Kurdistan Regional Government
TUE, 27 JUN 2017 06:27 Erbil, GMT +3

Fact sheet: About the Kurdistan Regional Government




The Kurdistan Region is a federated region in Iraq. Its main institutions are the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan Region Presidency, and the Kurdistan Parliament. As stipulated in Iraq’s federal constitution, Kurdistan’s institutions exercise legislative and executive authority in many areas, including allocating the Regional budget, policing and security, education and health policies, natural resources management and infrastructure development. 

Kurdistan Regional Government

The democratically elected Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) exercises executive power according to the Kurdistan Region’s laws, as enacted by the Kurdistan Parliament. The current cabinet, led by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, assumed office on 5 April 2012. His Deputy is Mr Imad Ahmad Sayfour.

 The government coalition consists of several political parties, reflecting the diversity of the Region’s people, who are Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syriac, Yazidis and others living together in harmony and tolerance.

 The cabinet is made up of members of the Kurdistani List coalition, which won the region’s parliamentary elections in July 2009, together with other parties. The coalition government consists of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kurdistan Islamic Movement, the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council, Turkmen representatives, Communists and Socialists. The government has 19 ministries.

 The KRG is based in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region. It administers the governorates of Erbil, Slemani and Duhok.

Kurdistan Region Presidency

The Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) was promulgated as an institution by the Kurdistan Parliament in 2005. The President of the Kurdistan Region has the highest executive authority. He or she is elected by secret ballot in a popular vote every four years and can stand for election for a second term.

Mr Masoud Barzani, the current president, was elected as the Kurdistan Region’s first president on 31 January 2005 by the Kurdistan Parliament, and re-elected by secret popular ballot by the people of the Kurdistan Region in July 2009, with 70% of the vote. The Deputy President is Mr Kosrat Rasul Ali.The President’s secretariat, called the Diwan, is headed by the Chief of Staff.

The President represents the people of Kurdistan at national and international levels and oversees relations and coordination between the Region and the Iraqi federal authorities. He also represents the people of Kurdistan at Iraq’s Political Council for National Security, and in negotiations and consultations with other parties in Iraq.

He is responsible for approving the KRG Prime Minister’s special appointments and promotions, and for ratifying all laws passed by the Kurdistan Parliament. He has the power to return once only for further debate and amendment any law passed by the Parliament.

For KRP news and press releases please see www.krp.org

Kurdistan Parliament

The Kurdistan Parliament is the Kurdistan Region’s democratically elected legislature. The parliament consists of one elected chamber. Its three main functions are:

  • to examine proposals for new laws
  • to scrutinise government policy and administration
  • to debate the major issues of the day.

The founding principles of the parliament are liberty, pluralism, accountability, openness and the representation of all peoples in the Kurdistan Region.

Structure of the Parliament: Ensuring broad representation

There are 111 seats in the Assembly (as stipulated in Law No. 1 passed in 1992). The Kurdistan Parliament is lead by the Speaker, Dr Arslan Bayez, who is assisted in his duties by the Deputy Speaker, Dr Mohammed Hassan.

In February 2009 several amendments were made to the Kurdistan election law to increase inclusiveness of all groups. The minimum age of parliamentary candidates was lowered from 30 to 25.

While seats had already been reserved in previous elections for minority communities, for the Christian and Turkmen communities this was increased to five seats each. The legal minimum quota of women MPs was increased from 25 percent to 30 percent of the legislature. In the current parliament, 36 of the 111 MPs are women.

Parliament’s beginnings

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein withdrew his forces and administration from-parts of the Kurdistan Region. Faced with an administrative vacuum and a double embargo, the-Kurdistan Front, an alliance of diverse political groups opposed to the Ba’ath dictatorship, organised a-general election. Their goal was to establish an administration and fulfil the population’s strong desire to-choose its representatives.

The election on 19 May 1992 was the first free and fair parliamentary election in the history of Iraq.-Voter turnout was very high and the elections were deemed to be free, fair, and democratic by international observers. After decades of dictatorship, the people in Kurdistan were able to choose their representatives.

This regional election led to the formation of the first Kurdistan National Assembly (later renamed the-Kurdistan Parliament) and the establishment of the KRG. The leadership and the people of the-Kurdistan Region decided to remain part of Iraq, and to adopt and abide by all national laws except for-those that violated human and universal rights.

