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Prepared by FCT Secretariat Padraig O’Malley, Nancy Riordan and Allan Leonard with assistance from conference
rapporteurs Charlotte Manson, Candyce Carragher and Kathleen Adams



Kirkuk is the most ethnically diverse city in Iraq. Between the 1970s and 2003, the regime of
Saddam Hussein uprooted more than 100,000 Kurds (some estimates say 200,000) in his
efforts to “Arabize” the city. Kurds stake a historical claim dating back to the late 19

century when, they assert, Kurds made up three-quarters of the population of Kirkuk
province. A 1957 census showed, however, that Turkmen predominated inside the city of
Kirkuk, making up 37 percent of the population, while Kurds made up 33 percent, Arabs 22
percent, and Christians one percent. That census revealed that in the Kirkuk province, the
population proportions were as follows: Kurds at 48 percent; Turkmen at 21 percent; Arabs
at 28 percent and Christians at less than 1 percent. It should be noted that some sources
suggest that the 1957 census showed that Kurds were the majority.
Since the toppling of the Saddam regime in 2003, hundreds of thousands of internally
displaced Kurds and Turkmen returned to Kirkuk to reclaim their lost properties or reside in
camps on the eastern fringe of the city. Some experts say their motivation was to rebalance
the city's population in preparation for the December 2007 referendum. Most experts say
Kurds now makeup a clear majority and retain control over most of the city's important
political posts, because of a ruling that allowed around 70,000 displaced Kurds to vote. The
Turkmen, once the foundation of the city’s urban elite, have been most affected as a result
of continuous security and political problems. Perhaps up to 350,000 Kurds have returned to
Kirkuk. Although there are no definitive figures available, it is generally accepted that Kurds
are now in the majority.
Article 140 of the Iraq Constitution stipulated that a province‐wide referendum to determine
the status of Kirkuk would take place before 31 December 2007. However, citing security
concerns, the government failed to conduct the referendum. Turkmen in particular are
opposed to a Kirkuk ruled by Kurds, because they see it as the first step to incorporate Kirkuk
into Kurdistan. Turkmen complain of being scapegoated by Kurds, subject to attack and
discrimination. Other ethnic groups harbor similar complaints in the face of aggressive
moves on the part of the Kurds who have taken majority control of Kirkuk province, allowing
them to place Kurdish loyalists in key positions in the civil service, take control of Kirkuk’s
intelligence services and police services, while Kurdish Peshmerga (the army of Kurdistan)
remain based outside the city.
Turkey fears that a Kurdistan with Kirkuk as its capital and sitting atop such oil abundance
would constitute a move by Kurdistan toward creating an independent Kurdish state.
Ankara's primary concern is that such a move by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to
seek greater autonomy could spill over into its own borders and spark unrest among
Turkey's own 12 million Kurds. Iraq's Sunni and Shiite nationalists, fearing an eventual split-
up of Iraq, say Kirkuk is home to Arabs as well as Kurds and thus should not be incorporated
into Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan. They accuse Kurds of forcibly driving Sunni and
Shiite Arabs out of their homes, of overstating their claim to Kirkuk, as well as "reverse
ethnic cleansing" by displacing some of the city's Arab residents.

Statistics in Iraq and the usages to which they are put are highly controversial. Different
censuses have generated different results and have been highly politicized. Sunni Arabs,
meanwhile, cite a 1997 census that showed Arabs—both Shiite and Sunni—made up 58
percent of the city's population. Some experts say the data is faulty because under the
"Ethnic Correction Policy,” many Kurds and Turkmen unwillingly changed their Iraqi National
Identification Card, i.e., to be regarded as Arabs, so they would not risk being expelled from
their houses to other provinces.
The status of Kirkuk remains unsettled amid growing disputes between Kurdistan and
Baghdad. Further exacerbating tensions between the two is the arrest and sentencing of
former Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi. When an arrest warrant was issued in
December 2011, Hashimi retreated to Kurdistan and then Turkey. His trial continued despite
his absence in Baghdad and on September 9, 2012 several acts of violence erupted
throughout the country in opposition to the death sentence awarded him. In addition, many
oil contracts where the KRG has signed agreements without central government’s approval
has exacerbated tensions.
Although provincial elections were held throughout Iraq on 31 January 2009, no elections
were held in Kirkuk because of disagreement regarding the size of the city’s population. A
UN draft proposal (as part of the Provincial Election Law a special article related to Kirkuk
was issued: Article 23) stipulates a temporary power-sharing agreement or joint
administration on an equally proportionate basis: 32 percent representation each for Kurds,
Arabs and Turkmen and 4 percent for minorities. This proposal has been adopted by the
Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC).


