Under the wide participation of the representatives of governmental institutions, independent bodies, civil society organizations, political parties and movements and international organizations from Baghdad,
other governorates and the Kurdistan region, and within circumstances filled with lots of political and security complexities prevailing generally in the country and experiencing particularly by women, the first conference to announce the National Action Plan for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 was held in Baghdad on February 6th, 2014 in the presence of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Iraq and Her Excellency the Minister of State for Women’s Affairs, in order to let Iraqi women continue their work against hard conditions by declaring the Iraqi National Plan of Action to implement the resolution 1325, a step that is considered a leading example for the whole region as well as for the whole world, since the plan was written by the initiatives of and in cooperation with civil society organizations. Thus, Iraqi experience would probably inspire other countries in their work to implement one of the most important issued decisions to ensure women’s rights in the Arab world. On the basis of the effective role of the organizations in establishing the country, they continued their work, in coordination with the Supreme Council of Women in the Kurdistan region, to submit the National Action Plan for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 in Erbil on March 12th, 2014 in the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Interior who represented the Kurdish Government, together with a number of federal, governmental, regional and international personalities, and representatives of the Defense, Interior, national security and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Media. The Security Council resolution 1325, issued in 2000, is considered one of the important tools that came to support women in the world, including the Iraqi women; a decision revolves around the idea of women’s participation in peace and security domains before, during and after the wars and conflicts, and to provide protection for women and their right therein. The National Plan of Action is based on six pillars with specific objectives, expected results, indicators and agencies responsible for the implementation, a time frame, and a specific budget for each activity. Herewith important and necessary legislations have been identified according to the priorities of change during the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1325, considering that Iraq among very few countries in the world that has prepared a detailed budget for the National Plan of Action. The work team of I-NAP1325 Task Force, which was responsible for the development of the National Action Plan, and consisted of representatives from the federal government and Kurdistan region’s government, legislators, decision-makers and civil society, will continue its work in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the National Action Program of the National Plan of Action, after being adopted and officially announced by the government. Also there will be teamwork within a joint team of multi- governmental and non-governmental sectors, in addition to the important role of the international community in supporting the Iraqi State financially and politically to continue the implementation of the NAP. Iraqi Women NGOs have formed an ad hoc group called I-NAP1325 Initiative (Iraqi National Action Plan Initiative for the activation of UNSCR 1325). This group has been working intensively and extensively since the beginning of 2012 together with Iraqi state actors, stakeholders and other CSOs to develop the NAP1325 and get it approved by the State of Iraq. I-NAP1325 Initiative built together with the decision makers and Sate actors from Federal Iraq and KRG the NAP1325 Task Force. The NAP1325 Task Force worked systematically to reach these results. Now, the dream came true and preparations are underway to start implementing the NAP1325 so that the key purpose of the UNSCR 1325 is fulfilled. The UNSCR 1325 reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction. It also stresses the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security. As WEO we would like to thank European Feminist Initiative IFE-EFI, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Embassy and all those who contributed to the development of the NAP. I wholeheartedly congratulate the members of I-NAP1325 Initiative and thank NAP1325 Task Force, all the officials and actors from both Iraqi and KRG Ministries of Interior and the Ministry of State for Women Affairs for their commitment to women’s rights. We are proud that Iraqi Council of Ministers approved the NAP. Finally, we would like to congratulate ourselves and our excellent work on the occasion of the approval of Iraqi National Action Plan (I-NAP) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325 by the Iraqi Government. The approval came following the last meeting of the Iraqi council of ministers in April 1, 2014 in which the Ministry of State for Women Affairs submitted the proposed NAP and endorsed by the council.