Iraq: successful conclusion of the conference on Reconciliation and Accountability in Iraq organised by International Alliance for Justice and No Peace Without Justice

11 May, 2009 | Press Releases

The International Conference on “Reconciliation and Accountability in Iraq”, which was promoted and organized by the Iraqi organisation International Alliance for Justice (IAJ) and No Peace Without Justice in cooperation with Tolerancy International and with support from the Iraqi Council of Representatives, the Kurdistan Parliament – Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Foundation for the Future, and the governments of Italy and Greece, concluded on Saturday night 9 May 2009 with the adoption of a Final Communiqué stressing the need of a shared and truly comprehensive process of accountability and reconciliation in Iraq.

The conference, which was opened by HE Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, and the Presidencies of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Kurdistan Parliament-Iraq, gathered more than 200 political figures, including the leadership of all Iraq’s major political groupings, representatives of the judiciary, opinion makers and civil society leaders from across the full diversity of Iraqi society, representatives of foreign embassies, consulates and international organizations and representatives from the Italian and Greek governments as well as senior international experts – including HE Sadiq Al Mahdim, former Prime Minister of Sudan -, from four continents with first-hand experience of making the difficult transition from totalitarianism to democracy.

Statement by Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice, in Erbil:

“An important step in building a balanced and independent process towards national reconciliation in Iraq was made on Saturday 9 May in Erbil, at the conclusion of the Conference titled “From Totalitarianism to Democracy”, with the adoption of a Final Communiqué advocating for the development of a coordinated, national, and truly comprehensive process of accountability and reconciliation in Iraq responsive to the aspirations and expectations of the Iraqi people as well as inclusive of all Iraqi communities, regardless of their size.

The document results from a two-days substantive dialogue and consultation articulated in nine parallel sessions through which participants discussed in detail the many specific components of a reconciliation and accountability process, including its political, economic, and cultural dimensions. Among its main recommendations, the document calls for a commitment to justice for the victims of crimes committed by the former regime, in order to address the full extent of the crimes committed against the Iraqi people, and redress the diverse experiences of its many victims. As stated in the document, the establishment of a stable and peaceful democracy founded on the rule of law requires that there cannot be any amnesty for the perpetrators of crimes against the civilian population.

The recommendations that emerge from the Conference will serve as a crucial foundation for further discussions and provide much-needed impetus towards offering acknowledgement and justice to the many victims of Iraq’s past atrocities and consolidating its progress towards a more stable and democratic future”.

For further information, contact Nicola Giovannini at org +32-2-548-3913.