FCT Kirkuk Delegates, October 11


The third annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) was held in Kirkuk, Iraq
October 6
- 11
2012. More than 70 participants from 10 divided cities (including Kirkuk
itself) attended: Baghdad, Belfast, Derry-Londonderry, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Mostar,
Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica, Nicosia (Greek and Turkish Cypriots), Ramallah, and Tripoli
. Delegates included mayors, councilors, municipal officers, and representatives
of the business, voluntary and community sectors. This was the first ever gathering with an
international presence of this size and scope in the city’s history (see appendix 1 for

Background of the FCT

In April 2009, five cities – Derry-Londonderry, Belfast, Nicosia (Greek Cypriot and Turkish
Cypriot communities), Kirkuk and Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica were invited to a
conference at the University of Massachusetts Boston, hosted by the Moakley Chair of Peace
and Reconciliation Professor Padraig O’Malley. The purpose of the conference was to have
the cities explore, after listening to the narratives of each other’s conflict, whether they had
sufficient common attributes, experiences and collective identification that they should form
a collaborative where they would share their differences and similarities in a more formal
and on-going way, in the hope that learning from each other would strengthen the
social/political fabric of their respective cities. They drew up a founding document, “A Call to

The Mitte delegation did not receive the security plan in enough time; the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
requested the tickets to be refunded; despite this Mitte continues to support the FCT.

Action” and became the founding cities of the Forum for Cities in Transition (see appendix IV
for Call to Action). The first annual FCT gathering was held in Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica,
May 2010; the second annual FCT gathering was held in Derry-Londonderry, May 2011 (visit:

The Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) is premised on O’Malley’s thesis:

 That people from divided societies are in the best position to help people in other
divided societies. Former protagonists are best equipped to share their difficult
journeys to abandon violence as the instrument to achieve their political aims and
open the gateways to recovery, reconstruction, and reconciliation.
 That cities which are or were at the epicenter of the conflicts in their countries are in
a special position to assist each other because they are often a micro-representation
of their society’s fault lines.
 That securing the initially established peace can be fostered by citizens of divided
cities working together.
 That cities on the higher rungs of transition can assist those on the lower rungs, a
process that is reciprocal because in serving their sister cities, those further along in
transition are sharply reminded of where they once were, where they are now, and
where they hope to go in continuing their own processes of transition and
reconciliation; no FCT city is labelled “post-conflict.” Each of these societies is in a
different stage of transition to “normalcy,” although it might be better to think of
them as societies in “recovery,” because if they do not continually address the causes
of the conflict, if the grievances of war remain unaddressed or inadequately
addressed, if processes to nurture reconciliation are not promoted (especially at the
community level), if disparities in wealth and income continue to grow among
competing groups despite legislation aimed at closing such gaps, if an agreed history
of the past cannot be reconciled, if the root causes of what resulted in the conflict
cannot be acknowledged by all, then the residual causes of conflict and perceived
grievances linger and fester, risking slow accumulation to a critical mass that sees the
outbreak of conflict again. Thus, there is a need to put in place mechanisms that
minimize this risk.
 That peoples from divided societies share behavioural, political, social, and
psychological traits, not seen in people in more normal societies, traits that
predispose them to see things through a prism that is different than the prism
through which you and I would perceive the same events.


KPC Members, Kirkuk FCT Plenary Sunday October 7

“Kirkuk is a city in transition and we introduce its economic capabilities to the world. This
conference is a chance to exchange experiences between communities. In Kirkuk, you will
not find a river but you will find devotion, commitment and a heart that is open to
everyone. Thank you for paying attention to our city as proof of {your} commitment to
look at our situation. The main feature of moving cities forward is dialogue… mindful to
the many countries here today that own a diverse community such as Kirkuk” (KPC
Chairman, Hasan Turan, opening remarks).


