MERI Forum 2015 Begins

The MERI Forum 2015, Sharing Visions for the Future of the Middle East, commenced today at Rotana Hotel in Erbil at 2pm with discussion and debate on the future of Kirkuk and the protection of civilians and the application of international humanitarian law in Iraq, respectively.

For three days, from 3-5 November, the Forum will host distinguished policymakers, academics and journalists from the Middle East, the United States and Europe to provide cutting-edge analysis and critical insights with respect to political, economic and social developments in Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and the wider Middle East.

Additional topics for the Forum include fighting ISIS; population displacement, its consequences, and possible political solutions; implications of the Iran nuclear deal for the region; democracy, rule of law, and institutional reform in Iraq; the challenges of keeping Iraq united; and internal and external threats to Kurdistan.

The aim is for international, regional, and national stakeholders to seize the opportunity for rigorous dialogue and exchange of ideas in an amicable setting on issues of greatest concern for bringing peace, prosperity, and stability to Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and the wider region. The conference will be live streamed on our website in HD free of charge for TV broadcasting ( and will be covered by Rudaw TV.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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