Another Iraq is possible with peace, human rights and justice! The Iraqi Social Forum will be held in Baghdad from 26-28 September 2013, while an extended forum of solidarity activities will be held throughout the world and live streamed to Baghdad during these three days.
The Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI) of which the AIC is a founding member, will be conducting a solidarity extension activity of the Iraqi Social Forum in Beit Sahour.
Iraqi social movements, trade unions and professional associations, civil society groups and social justice activists have worked hard for the past two years in organising the Iraqi Social Forum.
The impetus behind the Forum’s establishment include world events which greatly affect Iraq and its citizens, including the global economic crisis, the Arab spring and regional challenges including water problems and border security. These contribute to the current challenges in Iraq, including:
1. The political crisis and the confusion in the identity of the Iraqi state. In the current moment, which is dominated by disputes for power, not enough attention is paid to dialogue, building partnerships, and fostering cooperation in order to find solutions to Iraq’s lingering problems. There is a clear inability to end the page of violence and terrorism that Iraqis pay dearly for.
2. Increasing poverty and unemployment, unequal access to opportunities, poor infrastructure, and a lack of provision of social services such as electricity, medical care and education.
3. The continuous increase in the budget, offset by a deficit in establishing concrete achievements for Iraqi citizens, the inability to support real development, due to the political crisis and the struggle for power and money, as well as sectarianism, financial and administrative corruption, of the governmental body and with the huge problem of unemployment.
4. Overlapping legal authorities and the questionable independence of the judiciary. We have faith in the rule of law, separation of executive ,legislative and judiciary powers and deep respect for international standards concerning justice and fair trials.
5. Weakness in enforcing the rule of law, as well as international conventions, treaties, and agreements, and continuing violations of human rights, especially freedom of the press and freedom of expression.