On Sunday, January 12, Ambassador Stephen Beecroft joined Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in opening the First National Conference on Developing a Roadmap for Implementing Law 21, at the Royal Tulip Hotel in Baghdad. Prime Minister Maliki, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs TorhanAl-Mufti, and Ambassador Beecroft, gave opening remarks at the conference which was attended by ministers, members of parliament, and regional and local government officials from fourteen Iraqi provinces.
During his opening remarks, Ambassador Beecroft noted:“For more than ten years, the U. S. government has supported governance programming for Iraq’s central and local governments. Currently, the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, is implementing the Governance Strengthening Project, also known by its Arabic name Taqadum.”
The two day expo conference, held under the auspices of the Prime Minister and sponsored by the U.S. Mission in Iraq – through the U.S. Agency for International Development – featured some of Iraq’s foremost legal scholars speaking on Law 21, its evolution, and likely challenges that local governments mightface under recent amendments. Law 21, also called the Provincial Powers Act, addresses the transfer of power and responsibilities to local governments.
USAID’s Governance Strengthening Project (GSP), which helped convene the conference, works with the central, provincial, and local governments to develop their capacity to deliver essential services to the Iraqi people in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement. This conference provides an important forum for Iraqi governing officials from across the country together with international experts to strategize on the implementation of Law 21, the Provincial Powers Act.
(Source: Embassy of the United States)