Kirkuk is one of the founding member cities of the Forum for Cities in Transition.
The 2012 Kirkuk FCT gathering held October 6
- 11
was an opportunity to tell the story of
Kirkuk’s history and conflict, to learn from the challenges and achievements of its sister
cities, to share information, discuss models of best practice and examine ways of improving
community relations.
There were over fifty local people in attendance each day in addition to the fifty
international delegates/panellists who converged on Kirkuk for four intense days of work
and under the cloud of tenuous security risks.

FCT Director Professor O’Malley and the FCT Secretariat would like to thank KPC Chairman Hasan Turan and
the Kirkuk Provincial Council for their support and hospitality; Also a special thank you to Mr. Aree Jabari for his
efforts and those of his staff at INSAN as conference organizers. Lastly, a sincere thank you to our FCT donors,
in particular Irish Aid and the U.S. Department of State.

This year's event’s themes included:

 Provision of municipal services
 Constitutional issues affecting Kirkuk
 Policing and security
 Women in transitional societies
 Youth and social media
 Agriculture and economic development

The Kirkuk FCT gathering identified programs and projects that delegates developed and
declared on the final day of the conference to implement in their home cities or as joint
projects within their sister cities. Over two dozen outcomes were pledged (see below).
The conference program was a mixture of panel discussions with experts and practitioners;
time for delegates from FCT countries to intermix in small groups and often on a one-on-one
basis; workshops for delegates to discuss what they had seen and heard; and site visits to
local communities across the city.

In addition to the international guests, panelists and experts, local officials, NGO and CSO
representatives, a select group of 25 local Kirkuk students/young leaders from all ethnic
groups volunteered for a range of tasks including one-to-one interpretation, guides, set up
and break-down of the conference venue. The students in turn were able to learn hands on
about the FCT, converse and network with their local leadership in the KPC and the many
international participants.

FCT Kirkuk 2012 was not a conference per se but a continuation of the gatherings hosted in
Derry-Londonderry, May 2011 and Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica in 2010. The linkages
among FCT cities as they move from one gathering to the next and on-going review of
implementation of outcomes are the cornerstones of a functioning FCT.

The following event goals were met:

 Brought a panel similar to the team that led off the Derry-Londonderry gathering
with a comprehensive discussion of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. This panel
was comprised of senior personnel from all parties and governments who played a
role in that process: Séan Farren (SDLP Negotiator), Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP
Negotiator), Christopher Maccabe (Former Senior Official, Northern Ireland Office
(NIO), Peter Shirlow (Queen's University Belfast), Daithi O'Ceallaigh (Department of
Foreign Affairs, Ireland), Chaired by Mr. Quintin Oliver, Stratagem, Belfast.
 Made considerable headway in having all the various communal blocks in Kirkuk
work together in ways they have not hitherto worked; breakdown some of the
barriers of distrust that exist among them, and open them to a greater willingness to
engage in conversations regarding their future.
 Improved the city's self-image by showing that it is capable of hosting an event such
as this, putting aside partisan politics.
 Fostered frank discussions about delicate/sensitive issues with their peers from other
divided cities, including how the obstacles to negotiation were overcome (where
they existed) and how communities, once at war with each other, now work to foster
reconciliation at the grass roots level first and then at the political level.

 Demonstrated that Kirkuk can put partisan politics aside and work together to show
their sister cities that it was up to the challenge. The conference opened
opportunities to engage with Erbil and Baghdad in a non-threatening way, leaving
aside article 140 and the acrimony that emerges once it is mentioned. Working
successfully together on a project of this magnitude raised confidence in their ability
to put their fears aside and work in a spirit of cooperation and trust at resolving the
issues of Kirkuk's future.
 Parenthetically, it also opened ways for Sunni and Alewite delegates from Tripoli to
explore the impact of the conflict in Syria on their already fragile and sometimes
combustible relationship.

