Forum 2015 Session 1: The Future of Kirkuk: A Roadmap for Resolving the Status of the Province

Date: 3rd November, 2015
Venue: Rotana, Erbil

  • Samuel Morris, Research Fellow, MERI (Chair)
  • Hasan Toran, Member of Parliament, Iraq
  • Rakan Saeed Aljobouri, Deputy Governor of Kirkuk
  • Khalid Shwani, Advisor to the President of Iraq
  • Daniel Augstburger, Head of UNAMI in Kirkuk

A political solution to the Kirkuk problem is an opportunity for the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and local stakeholders to prove to themselves and to the rest of the world that there is an emerging vision and culture of inclusiveness that seeks good faith collaboration among federal components of Iraq for the gradual normalisation of the country’s internal affairs.

The issue of land and ownership is a key issue that needs to be resolved in order to attract foreign investment.”

Daniel Augstburger

Kirkuk can serve as a test-case for this new vision and is not without its challenges. Critical among them is how these different political actors and institutions with significantly diverging political and economic interests and historical mistrust can actually deliver a breakthrough. The MERI report has highlighted the need for creative solutions that originate from local actors in Kirkuk.

Solutions in Kirkuk should start from the bottom-up and should come from Kirkuk itself, not Baghdad.”

Khalid Shwani

The panel will discuss the main issues of contention that are currently blocking any further progress on the Kirkuk issue and will allow for debate on confidence building measures and possible practical solutions with regard to normalisation and concensus. Panellists will also consider the political, social, security and economic consequences in Kirkuk if a solution is not found within the next few years.

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