The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Nickolay Mladenov, chaired in Karbala the first of a series of roundtable forums with civil society, community, tribal and religious leaders and scholars from Kerbala, Najaf and Babel provinces.
The event was subsequent to the roundtable discussions on social cohesion amongst Iraq’s social and political actors that were held in Baghdad on 26 and 27 November 2014 and following-up on their recommendations, UNIC-Tehran announced on Tuesday.
The second roundtable is scheduled to take place in Basra during the first week of February.
“Participants’ collective calls for the promotion of peaceful co-existence, national dialogue and reconciliation are encouraging”, said Mladenov at the conclusion of the forum. “Such support will boost the Government’s efforts to expedite its reform programme and reconciliation efforts”, he added.
During the meeting, participants reiterated the importance of strengthening social and religious cohesion, as well as rectifying the divisions within Iraqi society.
“It is encouraging that religious and community leaders are reaching out to their communities to prioritize issues impacting reconciliation efforts and to promote inclusive dialogue in Iraq. These messages must continue to be spread in order to enshrine principles of inclusiveness, trust and consensus amongst Iraq’s components”, Mladenov added.