Parliamentary elections

Elections for the Kurdistan Parliament are held at least every four calendar years, (as stipulated in-Article 8 of the Kurdistan Electoral Law). The last parliamentary elections were held on 25 July 2009. Anyone aged 18 or over who is a citizen of the Kurdistan Region and is on the electoral register is eligible to vote in a direct, universal and secret ballot. Elections for the Kurdistan Parliament are based on a closed party-list proportional representation system. Electors vote for a party’s list of candidates, rather than for an individual candidate. After the election results are announced, each party is allocated seats in proportion to the number of votes it received, using the ranking order of candidates on its list.

Powers of the Kurdistan Parliament

As provided in the federal constitution of Iraq, parliament has considerable power to debate and-legislate on policy in a wide range of areas: health services, education and training, policing and-security, the environment, natural resources, agriculture, housing, trade, industry and investment, social-services and social affairs, transport and roads, culture and tourism, sport and leisure, and ancient-monuments and historic buildings-The Kurdistan Parliament shares legislative power with the federal authorities in the following areas, but-priority is given to the Kurdistan Parliament’s laws: customs, electric energy and its distribution, general-planning, internal water resources.-In addition, under Article 121 of the Iraqi federal constitution the Kurdistan Parliament has the right to-amend the application of Iraq-wide legislation that falls outside of the federal authorities’ exclusive-powers.

Members of the Kurdistan Parliament

The 111 MPs in the Kurdistan parliament represent the following political lists and parties:

  • Kurdistan List: 59 MPs. (Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan)
  • Change List: 25 MPs
  • Reform and Services List: 13 MPs (Kurdistan Islamic Union, Islamic Group in Kurdistan, Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party, Future Party)
  • Islamic Movement List: 2 MPs
  • Freedom and Social Justice List: 1 MP (Kurdistan Communist Party, Kurdistan Toilers Party,
  • Kurdistan Independent Work Party, Kurdistan Pro-Democratic Party, Democratic Movement of Kurdistan People).

Parliamentary seats reserved for minority groups:

  • Turkoman Democratic Movement: 3 MPs
  • Turkoman Reform List: 1 MP
  • Turkoman Erbil List: 1 MP
  • Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council: 3 MPs
  • Al-Rafidain List: 2 MPs
  • 1 Armenian independent MP: Mr Aram Shahin Dawood Bakoyian.

Landmark legislation passed by the Kurdistan Parliament

The Kurdistan Parliament has passed several laws that have contributed to the Region’s social and-economic progress. These include:

  • passing a modern and open investment law;
  • passing a progressive hydrocarbons (oil and gas) law for the Kurdistan Region;
  • significantly increasing the prison sentence for those committing so-called honour killings, which
  • were previously given minimum sentences.
  • placing limits on the practice of polygamy.
  • prohibiting and punishing by law the practice of female genital mutilation.
  • passing a law against domestic violence
  • The Kurdistan Parliament approved by a large majority a constitution for the Kurdistan Region, and intends to put it to a referendum in the future.

The Kurdistan Region’s provincial authorities

The Kurdistan Region comprises the three northern-most governorates or provinces of Iraq: Erbil, Slemani and Dohuk. Each governorate has a democratically elected 41-seat Governing Council. The provincial Governors are Mr Nawzad Hadi in Erbil, Mr Behrouz Mohamed Saleh in Slemani, and Mr Tamar Ramadan Fattah in Duhok.

As well as receiving funds from the Kurdistan Region’s own budget, the governorates also receive-directly from Baghdad funds for provincial capital investment and infrastructure projects.

The KRG seventh cabinet’s programme

The people of Kurdistan are the source of legitimacy of the KRG

The people of Kurdistan are the source of legitimacy for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).  The Kurdistan Region has witnessed tremendous political, economic and social development. The KRG will continue our efforts to fulfill our duty and the promises that have been made to the people of the Kurdistan Region.

The KRG will never forget and will always appreciate the sacrifices made by many in the Kurdistan liberation and freedom movement. We promise to continue the struggle for the development and the prosperity of our people in their memory.

The KRG will partner with the Kurdistan parliament to implement a new programme, with strategies and initiatives that will take into consideration the political, economic and social changes that have taken place in recent years.

Recently, some countries of the Middle East and North Africa have a begun to see the emergence of democracy and justice. The Kurdistan Region welcomes these changes, and supports any change that is in the direction of democracy, freedom and human rights. By contrast, the Kurdish Spring began twenty years ago when the people of Kurdistan rose up, with the support of the Kurdistan political parties, and managed to end the authority of one of the most dangerous dictators of that time in our land, choosing to install the rule of law, democracy and freedom without the support of foreign countries.

