Labour Conference: The Middle East After ISIS - Supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government

The Centre for Kurdish Progress together with the Kurdistan Regional Government's Representation in the United Kingdom hosted an event on the future of the region at Labour Party Conference 2018.  

Tracy Brabin MP introduced the talk, drawing on experiences and observations from recent trip to Erbil and to a nearby refugee camp. Key speaker Karwan Jamal Tahir, Kurdistan Regional Government High Representative to the UK, began by outlining the interconnected nature of the two questions posed by Centre for Kurdish Progress at the conference – pertaining to the region’s fledgling democracy and the Middle East after ISIS.

All discussions on the reasons for ongoing conflict in the Middle East must be couched in the relevant history,  Mr Tahir explained. Firstly, Mr Tahir referenced the carving up of the Middle East by the Great Powers in the aftermath of the first world war, according to their own strategic interests rather than with consideration of local populations. Secondly, major powers and the international community continues to this day to support those boundaries, which continue to bring strife and – ultimately – authoritarianism to the region. Finally, as democracy is undermined and people do not feel fairly represented, radical and extremist groups can be empowered. ISIS is the latest in a long list of radical organisations that have tried to fill the gap of accountable democratic governments in the Middle East. Atop an open and honest dialogue between nations, the recognition of non-Arab nationalities and of religious minorities is essential to the functioning of democracy in the Middle East.

Mr Tahir concluded the talk by highlighting that the Kurdish people will continue to play an important role in the government of Iraq, referencing the ongoing negotiations between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi federal government, particularly prominent as the one year anniversary of 2017’s independence referendum had just passed.

When:

September 26, 2018 at 9am - 11am

Where:

Room 5, Hall 2
ACC Liverpool
Kings Dock
Liverpool, England L3 4FP
United Kingdom
Google map and directions

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