Diwaniya, Iraq, 29 September 2019 – Youth in Diwaniya Governorate had the opportunity to voice their hopes and concerns regarding their community and country at a 26-28 September workshop under the theme “Iraqi Youth: Pioneers for Dialogue and Stability”. The 12th in a series of workshops across the country was organised by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), in cooperation with the Committee for Coexistence and Societal Peace under the Prime Minister’s Office and the Iraqi Al-Amal Association.
Seventeen young men and six young women from various parts of the Governorate attended the workshop. They discussed a number of issues that they identified as important to the youth in the context of their Governorate. These included: the importance of strengthening the political participation of youth; ways to increase job opportunities and counter unemployment; challenges faced by volunteer groups and civil society organization; concerns about the quality of health care services within the governorate and the lack of medical supplies; and the spread of drugs among youth.
At the closing session on 28 September, the participants were joined by local officials who included the Second Deputy Governor, Malik Kadhim Al-Husseini, and two Provincial Council members, Ayad Tleya’a al-Myali, the head of Coordination and NGOs Committee, and Duha Al-Husseini, from the Education Committee.
Addressing the session, Director of UNAMI Office of Political Affairs Manoj Mathew welcomed the vibrant discussions between the youth and the local officials. He pointed to the sixteen-year-old Swedish climate and environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, as a great example of one individual who managed to spark an entire global climate movement. He urged the youth to trust in their capacity to bring change, while encouraging them to work with the local government to collectively resolve the challenges facing the Governorate. He also encouraged them to express their desire for change by participating in the upcoming Provincial Council elections.
Similar youth workshops were recently organised in Anbar, Babil, Basra, Karbala, Wasit, Najaf, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, Ninawa, Erbil and Diyala. The activity is in line with UNAMI’s mandate to support youth and their valuable contributions to Iraqi public life.