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Art for Peace: a call from Iraqi youth to political leaders

Ceremony with SRSG Nickolay Mladenov where young Iraq-i artists gave a painting to the Council of Representatives as reminder of their commitment to Peace. Ceremony with SRSG Nickolay Mladenov where young Iraq-i artists gave a painting to the Council of Representatives as reminder of their commitment to Peace.

Peace brought together artists and politicians today at the Council of Representatives (CoR).  A group of young Iraqi artists, sponsored by UNAMI, offered a mural representing their hope for a peaceful Iraq to political leaders, as a reminder of their commitment to peace.

 

Senior politicians and officials attended the ceremony organized on the Day of Non-Violence, as part of the 2013 International Day of Peace Celebrations. The symbolic gesture aims at giving a voice to the Iraqi youth and allows their call for peace to reach the political level.

“This painting reflects Iraqi Youth’s deeply rooted aspiration for peace to come to their country.  It is their call for peace to you, their public cry for peace, and they will be honoured if the painting could be exposed in a prominent place in this building, as a vibrant symbol of unity and solidarity”, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Nickolay Malenkov, said in his remarks.

The Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Osama al-Nujaifi, also highlighted the necessity of working together to achieve peace. “Ten years passed in Iraq and we still seek peace, and everyone knows that peace would not be achieved only by togetherness,” he said.

The group of 9 young artists from Baghdad College of Arts were invited by UNAMI Youth Advisor to the UN Compound in September, where they brainstormed and worked on their collective mural. “We prepared this mural to deliver our voice to the Iraqi government. With this painting we hope they will move forward, help develop the country, and hear our voice,” said Noor Abdul Ali, one of the artists who worked on the project. “We expressed all our feelings and what Iraqis are facing in this mural,” she said.

Youth Empowerment is a core value in the work of the United Nations Iraq and over the years, the UN has worked to promote the role of youth in building peace, tolerance and mutual respect in Iraq, as well as provided a platform for young people to deliver their messages on peace to both religious and political leaders.