Drafted and adopted by a referendum in 2005, the Iraqi constitution outlines the structure of the federal government and stipulates what bodies should form its legislative, executive and judicial branches.
The legislative branch is to consist of the Council of Representatives (CoR; the Iraqi parliament) and the Federation Council, an ‘upper chamber’ of parliament that is broadly analogous to senates or upper houses in other parliamentary systems and is intended to represent regions and governorates.
The Federation Council can enhance the separation of powers, serve as a buffer between the executive branch and the lower legislative chamber, and afford the regions and governorates and their constituents a greater voice within the central government.
Due to a lack of consensus among Iraqi political leaders on the composition, powers and procedures of the Federation Council, however, the enabling legislation that must be enacted by the CoR to establish this Council has been pending ever since.
UNAMI is mandated to advise, support and assist the Government of Iraq in the enactment of the constitutionally mandated laws, the establishment of the constitutionally mandated institutions, and the advancement of the country’s unfinished constitutional agenda.
The Mission therefore actively supports the CoR’s work on the Federation Council and contributes to the discussions on the issue by sharing international best practices and comparative experiences.