Ramadi, Iraq, 17 November 2018 – Witnessing firsthand how the protection, development and stabilization work of the United Nations in Iraq in areas liberated from Da’esh can contribute to the prevention of crisis, Under-Secretary-General and the UN Secretary-General’s Advisor on Policy, Ms. Ana Maria Menéndez, visited Anbar Governorate in western Iraq on 17 November 2018. She met with local Iraqi officials, including the Governor and the head of the Provincial Council, to hear about the challenges the population are facing and how the UN can help to overcome them.
In the City of Ramadi, Ms. Menéndez was briefed on the work around clearing unexploded ordnance as part of the effort to create a safe and secure environment for those who were displaced and those who intend to return. This effort is part of a broader joint engagement between Iraqi authorities and the UN towards building the resilience of local people in liberated areas through programs aimed at protecting the vulnerable, engaging them in stabilization activities and ensuring their full inclusion and participation in sustaining peace and development for their country.
Ms. Menéndez visited in this regard a vocational training centre which focuses its activities on developing the skills of the local population, in particular youth and foremost young women. She also visited a youth centre where she discussed peacebuilding and stabilization through the involvement of youth in peacebuilding activities. Such programs and engagements demonstrated the strong resolve to invest in youth as the best dividend towards sustaining peace and development. Ms. Menéndez visited also a centre that focuses on empowering women and addressing gender-based violence. With the women, she discussed the importance of their inclusion and participation in all segments of Iraqi society as part of their contribution to the stability and prosperity of the country.