The implementation of the fundamental principles of human rights and rule of law in the management of culturally diverse cities and communities in Iraq is essential for the country’s long-term stability, security and democracy. Current Iraqi authorities have inherited a complex state of affairs, particularly in “mixed cities” such as Kirkuk. The increasing polarization among communities requires a response which provides a framework for long-term stability based on the principles of rule of law.
The “Mixed Cities” project aimed at assisting decision-makers at the regional and local level, in both legislative and administrative bodies, by increasing their knowledge of the necessary skills and the instruments that have been tested in other countries for managing issues that arise in culturally diverse (‘mixed’) cities and communities.
No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the International Alliance for Justice (IAJ) organized consultations between Iraqi regional and municipal government administrators and representatives, civil society and the media, together with foreign experts and practitioners, to examine the social, political and legal issues specific to the management of mixed cities and to share experiences and policies in managing mixed cities around the world. The exposure to solutions adopted elsewhere and the intense discussion and negotiation among various stakeholders within Iraqi society was intended to encourage the emergence of durable solutions while promoting rule of law and diversity among citizens.
The project culminated in the organisation of an International Conference on Mixed Cities and Disputed Areas convened on 18‑22 December 2007 in the city of Venice, Italy.