The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative – December 2017
The Iraqi Social Forum (ISF) continues to be one of the most valuable spaces for civil society to convene in Iraq. Its annual event from 30 November – 2 December in Baghdad was attended by over 5000 visitors, mobilizing 100 volunteers and 85 civil society organizations from across Iraq. This year local social fora from Tikrit, Misan, from Kurdistan region and other cities took part in the Baghdad event.
The first day consisted of parallel workshops, while the second day offered the opportunity for civil society to strategize about a wide range of topics in convergence assemblies. Topics went from women’s rights to protection of water resources, from development of democratic media to labour rights. The last day consisted of the 2017 edition of the popular Baghdad Marathon, the closing festival and cultural activities. In these times, the ISF will have an important role to play in the post-Daesh and post-referendum reconciliation process in Iraq, bringing people together from across the country and bridging divides.
Each year an ICSSI international delegation attends the ISF annual event. This year again, it was extremely difficult to obtain visas for internationals. We hope that in the near future, the visa process will be easier and international activists can express their solidarity in person in Baghdad, so Iraq can fully integrate in the global civil society movement. ICSSI continues to support the ISF and its movement of change towards a just and peaceful society. Once again we re-proclaim our friendship with the ISF and our solidarity with Iraqi civil society.