At the headquarters of the Iraqi Society of Engineers, on 2-3 February 2019. In the presence of a large number of international activists, representatives of Iraqi civil society organizations , And the representatives of local groups and forums within the Iraqi Social Forum, Tammuz Organization for Social Development participated in the Joint Strategic Meeting of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, the meeting included several sessions during which many of the fundamental issues related to the work of local groups and forums were discussed, as well as the most important challenges facing their work. The best practices and mechanisms were developed to be more effective in meeting these needs and challenges. During the meeting, a four-year period action plan was developed by local groups, forums and social cohesion councils according to the principle of smart goals, challenges and opportunities by defining goals, identifying needs, building greater cooperation among groups, planning effective international solidarity.
The details of the meetings were as follows:
Session 1 (Current Work for Different Groups and Work Groups).
The presentations included brief reports by each group, a working group for the Iraqi Social Forum, and the Kurdistan Social Forum, recent achievements and challenges:
First plenary session:
1– Nonviolence, peace-building, prevention of violent extremism.
2 –Sport against violence and the arts of peace / Baraa Mahmoud and Fatima Al-Wardi
Second plenary session:
3– Workers’ rights.
4– Women’s rights.
5– Right to education.
Third Plenary Session:
1- Environmental and water rights.
2- Cultural heritage and the Urim initiative.
Fourth Plenary Session:
3- Freedom of expression.
4- Minority rights.
5 – Councils of social cohesion.
Fifth Plenary Session:
6- Iraqi Social Forum, Kurdistan Social Forum, and local forums.
The second session (what are the common challenges that need the expertise of civil society organizations and social mobility?), Which included presenting examples of the most important challenges
– Participation of women, youth, minorities
– Threats surrounding human rights defenders
– Values of different levels of solidarity (local / national / international) and communication needs at all levels.
– Effective advocacy campaigns with government authorities
– Effective communication and awareness
The groups were then split according to the topics that had been identified jointly, to share best practices and develop proposals to be more effective in meeting these needs and challenges. Then, the outputs of each group were reviewed.
The Second Day
The third session (Review of Principle Smart Targets Based on Group Analyses), which included the case studies of two groups:
– Water and environment rights.
– Sports against violence.
After the review, which was presented by our colleagues, discussions were held and suggestions and amendments were made by the participants.
After the presentations, the groups were divided into :(groups, councils, local forums) to develop a four-year period plan based on the principle of smart goals, challenges and opportunities.
Among the groups were a women’s group, our colleagues in the Kahramana group worked to develop the group’s action plan for the next four years as general guidelines for working on and adopting it after having it presented to our colleagues in the group to improve it with their suggestions, opinions and then adopt them.
Once the plans were complete, the outputs of each group were reviewed.
Session 4 (Development of strategic plans for solidarity).
The session included the international impressions on all that had come during the meeting and the previous ones during the two days of the conference which had preceded the strategic meeting. They were positive impressions for the Iraqi civil society organizations had become able to adopt the issues in need of the Iraqi society and the ability of these organizations to materialize such achievements observed during the days of the conference and the strategic meeting, and they also stressed on the continued solidarity with Iraqi civil society and adopt the issues that the organizations had been working to achieve. In addition to the impression of the Iraqis, who stressed on the need for continued international solidarity with Iraqi civil society in all the issues facing our societies. The members of the National Committee, the Group Coordinators and the Secretariat of the Iraqi Social Forum thanked the international and local participants for their attendance, hoping that the solidarity will be real and ongoing with Iraq and its issues and organizations. During the closing session, certificates of appreciation were given to the volunteers of the Forum in appreciation of their efforts during the meeting.
Tammuz Organization for Social Development
3 February 2019