Aligning UN strategy with Iraqi development goals focus of recent workshop

23 June 2009The Iraqi Government and United Nations wrapped up talks today on how the world body can bring its programmes in line with the country’s national development plan. More than 100 participants attended the two-day workshop in the capital, Baghdad, that brought together Government officials, Parliament members, and representatives of the UN, World Bank and civil society organizations.“Today marks a cornerstone for the future of Iraq, where the UN reaffirmed its commitment to the Iraqi people and aligns its future programming with the Government,” said Naeema Al-Gasseer, Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.During the gathering, the Government reviewed the UN’s strategy for 2008-2010 and discussions were held regarding the Organization’s contributions in the fields of education, sanitation, health, housing, agriculture, protection and human rights.A follow-up workshop will be held in Amman, Jordan, from 27-30 June.Earlier this month, the top UN envoy to Iraq told the Security Council that the country has the potential to not only overcome its challenges but flourish, adding that much will depend on a number of key priorities, including an improvement in the daily lives of its people and defusing existing tensions.“The future looks moderately bright and there is growing hope,” Staffan de Mistura said in his final briefing as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq and head of the UN Assistance Mission there (UNAMI).“If the Iraqis can avoid or defuse tensions, if they are capable of seeing changes in their daily lives through sustainable security gains, delivery of basic services and more political inclusiveness, all of which are realistic goals, then Iraq will flourish,” he stated.Mr. de Mistura said that as he wraps up his 18-month assignment in Iraq, he is proud of what the Mission has achieved, as well as by its joint successes with the Iraqis.“We have together helped to turn the page on how the Iraqis view us, the Organization, the international community, and their leaders,” he said. “And we have contributed to Iraq assuming a new standing among the world community as an increasingly stable and sovereign nation.”