Stimson Center and CIGI announce new partnership: Iraq’s New Reality project to examine emerging Iraq

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Waterloo, Ontario – Washington, DC, August 7, 2009 – The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI – Canada) and the Stimson Center (Washington, DC), convinced of a strong link between Iraqi reconstruction, security and a political process of national reconciliation involving all Iraqis, have launched a series of activities to shape a better understanding of the Iraqi dilemma and to encourage dialogue between concerned actors.
This project partnership, entitled Iraq’s New Reality, is co-chaired by CIGI Senior Visiting Fellow Ambassador Mokhtar Lamani (former Arab League Special Envoy to Iraq) and Stimson Center President & CEO Ellen Laipson. The project includes a series of workshops being held in both Canada and the United States examining several specific issues, which will lead up to a field mission to the region and a final conference in March 2010. These workshops are gathering leading experts on a selection of key issues and will produce a series of short briefs summarizing the discussions and offering recommendations to parties involved in the Iraq situation.
The first workshop took place in June 2009 in Waterloo, Canada, and focused on the humanitarian aspects of the Iraqi crisis; refugees, minorities, the Iraqi brain drain, the failure of returnee policies, sectarianism in the Iraqi system and the shifting priorities of the international community.
The second workshop took place in August 2009 in Washington, D.C., and focused on the security issues affecting the situation in Iraq; its conditions on the ground, US and Iraqi perspectives on SOFA implementation, Iraq’s role in regional security and the implications for the future of Iraq.
The third workshop will focus on institutional issues associated with systems of governance, particularly the positions of Iraqi groups vis à vis the federal system. It will take place in October 2009 at the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Immediately following the workshop, a separate meeting on the US-Iraq relationship will take place.
The final workshop will take place in December 2009 in Washington, DC and will examine the regional dimensions of the Iraq situation.
Following the regional workshops a short field mission to the region will explore different Iraqi views. Ultimately, the project aims to host a larger conference in March 2010, based on the outcomes of the workshop series and the field mission, to explore Iraq’s new realities and prospects for stability.
For further information on the Stimson-CIGI Iraq’s New Reality project, please contact Mokhtar Lamani at mlamani@cigionline.org or Ellen Laipson at elaipson@stimson.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Matt Eason
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
Canadian International Council (CIC)
Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA)
tel +1.519.590.5211 | fax +1.519.885.5450

Alison Yost
The Stimson Center
tel +1.202.478.3446 | fax +1.202.238.9604

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that addresses international governance challenges. Led by a group of experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate, builds capacity, and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org

Based in Washington, D.C., the Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank dedicated to developing new knowledge and crafting “pragmatic steps for global security.” Stimson works on a wide range of global security issues, from nonproliferation to regional security in Asia, from UN peacekeeping operation to analyzing the resources needed for 21st century statecraft. To learn more, visit www.stimson.org.