Ethnic and religious minorities in the Iraq of today

sido.jpgEthnic and religious minorities in the Iraq of today
Friday and Saturday, 11th – 12th April 2008
Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Under the auspecies of (Friedrich Nauman Foundation), the (Society to defend Threatened Paople) held a conference on Friday and Saturday, 11th and 12 o April 2008 where representatives of all ethnic and religous groups of Iraq met to discuss their present situation in Iraq as well as their demands and Aspirations.

Represantatives of (Chaldean Syriac Assyrian), Turkman, Armenian, Yezedes, Shabak, Sabean, and Faily Kurds participated in the conference. The conference agreed and issued the following recommendations:
The situation of the ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 did not bring about the sought aspirations. In fact it deteriorated. Members of these groups are exposed to ongoing dangers: they are attacked, raped, oppressed and killed. They are threatened with extinction. It is the responsibility of the Iraqi Democratic factions and its Government as well as European and USA governments and international community to act upon this existent threat.
A serious solution must be reached that will enable all Iraqis to have confidence in their future and to be able to live in peace in their own country. Iraq belongs to all Iraqis. No other spot in the world could be an alternative to the homeland that holds their history, heritage, and religion; yesterday, today and tomorrow.
A fair co-existence of all Iraqis can only be achieved if fundamental changes are made to the Iraqi constitution that will guarantee justice, equality, and security for Iraqi Minorities. Therefore, the conferees are calling for an Iraqi and Kurdistani constitution to include and guarantee the separation of church and state and to guarantee the freedom of belief, religion, worship, and expression. They also call for both constitutions to adopt political, cultural and administrative rights for the Iraqi minorities and their right in Autonomy within the Iraqi Federal System that could be adopted as basis of stability and unity of Iraqi.
The conference also agreed to call on for a full implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution and removal of policies of Arabization that were practiced by the previous regime in many areas of Iraq.
This conference also calls on the Iraqi and Regional Kurdistani governments (KRG) to protect and grant minorities their rights in accordance with the constitution and guarantees their presentation in various administrative, military, diplomatic, and security fields at various levels of the government.

The conference appreciates the work of the Regional Kurdistani Parliament and government in the fields of co-existence among the citizens of the region and for the rights and participation of the minorities in Iraqi Kurdistan. They also call on to support this experience through strengthening the principals of equality and constitutionally adopting the rights of the minorities.

The conference also agreed that national reconciliation and strengthening of ties among various religious and ethnic components of Iraq is vital to build a federal Iraq that respects individual and group human rights.
As the conference calls on to activate and achieve the national reconciliation they also believe that this should not be limited only to the elite political leaders, it should also be extended to include all Iraqis.
The conference also calls on to Iraqi official to review the education curricula and media programs to include complete and unbiased information about the ethnic and religious components of Iraq.
The conference also calls on the international community to pressure Iraq Neighbours to stop interfering and exhorting political pressure on Iraqi and Iraqi Kurdistan Governments.

Displaced Iraqis and Refugees;
The conference discussed this topic and agreed to:
1 – The EU should not send back Iraqi refugees on basis that Iraq became safe after the fall of Saddams Regime. The conference calls on the German government to grant the existing Iraqi refugees their rights in asylum and to help them integrate legally, economically, and culturally.

2 – The conference calls on the EU to provide humanitarian aid to Iraqi refugees in the countries neighbouring Iraq to help them live in a dignified way until the political and economical situation in Iraq becomes safe enough for their return.

3 – Support, on various levels, the Internally Displaced People (IDS) especially on Economic, social and health care levels.
4 – The conference appreciates the aid program of the Kurdistani Regional Government to the Iraqi IDPs and calls on the EU, due to restricted KRG resources, to provide economical aid in fields of infrastructure, rebuilding, and economical developments to the people returning to their villages and townships in Iraqi Kurdistan and Nineveh Plain.
The conferees thank the Society for Threatened Peoples and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for their efforts to organize this conference. They also call on the two organizations, due to the important case of the ethnic and religious minorities of Iraq, to organize other events in this field.
This resolution was read out and passed unanimously.

Frankfurt, Federal Republic of Germany
April 12, 2008