It was in the same year that our now President, Masoud Barzani, called for elections. The democratic process in Kurdistan has now bloomed and yielded fruit. The government’s legitimacy now originates from the people, and the leaders of the Kurdistan Region today enjoy the support of the majority of our people.

Events are now happening quickly and we must, accordingly, act wisely to further advance the experiment of the Kurdistan Region. Our programme should be in the interest of all the people of Kurdistan, not just in the interest of some individuals, or a single political party.

Building consensus on national issues

Today we are in a crucial and historical period of our history. Our people have never been as hopeful about their future as they are today. However, there are still many challenges ahead. Unity among us and a unified voice on national issues will be the main factor behind our success.

Building consensus on decisive national issues and facing the threats to our nation will be our top priorities. The KRG will strive to be a connection point between the political parties of Kurdistan, both the opposition and those in authority. We will work to act as the government of all the people of Kurdistan.

Fighting fear

Since the start of the first cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 1992, and especially after 2006, we have tried our best to increase the quality of all KRG services and thereby the welfare of our people, and we have achieved much.

All of us were waiting for better and faster services, but to achieve this we had to believe in two principles. First, that we are able to achieve the impossible. Secondly, we had to erase fear from our minds. And, in the future, we must continue to believe in these two principles.

We must not let doubt and fear to enter our minds. We must continue to believe in our own ability to create solutions that improve the welfare of our people and the quality of services we provide to them. The reality is that there are no other people who have the ability and resolve to solve our issues except for ourselves.

The Federal Government must respond transparently to the demands of the people of Kurdistan

After the collapse of the Ba'ath regime in 2003, we decided to participate in the building of a democratic federal Iraq, where our rights and freedoms would be protected by a constitution. But we now have a lot of reasons to ask whether this system can serve our interests or not.

Iraq is still challenged by the threat of political instability. As a Region, we still have important unresolved issues with the federal government. We insist that the federal government answer the demands of the people of Kurdistan in a transparent manner and according to the federal constitution, as addressing these issues are the legal and constitutional duties of the federal government.

Amongst the most important issues are: Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, the budget, the hydrocarbons law, and establishing a real partnership in power. We will continue to press for the rights and legitimate demands of our people to be met through the constitution and other suitable mechanisms with Baghdad.

The KRG plans to establish a united front to negotiate with the federal government - a High Council of Negotiations with Baghdad. The KRG will ask the Kurdistan Region’s political parties, both those in government and the opposition, to join the Council so that a consensus is built in order for negotiations with the Federal Government to start again. This is an issue that is relevant to all the people of Kurdistan, and we have a historical responsibility to address it.

We are certain that if the issue of the disputed territories is addressed through the constitution, all these areas will return to the Kurdistan Region. To achieve this goal, it is important for the Kurdish bloc in the federal parliament and the Kurdish ministers in Baghdad to coordinate closely with the KRG.

The Federal Government has not fulfilled the promises it has made to the Iraqi people in general, and to the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish political leadership in particular.

Our international relations

The Kurdistan Region enjoys good relations with neighbouring and other countries in the region, and we will continue developing these relations on the basis of mutual respect and bilateral interests. Our relations with Arab and world countries have also developed considerably. Many countries have expressed their readiness to establish good relations with the Kurdistan Region, and we will continue our efforts to build friendly relations with all the countries of the world.

The draft Kurdistan Constitution: a constitution is the most important political and social contract of every country and nation

The draft Kurdistan Region constitution contains many good articles and resolutions, and it was approved by the previous session of parliament. But we believe that this constitution needs to be reviewed by all political parties, legislators, experts, social and religious components of our society so that we will have a constitution that brings all the people of Kurdistan together and which will develop a system for the future of our people.

Because this will be the first constitution of Kurdistan, it should be put up for referendum and the people should be able to freely choose to either vote for it or not. A proper timeline should be established to achieve this goal.

Devolving some powers

We will strive to unify the institutions within the KRG as soon as possible, in order to make this a government of every individual in the Kurdistan Region. After 21 years, we still see that power is in the upper part of the government pyramid.

The KRG will devolve some of the powers and authorities, and will allocate more budgets to provincial, district and sub-district councils. People will feel closer to the government and feel that they can join with the government in helping to make decisions.

The KRG will draft a bill that will devolve power to the provinces and lower administrative units with them.  No province should feel ignored in helping to make this a government for all of the people.

