe, Specialist) familiarized participants with UNDP Rapid Integrated Assessment (RIA), a tool which has now been used by more than 60 countries to assess the level of alignment between the SDGs targets and indicators and national priorities in existing policy and planning frameworks at national and sub-national levels.

The experts presented preliminary findings of the RIA of the National Development Plan (2018-2022) of Iraq and the draft Vision 2030 of Iraq, as well as the Vision 2020 of Kurdistan Region of Iraq. These initial findings suggest a significant degree of alignment between the strategic priorities of Iraq and KRI existing Visions, plans, SDGs and targets, including a significant focus on people and prosperity issues, as well as effective and accountable institutions (SDG 16). However, some gaps, including inclusion and environmental sustainability issues deserve attention, alongside efforts to strengthen the availability of monitoring indicators.

Group sessions were organized to discuss these findings, allowing participants to both deepen their knowledge of the SDGs and help them connect their own plans and work with the SDGs through the RIA. The exercise also proved critical in raising awareness about SDG implementation responsibilities and needs to strengthen inter-sectoral coordination. In Bagdad, participants were also introduced to various methodologies for SDG target prioritization, which stressed the need to consider inter-linkages between the SDGs and targets when setting priorities for SDG action.

The Deputy Minister of the Planning, Iraq – Baghdad, Dr. Mahar Jawhan, has said that “we commend the effort of UNDP in supporting the government in launching the Iraq Vision 2030 and preparing the voluntary national report (VNR) at the High-level Political Forum to be submitted in 2019”. In addition to that, the representative of UNDP – Baghdad, Sundus Abass, has mentioned that “aligning of the SDGs Goals, Targets, and Indicators with the Iraq National Development Plan 2030 is our roadmap to implement the SDGs agenda in Iraq”.

As a follow-up to the workshops, the preliminary findings from the RIAs will be further validated and consolidated by national and KRG stakeholders across sectors, also in light of other strategic documents. Findings will be disseminated and used to further harmonize Iraqi National Vision 2030 with the SDGs. In KRI, these shall contribute to informing the formulation of an updated Vision for KRI that is aligned with SDGs. The analysis shall also help Iraq showcase how the country has gone about integrating the SDGs in its core policy and planning frameworks during the country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report at the 2019 UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF).

(Source: UNDP)

Iraq is committed in its efforts to achieve climate security. Mitigation efforts, employing local and international resources, that ensure food and water security are met and are a priority for the government due to them being major effects of climate change. This was stated at the stakeholders consultation on Iraq’s nationally determined contributions to the UNFCCC stakeholders’.

In Collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Environment, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized a two-day workshop attended by senior-level representatives from the Ministry of Oil, Ministry of Electricity, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Reconstruction and Municipalities and Baghdad Mayorality. In addition to Leading and research NGOs, including the National Center for Climate Change and the Centre of Earthquake Prediction.

Deputy Minister of Health and Environment, Dr. Jassim Al Fallahi highlighted the progress on Nationally Determined Contributions  (NDCs) that is critical for effective follow up of the implementation of the Climate Agreement signed at the 2015 Paris Summit. Saying: “The sacrifices of the youth that had made Iraq secure today would not be allowed to go in vain. we are committed to redoubling our reconstruction efforts that are fully sustainable. Several Ministries have lined up projects that are designed to reduce emissions from their inception”. Said Mr. Al Fallahi.

UNDP Country Director a.i, Mr. Gerado Noto, said “The collaboration and partnership amongst Iraqi institutions in the development of the NDCs is a clear signal that Iraq is serious in responding to the global call of action, for addressing the cause of climate change”. Adding that: “Environment protection is core to UNDP’s development mandate. UNDP plays a strong role in forging connections between development and environmental sustainability, for achieving the sustainable development goals”.

UNDP is also engaged in supporting Iraq by implementing the first full-size Global Environment Facility GEF project on Catalyzing the Use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy in Iraq. The objective is to reduce Green House Gas emissions, by catalyzing the application of distributed solar power, to meet the energy needs of small businesses, residences, and small-town services.

(Source: UN)

The Federal Republic of Germany, UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), along with the administrative authorities of Halabja and Sulaimaniyah Governorates and Garmiyan and Raparin Administrations today initiated 12 projects to improve essential services for an estimated 680,000 people.

The projects target critical needs in the electricity, water, roads, and sewerage sectors and provide jobs for 819 people – including host community members, Syrian refugees and IDPs.

At the ceremony to launch the projects, the Deputy Governor of Sulaimaniyah, H.E Mr. Ahmed Ali Ahmed, said:

“Today we are signing agreements with UNDP to launch infrastructure projects with a total budget of close to US $2.5 million across Sulaimaniyah Governorate and Garmiyan and Raparin Administrations. This generous support from the Federal Republic of Germany, and collaboration with UNDP, comes as the KR-I continues to suffer from a severe economic crisis that began in 2013.

“Many challenges and increased pressure due to the large number of IDPs and refugees who are settling in the Kurdistan Region will be addressed through these fundamental basic-services projects, including improved electricity, water, roads, and sewerage systems.”

The Deputy Governor of Halabja, H.E Mr. Kawa  Ali Kareem, added:

“On behalf of the inhabitants of Halabja Governorate, including the IDPs, refugees and host communities, the office of Governor of Halabja expresses sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany and UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) for supporting implementation of four important basic services projects that will improve internal roads and sewerage systems.

“Implementation of these infrastructure projects will benefit close to 107,000 community members and create over 255 temporary job opportunities in Halabja alone.”

The construction of effective wastewater and sewerage networks across Sulaimaniyah City, Qaladiza, Hajiawa and Khurmal Sub-Districts, and Hawari-New Neighbourhood in Kifri City, will reduce environmental pollution and the spread of diseases amongst vulnerable populations during periods of high rainfall. In Sulaimaniyah City, the construction of an electricity distribution network will provide regular electricity supply to hospitals, schools, and water supply stations – benefitting the whole community.

In 2018, with continuous funding from the Federal Republic of Germany, ICRRP and governorate authorities in the Kurdistan Region or Iraq have supported 28 projects benefiting over 1,240,121 host community members, IDPs and refugees and providing livelihood opportunities for 1,273 individuals.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.  This is achieved through a medium-term, programming integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)