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Iraqi Kurdistan


Éditeur : Netherlands Kurdistan Society Date & Lieu : 1993, Amsterdam
Préface : Pages : 100
Traduction : ISBN : 90-74666-02-7
Langue : AnglaisFormat : 170x240 mm
Code FIKP : Liv. Eng. Boe. Ira. N°83Thème : Général

Présentation
Table des Matières Introduction Identité PDF
Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraqi Kurdistan

A. de Boer,
M. Leezenberg

Netherlands Kurdistan Society


The international conference 'Iraqi Kurdistan: The Need for Continuing Support and Development' was held October 10-12, 1993, in Brussels, Belgium. It was organized by the Netherlands Kurdistan Society, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Flanders Committee, and received financial support of the Commission of the European Communities, Dutch Interchurch Aid, CEBEMO, and the Belgian National Committee for Development Cooperation (NCOS). This conference was intended as part of the follow-up to the conference "The Reconstruction and Development of Iraqi Kurdistan', which had been held in Zeist, The Netherlands, a year earlier. The present volume can likewise be seen as a sequel to the former conference's proceedings, The Reconstruction and Economic Development of Iraqi Kurdistan: Challenges and Perspectives. There are some differences in emphasis, however. Whereas the Zeist conference had focused on the presentation of basic information and the assessment of possible approaches and main obstacles to the reconstruction and development of Iraqi Kurdistan, the meeting in Brussels dealt mainly with exchanging experiences of cooperation between the Kurdish and European partners, and seeking ways of promoting and improving such cooperation in the future. Much time was ...



INTRODUCTION


The international conference 'Iraqi Kurdistan: The Need for Continuing Support and Development' was held October 10-12, 1993, in Brussels, Belgium. It was organized by the Netherlands Kurdistan Society, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Flanders Committee, and received financial support of the Commission of the European Communities, Dutch Interchurch Aid, CEBEMO, and the Belgian National Committee for Development Cooperation (NCOS). This conference was intended as part of the follow-up to the conference "The Reconstruction and Development of Iraqi Kurdistan', which had been held in Zeist, The Netherlands, a year earlier. The present volume can likewise be seen as a sequel to the former conference's proceedings, The Reconstruction and Economic Development of Iraqi Kurdistan: Challenges and Perspectives. There are some differences in emphasis, however. Whereas the Zeist conference had focused on the presentation of basic information and the assessment of possible approaches and main obstacles to the reconstruction and development of Iraqi Kurdistan, the meeting in Brussels dealt mainly with exchanging experiences of cooperation between the Kurdish and European partners, and seeking ways of promoting and improving such cooperation in the future. Much time was also devoted to the practical discussion of concrete project proposals in smaller groups. Consequently, the presentations collected here are somewhat more specialized than those in the preceding volume.

Given the general (and really crucial) constraints, such as the continuing UN embargo on the whole of Iraq and the Iraqi blockade of the Kurdish region, the conference addressed two serious obstacles to healthy economic development in particular: the lack of communication between the NGOs active in the region and the Kurdish administration, and the lack of coordination between the projects initiated in different areas. Regarding the first problem, the presence of many NGOs, often with foreign funding, poses the risk of creating a parallel government and undermining the elected administration. Further, as no information is centrally gathered, and NGOs rarely report on their activities to the government, it becomes almost impossible to assess whether the allocated funds are spent efficiently. The second problem brings with it the risk of an imbalanced development of the different regions, and potential waste of the scarce resources because of the overconcentration on specific areas, with all the potential consequences of continuing unemployment, dependence on external aid, and social instability. A particularly pressing problem in this respect is formed by the large - and still growing - number of displaced persons.