Corruption can be tackled

The KRG has conducted research into corruption through specialized institutions. Work has been done to define and eliminate corruption, and this process will continue. Though the Kurdistan Region has been praised by international organizations as being better than the rest of Iraq, we will work to eliminate it and not ignore it.

While it is true that the journey to eradicate corruption starts with one step, other important steps are also needed, including: political will, realistic programmes, a national consensus, a strong and professional legal system, the media to act as responsible monitors, and the passage of some laws by the Kurdistan Parliament.

These steps will undoubtedly become a part of our efforts to eliminate corruption, and we will insist on taking them. The Reform Committee established by the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region has already drawn a roadmap to confront corruption, and this shows that both the people and the leadership are on the same page regarding this issue.

There is a strong will to tackle our shortcomings. We will work to form a neutral committee to act within the framework of the law to follow up with any issue resulting from misconduct and a failure to fulfill one’s duties.

Working with the Kurdistan Parliament

The Kurdistan Parliament is the most important democratic establishment in the Region, and it is the source of legal authority. Aside from their own political affiliation, the members of parliament bear an important responsibility to monitor and follow up the work and activities of the government.

We will have strong relations with the Parliament. We will accept its members’ notes and criticisms, and we will be ready to go to parliament if we are needed to answer questions or explain government activity.

Reducing party influence in governance

Like all democratic systems, Kurdistan needs a plurality of political parties and diverse points of view, but at the same time, political parties must not interfere with the function of government, and each side must carry out its own tasks and responsibilities regardless of their differences.

We will develop clear policies to separate the influence of political parties from the government. Serious efforts were made during the fifth and sixth cabinets in this direction, and we will continue with these efforts.

The rule of Law

We must pave the way for the judicial and public prosecution systems in the Kurdistan Region to work independently. We also plan to reform the judicial system altogether.

The KRG should support the judicial authority and prevent interferences with its work. Everyone must be treated equally in front of the law. Social justice will be ensured when the supremacy of law is upheld. No one should allow themselves to interfere with the course of the law. As a government, we will do all that we can to support this judicial authority in the Region.

Security and stability

Many malicious efforts have been made to bring instability to Kurdistan like the rest of Iraq, to make it another battlefield for sectarian and ethnic conflicts. However, thanks to the unity among us, and the strategic agreement between our political groups, those efforts have failed, and they will continue to fail in the future as well.

The security and stability of the Kurdistan Region has been achieved through the hard work of the Peshmerga forces, Zeravani, police, Asayish, emergency and anti-terror forces. These are diligent and faithful members of our country, and they deserve all our appreciation and respect. We will work to further develop these forces and to enhance the security sector’s standing as an important national institution.

Better services

The seventh cabinet will issue a number of new decrees regarding its coming activities. Some will be the government's duties to carry out, but others will be the responsibility of individuals, groups and civil society organizations, and these will require joint efforts to be implemented.

Over recent years we have achieved considerable development, particularly in the three major cities, but we still have a lot of work to do.  There are still many other areas of the Kurdistan Region where people do not enjoy similar levels of services and job availability.

The governmental institutions present their own analysis and reports about the status of the services offered, but we also need the opinions and evaluations of the people regarding government projects as well.

Improving healthcare

The KRG would like its citizens to participate in decision making through the parliament, provincial councils and civil and political institutions; we would like to offer services equally to all citizens.

We task the Ministry of Health and other relevant departments to improve our healthcare system. Doctors and staff of hospitals must work harder and pay respectful attention to the patients. There should always be specialist doctors at emergency wards. People should trust their hospitals. A top priority will be to try to stop and prevent the import and sale of low quality medicine, and we will prosecute any person who is proven to be involved at any level.

The Consumer Rights Law is a start toward resolving this issue, but at the same time, the KRG will continue to build hospitals and health centres and continue to educate and train doctors and health professionals. The Ministry of Health must continue to work on maintaining and promoting good quality health services, and not only treating patients.

Consumer Rights Law and a Board to monitor the price and quality of commodities

While we try to build our economic future and support the private sector, we unfortunately see the prices of some commodities and necessities are going up without any reason. If we discover that this skyrocketing of prices is being caused by some businessmen who are misusing the support that the government has offered them, then we will take serious measures to control this abuse.

The Kurdistan Parliament two years ago passed the Consumer Rights Law. We will implement this and all other laws passed by the parliament, and we will work with the KRG Ministry of Planning to establish a board to monitor the prices and qualities of the merchandise that are imported into the Kurdistan Region. We must work so that both merchants and consumers benefit from the policies of a free market, and so that people can afford to buy their necessities at fair prices.

