UN brings religious ethnic communities to the discussion table in northern Iraq

29 May 2010Security concerns and human rights topped a United Nations-backed discussion among the religious and ethnic communities of the northern Iraqi governorate of Ninewa. Participants at the meeting which took place on 27 May included representatives of the Christian, Shabak, Turkoman and Yazidi communities, as well of the Ninewa administration, the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Government. The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) chaired the talks – the first-ever meeting of the Committee on Ethnic and Religious Communities in Ninewa – in the city of Tilkaef. Also among the topics discussed during the gathering where the representation of Ninewa’s various communities in Iraq’s security forces. The UNAMI meeting marked an important first step for further dialogue and action, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative. “While each of the components has its unique and distinct ethnic, cultural and religious heritage that must be preserved, it is also apparent that they all share many common concerns, which need to be addressed.”

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