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UNAMI Hosts Kurdistan Students, Visits Universities in Outreach Effort to Explain its Work and Foster Mutual Understanding

Erbil, Iraq, 17 May 2018 - Reaching out to the public in Kurdistan Region to explain the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and its activities, UNAMI is arranging a series of engagements with the younger generation to foster mutual understanding and outline its socio-political activities, and to hear from the communities at the grass roots level their ideas and concerns.

As part of the effort with its diverse public, the UNAMI Kurdistan Region Office hosted a group of students from the International Relations Department at the Ishik University (Erbil) on 18 April 2018. Head of Office Mr. Ricardo Rodriguez gave the students an overview of the work of the UN in Kurdistan Region. Together with Humanitarian Affairs Officer, Mr. Bedreldin Mahmoud, and Human Rights Officer, Mr. Zito Siany, they explained the Mission’s mandate, activities and general UN-related topics such as political, human rights and humanitarian affairs.

Twenty-four students (nine males and 15 females) accompanied by Dr. Dilshad Hamad, head of International Relations Department at Ishik University, were given a field tour of the UNAMI Erbil Regional Office compound and saw firsthand the staff, national and international, at work to deliver the mandate.

Mr. Rodriguez said UNAMI already has good cooperation from the Regional authorities and its institutions. Mission leadership frequently visit Kurdistan and meet with senior officials. Relevant UNAMI sections are delivering trainings to NGOs on human rights and gender, for example, while the political office engages with various political parties and actors and with the minorities to hear their opinions. In addition, Human Rights Office in Erbil have conducted series of seminars on fundamentals of human rights at Kurdistan Region universities such as Kurdistan University-Hawler, Salahaddin University-Erbil and Cihan University in Erbil. Several seminars are planned to be delivered at other universities and Kurdistan Region institutions in the near future.

Mr. Rodriguez pointed out that such visits will serve not only to explain what UNAMI does but also UNAMI will learn from the people their thoughts and concerns.

“This was an interesting occasion for me to meet with Ishik University teachers and students. We had lively discussions on the role of the United Nations and perceptions by the public in Kurdistan Region,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “And it was an occasion to learn also from you. University students like you will be among those shaping the future of your communities and country,” he said at the meeting with the students.

Dr. Hamad, of Ishik University, highlighted the learning experience for his students.

“These visits are very important as they assist students in translating the theoretical intake at university into practical experience in the real world. It was a great opportunity for our international relations students to meet the UNAMI team in the Kurdistan Region and engage in constructive discussions around the work of the UN and UNAMI.”

UNAMI also is taking its outreach campaign to university campuses. On 9 May 2018, Mr. Rodriguez visited the University of Kurdistan-Hawler, and interacted with students and lecturers, talking about the mandate of UNAMI and its activities in the Kurdistan Region. The 15 male and 10 female students and lecturers had the opportunity to ask questions ranging from the UN stance during the recent Kurdistan Referendum to financial support.

Responding to their questions and concerns, Mr. Rodriquez highlighted the different roles of members of the UN Family in Iraq, UNAMI being primarily a political Mission and other UN Agencies tasked with humanitarian mandates, even though they all fall under the One UN umbrella. On UNAMI’s political activities, he said the Mission continues to engage with the parties in Baghdad and Erbil and encourages dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues.

Sara Salahaddin Mustafa, a lecturer at the Politics and International Relations Department, said that “the meeting was very informative and practical … Students and Faculty liked it very much. We look forward to future collaborations.”



Rashwan Salih & Celia Thompson – UNAMI Public Information Office


For more information, please contact: Mr. Samir Ghattas, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson
United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI
Last modified on Thursday, 17 May 2018 15:53