Financial assistance

The government will continue to offer loans and mortgages to those who need them in order to make it easier for them to get married, build houses or complete other projects.

We will also work with the KRG Ministry of Finance to find a mechanism to better support the Region's pensioners and to review and eliminate the gaps in their salaries.

Government transparency

We will strive to make the decision making process open and transparent and to make information available to the people so that they can be informed regarding the activities of the government.

We will work to encourage a sense of citizenship and to make every individual proud of his nation and his country's interests.

Government jobs

Our people deserve the best opportunities, and when it comes to seeking jobs with the KRG, we will strive to ensure that hiring is both competitive and transparent.

Political parties should not interfere with the hiring process of the government, and we will work to uphold this principle. Hiring must be done according to the needs of government departments, percentages of graduates, degrees, professionalism and within the budget allocation of the year the hiring process is planned for. The sixth cabinet built a good foundation for this process and we will continue the policy that they began.

Other services

Much has been done in making services such as fuel and electricity available to our people. But, due to the rapid expansion of urban areas in our cities and an increase in population, more power is needed to meet our growing needs. The KRG is ready to allocate a substantial amount of funds to support the power sector and make the lives of the people easier.

We will pay more attention to protection of the environment and to preserving the Region’s natural wealth as well. The Environment Board must work harder to support environmental protection efforts so that the preservation of Kurdistan's environment will be in line with world standards.

Our goal is to make the Kurdistan Region more open, more tolerant and diversified in its economic resources. We also aim to further develop our natural resources and distribute these revenues equally among our citizens.

We will use our authority within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution

Over the past five years, the Kurdistan Region has made great steps forward in the fields of developing natural resources and energy industries. We use our authority and freedom of work, in this field, within the framework of the Iraqi constitution. We do this, in order that this wealth can be used for the welfare and future of our people.

Although we still have disagreements with the federal government over oil issues, we believe that our policies in this regard are right and that we can become one of the major suppliers of energy in the region and in the world. It is now time to think how our country and people can most benefit from the revenues of their oil.

Creating jobs by strengthening investment, trade and tourism

We will continue our policy of developing and advancing the Kurdistan Region with the participation of local and international companies. With these steps we can make the Kurdistan Region an economically free area, where we can create many more job opportunities for our people.

All the sections of our society must benefit from the housing projects that are being built on the Region’s soil, especially the impoverished people. Therefore, we will try to issue regulations in accordance to law so that the impoverished sections of our society may also benefit from them.

Tourism is a very important source of revenue for modern countries. It is viewed as an industry, economic infrastructure and even as an important means of helping to preserve culture. Developing this field in accordance with a well-studied programme is high on our agenda.

We will also continue to support the international trade fairs that help to attract international companies to our Region. We have to work to expand the international appeal of the Kurdistan Region’s fairs. These efforts will encourage trade movements and help to create jobs and business partnerships.

The KRG Ministries should each review their staff lists and end the issue of disguised unemployment. In this way we can make job opportunities available to new graduates and to the youth.

Reviving the agricultural sector

Unfortunately, so far we have not been able to guarantee food security for our people. However, the KRG considers reviving the agricultural sector to be a very important task, and we will do our best to help achieve food security for our people through encouraging domestic production and depending less on imported agricultural products. We must achieve self-sufficiency and protect domestic produce in this vital sector.

We will work to transform the Kurdistan Region society from consumers to producers. This will be achieved through developing the agricultural, industrial and trade sectors. This will take time, but we must begin by building a foundation for it first.

Social progress, human rights, and ethnic and religious tolerance

We are taking steps to renew and rebuild a modern society, but we are also facing the threat of losing some of our cultural, historical and traditional values. Although we are using new technologies in our daily lives, we have not always made the best use of them. Some of these technologies have created and enhanced social problems.

In order to better understand each other and maintain the culture of peaceful coexistence that we have achieved, we must rely on a national dialogue to discuss current social issues. We must use dialogue to build a unified voice on the protecting the future of our society and preserving our culture. We must try to protect our society's valuable traditions and national history from the misuse of technology and from misinterpreting new ideas and concepts.

We will also work to further strengthen democracy and human rights, especially the rights of women and children, by protecting them from domestic violence and empowering women through allowing them to assume better and more effective roles in the KRG.

