Promoting the democratic constitution and institution building process in Iraq
Iraq faces extraordinary challenges in its complex transition to democracy. Managing this transition requires the correction of the abuses and distortions of years of autocratic regime by promoting the principles of democracy, the rule of law and human rights called for by the new Iraqi Constitution. The Constitution provides a framework for devolution meant to distribute legislative as well as executive decision-making powers in various fields among federal, regional and local bodies in order to address, in a flexible way, each specific issue which emerges at each of these levels.
Within the framework of its MENA Democracy Program, the NPWJ Iraq Project, started in 2006 and implemented through a strategic partnership with the International Alliance for Justice, is intended to contribute to the constitutional and institution-building process in Iraq by promoting, through the organization of national and international events, negotiation between Iraqi leaders from the entire political spectrum on the most politically sensitive issues, including in particular:
- the establishment of a second chamber, or "Federation Council", designed to represent regional interests at the national level, as provided by Article 65 of the Iraqi Constitution;
- the distribution of powers and competences between the central state and the various federal levels (regions, governorates, provinces and municipalities);
- the management of culturally diverse cities and communities based on the protection of minorities' rights;
- the status of Armed Forces and Groups in Iraq;
- the reconciliation and accountability process in Iraq and its socio-economic, political, and cultural challenges;
- the role of women in Peace-Building, Reconciliation and Accountability in Iraq.
- All these events, organized in close cooperation with the Iraqi Council of Representatives, the Kurdistan Parliament-Iraq and the Kurdistan regional Government, were designed as a space for dialogue and consultation with all the main components of Iraqi society. Taking into account the broadest possible political, geographical and community representation of Iraqi participants, these events engaged high level decision makers, legislators, heads of various political groups, heads of various parliamentary committees, representatives of various communities, civil society, academics, women groups, opinion leaders, media, tribal and religious leaders, alongside with senior international experts who brought into the debate the full range of options and experiences that might be adapted to the context of a federal and democratic Iraq.
Each of these events have concluded with the drafting of a set of final practical recommendations, which have been effectively communicated to Iraqi policy makers and political organisations, as well as the Iraqi people, through local and international media, and whose implementation process has been monitored by a committee established to this end.
NPWJ Iraq Special Project is implemented through a strategic partnership with the International Alliance for Justice and is currently funded primarily by the Italian Government. Additional funds have also been provided by the Foundation for the Future and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.