To tackle these difficulties, a clear general development policy should be established by the regional administration, and NGOs should set up and carry out their projects in accordance with the priorities set by such a master plan. For this, a better communication between the NGOs and the government is necessary, but more adequate information than is available at present is also required. The Kurdish government does not have the resources or the experience to carry out an extensive survey of the whole of Iraqi Kurdistan. Individual NGOs conduct local surveys in the regions where they are active, but little if any of the information thus gathered is passed on to a central agency. Moreover, the situation in the field changes rapidly. People move back to their native villages as new projects are set up in various regions, but unfortunately the reverse occurs as well: because of skirmishes with the Iraqi army and Turkish and Iranian bombings, large numbers of people once again become internally displaced, and reconstructed sites are re-abandoned or further destroyed. For these reasons, there is a great need for detailed and regularly updated surveys of the entire region, and for a central authority where the information can be gathered. With a basic law providing clear guidelines for NGOs without unduly constraining them, and with improved communication between the NGOs and the government, a more systematic and balanced approach to development can thus be realized.

The volume is organized as follows: after some introductory speeches and political statements of purpose by various officials who attended the conference, some of the Kurdish and European NGOs active in the region present their views on the projects tackled thus far, and on cooperation between the different parties. In the third section, experts in various fields sketch the main problems in several areas of development, and ways to overcome these in a more efficient manner; for the most part, their papers were not presented at the conference itself, but formed part of the background reading supplied by the organizers. In section IV, the results of the workshops and group discussions on specific areas of devlopment and on specific aspects of improved coordination are summarized. While the plenary session did not reach agreement on the first group discussion, dealing with the coordination of the European NGOs, we have included the main points in order to stimulate further thinking on this vital topic. The group discussion on coordination between the NGOs and the Kurdish administration is transcribed in detail; we felt that we would be doing the readers a disservice in leaving out the many constructive suggestions that were made during this discussion.

In conclusion, it may be said that, while the conference focused on the humanitarian and economic aspects of development, the really crucial obstacles are essentially political in nature; indeed, the strict separation between humanitarian and political issues is misleading. As long as the political instability and insecurity in the region remain, few investments will be made, large-scale projects cannot be undertaken, and the brain drain (paired with a massive influx of refugees in Europe) will continue at an alarming rate. Ultimately, therefore, healthy development of the region is not a purely humanitarian affair, but also crucially involves political decisions, both on the side of the Kurdish administration, and of the European governments and intergovernmental organizations.



I. Introductory Speeches

Opening speech by Fuad Hussein,
Chairman of the conference

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the organizing committee of this conference, I have the honor to welcome you all and to express my sincere gratitude to you for accepting our invitation. People from various countries and different political parties and non-governmental organizations have come to this 'get-together' conference. Representatives of organizations from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the USA, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus and Holland are here. We are delighted to have many beloved friends here from Iraqi Kurdistan. A special welcome to the Kurdish leaders, the representatives of the regional parliament and government and the Kurdish NGOs. Their presence here will give us the opportunity to deal with the reality of daily life in Kurdistan.

Among our guests, ladies and gentlemen, is a very distinguished person who is regarded as a great ally by the Kurds. She was and still is a true friend indeed. I would like to welcome the First Lady of France, Madame Danielle Mitterrand.
I also wish to use this opportunity to welcome Dr. Eberhard Rhein who is here to speak on behalf of the European Commission. The support that we have received from this commission has encouraged us enormously during the organization of this conference.

A delegation from the Iraqi National Congress, which is an umbrella organization for the main opposition parties, is among us. It is an honor for me to welcome them here, but I would like to express my hope of us all coming together one day in Baghdad.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since September 1992, when we organized the first conference on The Reconstruction and Economic Development of Iraqi Kurdistan in Zeist (Holland), we have been preparing for a follow-up conference. During this period we have observed the political and economic situation in Iraqi Kurdistan. It is obvious that the Kurdish economy has deteriorated and that the Kurds face serious problems in various areas.

A comprehensive approach offering solutions to the many problems cannot be arrived at so easily. There is a strong interaction between the political situation in Iraq and the surrounding countries and the economic life in Kurdistan. For the Iraqi Kurds two areas can be considered as belonging to high politics: 1) maintaining their national security, guaranteed by the international community and the allied powers; 2) the rebuilding of their economy. Both areas, which are interrelated, need solidarity and continuing support from outside. The initiatives …

 




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