A Three-Day Workshop on the Strategic Priorities of Iraqi Alliance for I-NAP 1325

To trigger a new range of interventions and give the Iraqi Alliance a new momentum in 2016, Women Empowerment Organization through the support of Hivos, conducted a three-day workshop in Erbil, Iraq for the

member organizations of the Iraqi Alliance (the names listed below) to develop the strategic priorities for the works of the Alliance in 2016. The workshop was carried out in Fiori hotel (Feb 4-6, 2016).

In addition to the representatives of the member organizations in the Alliance, the workshop was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Interior in the Kurdistan Regional Government and a number of representatives of international organizations including UN Women and UNAMI to follow up with the implementation of the national action plan and the emergency plan of UNSCR 1325 in Iraq. The workshop was able to identify priorities for 2016 focusing on the first three pillars of NAP (Participation, Protection Prevention), in view of both I-NAP and emergency plan and as per the current circumstances of Iraq and how they can affect the situation of women. The priorities are collected in one paper and will be submitted to the government and international organizations. Meanwhile, the Alliance will continue to conduct its activities as per its annual work plan.

The first day of the workshop started with a quick overview of the works and achievements of the Alliance in 2015 by Suzan Aref (WEO Director) focusing on the challenges and opportunities came up throughout the year. This introduction set the ground on what can be done better to improve the performance and capacity of the Alliance in 2016. She also gave some suggestions on the way forward and restructuring the Alliance in order to have clear tasks and responsibilities in their attempt to fully implement I-NAP 1325 under the current circumstances of Iraq.

The suggestions triggered a heated discussion among the Alliance members and are followed by the presentation of some relevant works and activities by some member organizations of the Alliance. Then, on the second day, they all settled on identifying the priorities for 2016 that the Alliance is committed to achieve them. To this end, 5 committees were formed which include:

• Follow up committee: It consists of representatives of 4 member organizations

• Media committee: It consists of representatives of 3 member organizations

• Coordination committee (coordinating with government and international organizations): It consists of representatives of 5 member organizations

• Report Writing Committee: It consists of representatives of 6 member organizations

• Finance Committee: It consists of representatives of 2 member organizations Some initial activities were identified and agreed unanimously by all members of the Alliance.

They include:

• Creating a special logo for I-NAP 1325

• Establishing a special Facebook page where the works and activities of the Alliance will be published

• Activating the website and updating it with new progress on I-NAP implementation

• Creating some defining messages for the Alliance and conducting outreach activities accordingly.

• Setting some principles of work by which all member organizations of the Alliance will be committed to

• Follow up with the clear tasks assigned to each committee

• Develop some robust criteria by which other organizations can join the Alliance

• Evaluating the performance and contribution of each member organization within the Alliance

• Consolidating the communication, coordination and consultation among all member organizations.

On the second day, some trainings and separate sessions were presented on the following topics:

• Strategic priorities for I-NAP implementation in 2016 by the local trainer (Azhar Al-Shekhly)

• Online communication by Afrah Al-Shawqi

• Women and Media by the academic and activist Mr. Khidr Domly

• Media and Advocacy by Afrah Al-Shawqi

Finally, the workshop stressed the need to speed up the provision of necessary mechanisms, including the designation of the official authority in the federal government to the national action plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and the implementation of the emergency plan related to IDP women and girls as well as taking measures to provide full protection for displaced women and survivors of violence, particularly sexual violence. This is in addition to providing special rehabilitation programs, and economic empowerment services as well as working to ensure a safe return of IDPs and securing a dignified life. The participating organizations emphasize the importance of continuing joint efforts between the decision-makers in the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government and the two parliaments with the Iraqi Alliance. So far, these joint efforts have contributed to many achievements including the development of the national action plan for the implementation of UNSCR 1325.

They demanded to redouble efforts between the public and private sectors and civil society organizations to contribute to the provision of services and assistance in addition to the implementation of programs to raise awareness within the host communities to ensure peaceful coexistence and sensitize the security forces and service providers within the IDP camps to provide a safe and secure life for them. At the end of the workshop, a press conference was held in which the local media channels were invited and a press statement was announced by the Alliance 1325 to express their thoughts and vision for 2016. A copy of the press statement is attached.

The list of participating organizations:

1. Women Empowerment Organization

2. Baghdad Women Association

3. Iraqi Women League

4. Women Leadership Institute

5. Peace Organization for Democratic Development

6. Awan Organization

7. Sawa Organization

8. Duhok LUEO

9. Iraqi Organization for Academic Youth

10. Assyrian Women Organization

11. Rasan Organization

12. Women Committee for Iraqi Teachers

13. Fajr Center

14. Iraqi Minority Council

15. Tulay Organization for Turkmen Affairs

16. Olive Tree Organization

17. Widow Rehabilitation and Training Center

18. Kurdistan Women Union

19. Asuda Organization