One of our main goals will be protecting fraternal relations and coexistence in the Region and further encouraging respect for all religions and ethnic groups. We must take care to protect the valuable cultural and social norms and traditions of our society.

The majority of our people are Muslims. The Religion of Islam is part of our valuable traditions and we will not allow anyone to misuse freedom to disrespect Islam. However, at the same time we will not allow religion to be used for political reasons to attack the principles of democracy. For us, religion is a force to encourage peace and fraternity among people, not to create enmities and differences. Accordingly, we will also not allow anyone to disrespect other religions in the Kurdistan Region.

Kurds, Turkmans, Arabs, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Assyrians and Armenians have all long lived peacefully together in the Kurdistan Region, and we have always respected each other.

History bears witness to the unity and fraternity among Shabak, Kakayee, Yezidi and Faili Kurds. The Kurdish identity gathers us all and forever.

The KRG respects all the components of Kurdistan’s society, and supporting freedoms for them all is one of our duties. The KRG belongs to all and is proud of the rich mosaic of our society.

The Kurdish Diaspora and our youth

The Kurdish Diaspora is part of our family. If there has been any shortcomings in our dealing with them and listening to their issues in the past, we hope that from now on we will live up to their expectations. However, they too should strive to live up to the expectations of their country and use their experiences and skills to benefit Kurdistan; because today, they can be of huge benefit to the Kurdistan Region.

Our youth are our national wealth. Activating and paying attention to the programmes that help and support our youth to enjoy and lead better lives was one of the important initiatives of the previous cabinet, and we will likewise continue to support youth programmes in the new cabinet.

The youth of Kurdistan must be given the opportunity to excel in their fields of interest, such as sports and authentic Kurdish arts, and the KRG must also encourage them to become intellectuals, writers and historians so that they enrich the libraries and cultural archives of Kurdistan.

The media is our aide

The KRG is committed to support and promote the freedom of journalism and provide for their protection within the framework of the law. We must work to further improve our record in the area of freedom of the press, and in this regard, we need the support of international and civil society organizations.

Law No.35 guarantees the freedom of journalism in the Region. The seventh KRG cabinet considers the media as our aide. Journalists will monitor the activities of the government, pinpoint its shortcomings and publish truthful reports and information. In this way the government will work even more efficiently.

One of the features of democratic societies is the freedom that vocational, social and civil society organizations enjoy. Our organizations must be more active than before. They are called the third sector, and their role must be visible in making positive changes in various aspects of life, especially in the areas of public awareness and the availability of public information.

International recognition of the genocide against the Kurds

The crimes that were committed against the people of Kurdistan were not less than what is known in the international community as genocide. Although a lot has been achieved in the effort to promote the recognition of the genocide against the Kurdish people by governments and organizations throughout the world, we need to broaden our efforts to make the Anfal campaigns and the use of chemical weapons by the former regime of Iraq universally recognised as genocide amongst prominent international groups.

The fact that the Iraqi High Criminal Court has recognised many massacres against the Kurdish people as acts of genocide has created an important foundation for our efforts to promote wider international recognition. We are grateful for this recognition, and we also appreciate the efforts of some European parties and politicians who have also supported this case and who have endeavored to widen the international recognition of the massacres against the Kurdish people as acts of genocide.

However,  unfortunately the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights has not cooperated with the KRG to look into these massacres and to help uncover the evidence in a scientific manner that would meet basic global standards. The KRG wants to uncover the mass graves in a scientific manner and then transfer the bodies of the victims back to Kurdistan. This is a national and patriotic duty. The Parliament, ministers and the Kurdish participants in the Iraqi Government must do their part and cooperate with the Iraqi Government to fulfill this national duty.

We will work with the Iraqi Government so that it encourages its Ministry of Human Rights to seriously coordinate with us in this regard. We urge universities and academic circles to prepare research on the massacres that have been perpetrated on the Kurds. And, at the same time we in the KRG will work continuously to provide the best services possible to the families of the victims of these crimes.

We have a lively Community that wants to progress

Like any democratic government, we will work hard to meet the needs and help to realize the dreams of our people. And of course we should not expect that our government's decisions will be approved by all parties. The approval of the majority in the Parliament is one of the principles of parliamentary democracy the world over. Open and free dialogue in parliament is also a sign of adhering to the principles of democratic governance.

The KRG sees the answer in agreement, by all parties, to find mutual solutions to all issues and decisions within the framework of the law. And this will be strong evidence that the elected political powers in Kurdistan are committed to providing for the interests of the people of Kurdistan.



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