In Iraq, A Consensus on NGO Law’s Implementing Regulations

Members of the Iraqi Red Crescent, a non-governmental organization, put up posters about the dangers of landmines. Photo by: ICRC

The Iraqi government and non-governmental organizations have agreed on a set of recommendations to help finalize the implementing regulations for the new Iraqi law for NGOs.

The consensus emerged July 5 at a round-table event in Erbil, Kurdistan, which was organized by the United Nations Office for Project Services and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, with the backing of the European Union, Finland and the U.N. Development Group’s Iraq Trust Fund.

“For me as a member of civil society to sit with representatives of the Government and Parliament and be accepted as an equal in these discussions is a great achievement,” said Jamal Al-Jawahiri, public relations and finance secretary of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association, as quoted in a joint news release by UNOPs and the Finnish government. “The roundtable has brought us closer and listening to each other as well as to international, regional and [Kurdistan Regional Government] experts has enabled us to meet half way and agree on a number of important issues.”

The law was enacted in April 2010, which according to Adam Styp-Rekowski, UNOPS portfolio manager for civil society, followed years of consultations and negotiations.

“But without clear guidelines for how to put its provisions into practice, neither Iraqi authorities nor NGOs will fully benefit from the law,” Styp-Rekowski said.

The Iraqi Council of Ministers Secretariat is spearheading the drafting of the implementing regulations.

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    Chiden Balmes

    Chiden, a correspondent based in Seoul, focuses on computer-assisted reporting to provide international development professionals with practical business and career information. He also contributes to the Development Newswire and the Global Development Briefing, two of the world's highest-circulation development publications.

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