Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

Towards Building a Regional Social Forum in the Arab Region


Yahya Alhafudh*

Because of the urgent need to unify all the efforts and goals, and in order to prevent the distractions and disarranging, we propose to build a regional forum that includes the countries that already involved in the Forums process, like Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Tunisia and Morocco, as well as the neighboring countries and societies that couldn’t establish  such social forums due to the critical safety situation like Syria, Libya and Yemen, in that way they will be more able to establish social forums after the return of security and stability and the rule of peace .

The reasons for this proposal are as follows:

– Those communities, organizations, professional associations, trade unions and all committees that are spotted under the local forums for each country has goals and visions that could be almost similar if not identical, hence it would easier to establish a forum that could has a common goals of reasonable percentage,  therefor the success will be guaranteed

– Building a regional forum will simplify the way of communication and integration with the Social Forum movements of the global level.

– The regional forum will work as a link between the global forum and local forums and contribute on promoting the social work experience.

– Unifying the efforts to establish a periodic regional forum, for example “each two years” so as not to intersect with the dates of the local Forum or the Global Forum.

– The regional forum will be louder and more powerful and more effective as it will address the common problems and issues that has been shared by everyone, and also might address problems and issues that has been missed by the other forums

– To expand the culture of social forums and to encourage communities and social institutions in the countries that doesn’t have forums or hesitant to establish one.

– To support and strengthen the bonds of communication between local forums that fall under the Regional Forum.

– To create a regional space for exchanging ideas and visions between local forums and the reginal forum therefore to ensure more effective contribution from the region in the global Forum.

– To Overcome the difficulties of communication between local forums and World Forum through a wide network which is the Regional Social Forum.

The Idea is not free of challenges and difficulties where the most important one is the lack of experience in the management and the establishment of large and huge forums, to ensure the coordination between multiple local forums. But it is possible to overcome these difficulties by setting up development workshops for the local forums that includes the coordination side, and start dialog on the organizing side and building the regional track. This way we can build a strong and solid base with a wide network of forums in our region and contribute in the development of the experience in the whole world.

*Engineering Professions Association – Baghdad, member of the National Committee of the Iraqi Social Forum,

This paper has been prepared on the occasion of the strategic meeting between The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) and the Iraqi Social Forum, February 2016.