By Iraqi Social Forum and The Secretary of Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative – September 2017
Civil society organizations, youth social movements, students, unions, individuals and activists are now organizing the fourth season of the Iraqi Social Forum, entitled “Rights … Peace”. The forum will last 3 days, beginning 30 November 2017 and is to be held in Baghdad.
The Forum is an annual event that carries a civic vision and provides a space for democratic dialogue. It is an open platform where people can come together to discuss ideas, formulate proposals, exchange experiences and engage productively on a range of societal issues. The framework is non-governmental, and rejects all forms of discrimination based on race, nationality, origin, color, religion, belief, economic or social status. The Forum also allows for valuable networking among civil society groups, both at the national and international levels.
This event builds on the success achieved at last year’s Forum, which provided an ideal model for civil society, drawing on its inherent flexibly and independence as qualities that allow individuals and groups from many different perspectives to come together to discuss social issues and propose realistic solutions to problems. After a full year of work, during which the Forum succeeded in implementing a large percentage of proposals from its third season, and after expanding its scope, and consolidating its base of activity in various Iraqi provinces in addition to Baghdad, preparations for the fourth season are now underway. This season will pay special attention to the current challenges facing the country, from the ongoing battles to liberate Iraqi territories from Daesh, to the economic crisis, to the widespread absence of social justice. All this places a tremendous weight on Iraqi citizens.
However, though our country today is suffering from the aggravation of many issues: sectarianism, nationalism and religious intolerance, as well as serious attempts to suppress voices in need of dialogue, the Iraqi Social Forum knows that these problems can be surmounted. Iraqis can find a path of moderation, peace and coexistence. These goals undoubtedly require great effort; we must work hard to redirect the present course of events, but we can achieve the dream of another Iraq … an Iraq of peace, grounded human rights and committed to social justice. We invite you all to participate in this event.