Iraq’s first conference for the preparation of the National Development Plan
Iraq’s Ministry of Planning launched the first round of discussions on the National Development Plan of Iraq (NDP) 2018-2022.
The three-day conference was jointly organized in Erbil by the Ministry of Planning and the Local Area Development Programme (LADP), a project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the European Union (EU).
Over 300 representatives of the Council of Ministers, Ministries, Governorates, private sector, trade unions, civil society and academia, attended the conference in addition to the diplomatic corps and international organizations.
HE Minister of Planning, Dr. Salman Al-Jumaily, said:
“Against the current complex situation in Iraq came the idea of formulating the NDP. This is a major step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The liberation of our territories is not enough. We should stand ready to rebuild our liberated areas in order to reach sustainable development. The new NDP should provide for new concepts to foster administrative decentralization and stimulate the private sector.”
HE Minister of Planning of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Dr. Ali Sindi, stated:
“Economic empowerment is key to sustainable development, and this was elaborated in the Kurdistan Region’s Vision 2020 that focused on the human factor. For sustainable development to be reached, the NDP should provide for investment in education, healthcare and basic services, empowerment of youth, inclusion of women and vulnerable groups, job creation for the less privileged, and support to small and medium businesses.”
Head of EU Office in Erbil, Ms. Clarisse Pasztory, reiterated:
“Through LADP, the EU has been supporting institutions by relying on the leadership of national, regional and local governments along with civil society organizations and Iraqi citizens. This NDP is your lead, your chance to have a say. The EU and its partners remain committed to assist and share experiences on good governance and decentralization. Development can actually make a difference and help to overcome the drivers and consequences of war.”
UNDP Country Director for Iraq, Mr. Mounir Tabet, said:
“This first discussion of the NDP in Iraq manifests the dedication of the government to strengthen good governance and involve all stakeholders in a participatory, inclusive, and transparent process that reflects the aspirations of all constituencies. Developing such a plan with a bottom-up approach, embracing the priorities and actions adopted at the local level within the Provincial Development Strategies, and integrating the SDGs are a first. I congratulate Iraq for this effort and thank the EU for their continuing support.”
Participants discussed a draft framework for the NDP, challenges, planning and results based management, sectoral statistics, distribution of roles amongst involved actors, in addition to other themes such as migration reforms, displacement, reconstruction of liberated areas, gender, and strategies for poverty alleviation.
The LADP supports 12 governorates to effectively plan and implement local development strategies. It further advocates for women empowerment, and enables youth to contribute to their communities through creative solutions under the EU/UNDP Innovation for Development Initiative.
The EU and UNDP are partnering in 140 countries to deepen democratic governance, prevent or help countries recover from conflict and natural disasters, build resilience, and adapt to climate change.
(Source: UNDP in Iraq)