Wednesday, 16 September 2015 03:00

Opinion Makers’ Role In The National Reconciliation Project Vital For Its Success

Baghdad, 16 September 2015 – More than one hundred prominent media, academic and civil society figures participated today in a conference on “The Role of Public Opinion Makers in Supporting Political and Community Reconciliation”, to discuss how to create a genuine partnership between the Implementation and Follow-Up Committee for National Reconciliation—Prime Minister’s Office (IFCNR-PMO) and public opinion leaders, to support the national reconciliation process.

The conference was jointly organized by the IFCNR-PMO and UNAMI, with the support of UNOPS, and the generous contribution of the German and Dutch Governments. Representatives of the diplomatic community were in attendance.

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG-Political), Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, welcomed the participants by acknowledging “the crucial role of the media in creating an enabling environment to promote and consolidate the values of reconciliation in the society”.

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister’s Advisor for National Reconciliation Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Salman al-Saadi, said “our vision for a fair, inclusive and acceptable national reconciliation process is a matter of salvation and a strategic choice for Iraq, as the alternatives are likely either a civil war that will lead to the fragmentation of Iraq, or keeping the country in a state of insecurity, instability and under-development, both of which would lead to catastrophic consequences for all”.

The conference took up, amongst other issues, the positive role and contribution but also some nefarious effects of the media and opinion-makers on the current conflict in Iraq, as well as different media strategies to promote social and cultural reconciliation, and explored ways in which the media can play a more positive role in effectively advancing national and societal reconciliation.

“The discussions during the conference were constructive and encouraging”, said DSRSG Busztin. “They have highlighted the great interest of the media, cultural and civil society elites in the values and goals of the reconciliation process, for which no alternative exists to bring about stability and national unity”.

The conference concluded with the setting of key recommendations, which once adopted will be implemented by a wide range of media programs, including in print and audio-visual outlets, as well as through electronic and social media platforms. An ad-hoc committee was established from amongst the participants to follow-up on the implementation of the conference recommendations. UNAMI and IFCNR-PMO will participate as part of their ongoing cooperation on advancing the national reconciliation process.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNAMI
Last modified on Sunday, 20 September 2015 09:33

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