August 30, 2017, 09.00 – 16.30
Venue: Rotana Hotel, Gulan Street, Erbil
Organizers: Open Think Tank and Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Open Think Tank in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Foundation is organizing a one-day event with the title: “Applications and Limitations of the Legal and Civil Rights of Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq”.
The event will contribute to the ongoing discussion regarding the applications and limitations of the legal and civil rights of ethnic and religious minorities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The scope is to determine to what extent the representatives of ethnic and religious minorities living in the KRI and the disputed areas agree regarding the current situation of the legal protection of their rights and the possible perspective and changes in the near and far future.
Legislators, decision-makers, and community leaders from ethnic and religious minority groups in the KRI, along with local and international policymakers, experts, academics, media, and civil society representatives will take part in the discussion.
Along with Kurds, the KRI is the homeland to Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Armenians, and Arabs, together with Sunni-Shia divisions of the Muslims and other ancient religions, such as Christians, Yazidi, Kakaís, Shabaks, and Zoroastrians. The institutional arrangements of KRI give de facto rights to its minorities, but to what extent are these rights respected and applied under the current legal framework of the KRI? What is the current situation and what is the outlook for the future of ethnic and religious minorities?
The issue of minority rights becomes even more challenging when considering the disputed areas and the issues that arise out of the ambiguous situation in that areas. To what extent are the legal and civil rights of the populations and the religious and ethnic minorities living in these disputed areas respected and taken into consideration in the decision-making process? There is a need for continuous dialogue in dealing with ethnic and religious issues, especially in the context of continuous social and political instability in the region.
09:00 – 09:30 Arrival and Registration
09:30 – 09:40 Opening Session Welcoming words from Angela Movileanu/Open Think Tank
and Barbara Sabitzer/ Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Syria-Iraq Office
09:40 – 10:00 Keynote Speech
PANEL 1: Ethnic and Religious Minority Parliamentary Representatives in the KRI
Chair: Hoshyar Malo, KHRW
10:00 – 10:15 Lina Azriya, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Assyrian Movement
10:15 – 10:30 Mohammed Sa’daddin, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Turkmen List
10:30 – 10:45 Shamo Shekho Namo, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Yezidi
10:45 – 11:00 Yerwant Armenian, Member of Kurdistan Parliament, Armenian
11:00 – 11:30 Discussion
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break
PANEL 2: Ethnic and Religious Minority Decision-Makers in the KRI
11:45 – 12:00 Mariwan Naqshabandi, DG, Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs
12:00 – 12:15 Nazar Hanna, DG of Assyrian Language
12:15 – 12:30 Khalid Alber, DG of Christian Affairs
12:30 – 12:45 Kheiri Bozani, DG of Yezidi Affairs
12:45 – 13:30 Discussion
13:30 – 14:30 Lunch
PANEL 3: Ethnic and Religious Minorities in the Disputed Areas
Chair: Abdulhakeem Khosro, IRDK
14:30 – 14:45 Viyan Dakhil, Iraq MP from Sinjar
14:45 – 15:00 Vala Fareed, Member of Kurdistan Parliament
15:00 – 15:15 Mohammed Ehsan, Former KRI Minister of Human Rights
15:15 – 15:30 Najmaddin Karim, Governor of Kirkuk
15:30 – 15:45 William Warda, President of AIM-Alliance of Iraqi Minorities
15:45 – 16:30 Discussion
16:30 – 16:45 Wrap Up, Sardar Mohammed, Global Education