Iraq: No Peace Without Justice and the International Alliance for Justice promote a meeting among Iraqi policy makers in Baghdad to discuss the implications for the Basra region of the Iraqi federal framework

14 Mar, 2008 | Press Releases

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and Iraqi NGO International Alliance for Justice (IAJ), together with the Basra-based Salam Center for Development and Federalism Research, is organising today a Conference on “Perspectives and challenges of building a federal state in Iraq”, in Baghdad.
The Conference, organised within the framework of NPWJ’s program supporting the democratic transition process in Iraq and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, gathers more than 50 Iraqi opinion leaders, including representatives of the national government, local authorities, academics and members of civil society.
The meeting provides an opportunity to analyse the practical implications of the Iraqi federal framework on the region of Basra, and in particular the allocation of competences and responsibilities on issues such as: political representation, taxation, public spending, natural resources, justice system and individual rights and freedoms.

Declaration by Sergio Stanzani, President of No Peace Without Justice:
“Following the adoption of the new constitution, Iraq is called to manage in a particularly difficult context a democratic transition that entails a process implementing devolution and federal reform. The rational and consensual allocation of competences between different components of the public administration, in municipalities, provinces, regions and at the federal level is one of the most important ingredients for political stability to promote national reconciliation and put an end to political and sectarian violence in Iraq.

To this end, No Peace Without Justice, in partnership with the Iraqi NGO International Alliance for Justice and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is committed to a program aimed at fostering the full implementation of the federal framework foreseen by the Iraqi Constitution. Through the organisation of meetings providing opportunities for dialogue and negotiation among Iraqi political leaders, civil society and the different levels of government, the program promotes agreement on the distribution of competences among the various levels of administration.

This is an important instrument to ensure, on the one hand, the unity of the country and, on the other, the respect of human, civil and political rights.

The Conference being held today in Baghdad concludes the first cycle of this program, which has achieved significant results with the conferences held in 2007 in Erbil, Baghdad, Rome and Venice, events attended by high-level officials from the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as Regional and National Parliamentarians representing the full spectrum of geographical and religious communities and a large share of political affiliations.

The program has demonstrated the existence of a strong willingness and desire to examine and discuss experiences of other federal and devolved states, as well as to engage in political negotiation paving the way for a common path towards political stability.

Given the crucial opportunity represented by the forthcoming provincial elections to be held in October 2008, it is essential to build on the results of the work to date and to encourage Iraqi and external actors to continue this dialogue on the future of Iraqi institutions and of the country as a whole.

For further information, please contact Lorenzo Vicario: +32 2 548 39 15,