Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Ad Melkert, at the National Conference of Economic, Social and Government Stakeholders:
Your Excellency the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Usama al-Najaifi; Ministers, Ambassadors, Distinguished Visitors.
It is my honour to have the opportunity to address such a diverse cross-section of Iraqi citizens: from government, parliament, business and labour, all willing to address the serious and fundamental challenges of true socio-economic reform and growth in Iraq.
Central to the strengthening of Iraq’s hard won gains in the areas of security and democratic transition are some basic socio-economic considerations which can only be determined and answered by the Government and people of Iraq:
- How will Iraq generate the type of meaningful employment opportunities that allow current residents to stay and re-build the country, and moreover attract those Iraqi citizens living abroad back to the country?
- Outside of the oil and energy sector, in what sectors can Iraq be competitive and positively differentiate itself from other destinations for investment?
- How can workers become recognized as true stakeholders in the success of companies, institutions and the economy generally?
- How can Iraq’s economic growth be used as a tool for improving quality of life and living standards for all citizens, reducing existing inequalities that are unsustainable?
- In what ways can women’s participation be more be more integrated into Iraq’s efforts towards economic growth?