The Northern Ireland Peace Process

The issue of Kirkuk has many parallels with the situation in Northern Ireland (NI). With the
presence of delegations from Derry-Londonderry and Belfast and across the board
negotiators from NI, this facilitated opportunities for on-going dialogue specifically
addressing Kirkuk's future. The end goal was to create the political space to get the
parties/ethnic groups in Kirkuk around a table to begin to talk seriously about their future --
the NI peace process model is tailor made to be emulated. As with previous FCT gatherings,
FCT Kirkuk had on hand some of those who, over decades, crafted the path to the peace
settlements in NI.

The nature of the problem in Kirkuk is that three interrelationships have to be addressed.
Steps that advance progress in each affect possible outcomes in the others thus
necessitating a comprehensive settlement using a formula for negotiations similar to the
one used so successfully in Northern Ireland which stipulated that nothing is agreed until
everything is agreed.

The three relationships are: (1) between Kurds and Turkomen, Arabs, and other minorities
regarding governance in Kirkuk – power sharing not just at the political level but throughout
the institutions of the public sector; (2) between Kirkuk and Kurdistan – whether Kirkuk
becomes part of Kurdistan, remains within Arab Iraq or becomes part of a different
constitutional arrangement; and (3) between Iraq and Kurdistan – a situation of two hostile
armies facing each other across a boundary in the same country is ultimately untenable.


Kirkuk Constitutional Issues: The Path to Harmony

In Kirkuk, there is no independent legislature, making it increasingly difficult to govern the
people properly. Often it is the case that the law blocks progress and work of the Kirkuk
Provincial Council. If Iraq is to transfer to a democratic country, then a review of the laws
and Constitution is required including the ‘fixed articles.’

Key Issues raised:

There are three visions that exist for Kirkuk:

1) Join the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
2) Establish an independent region (laws of the region)
3) Establish a special status for Kirkuk

The three main problems for Kirkuk are administrative, legal and political. In order to
address these issues -- partnership and a distribution of powers between the centralized
Government of Iraq (GOI) and Kirkuk must be discussed.

Administrative issues:

 Centralized, concentrated in Baghdad
 Lower role for provincial ministers and council resulting in limited authority
compared to the GOI

Legal issues:

 144 Articles with an estimated 73 amendments required
 Powers of the KPC in relation to the GOI are restricted
 Legal framework of the former regime is still in place: “does not fit the new Iraq”

The outstanding Constitutional issues that pose a threat to the progress of Kirkuk dominated
the agenda for the morning plenary session. Disputes between the political levels in Kirkuk
and the central Baghdad government hinder progress in this divided city.

Northern Ireland Peace Process

On the second day of the conference the Northern Ireland Peace Process team from Belfast
and Derry-Londonderry raised a number of key issues relative to the problems Kirkuk faces

Identified commonalities and ways to resolve problems:

 The most important elements of the agreement reached in Northern Ireland is the
switch of focus from the ‘zero-sum game’ (i.e. your gain is my loss)

 People were trapped in a stalemate that had been established since the 1920’s with
Nationalists promoting an united Ireland whilst the Unionists advocated for Northern
Ireland to retain its status within the United Kingdom

The key challenge was to find ways to give political expression to the dual identity of the
people in Northern Ireland through a comprehensive agreement.

The main themes that were addressed aimed to establish a common linkage between the
Northern Ireland peace process / negotiations with Kirkuk as well as the other divided cities.
These included the political, social, economic and institutional aspects towards reaching a
peaceful solution to conflict.


 Providing political expression to all
 Importance of equality
 Recognition of different identities vis-à-vis outlook of negotiations
 Role of leadership
 Switching the focus from a zero-sum game outlook of loss and gain
 Establishing an environment of trust, respect and commitment with opponents
 Listening to all
 Inclusiveness in negotiations


The NI panel, in drawing upon the NI experience, suggested that three elements of social
capital required to address social issues in a transition environment are: bonding, bridging
and delivery.

 Resolving segregation
 Addressing social inequalities and justice
 Importance of the community in a conflict/post-conflict society
 Promoting neighbourhood relationships
 Capacity building within communities, especially those which are divided
 The importance of urban regeneration
 Development of industry
 Community centre building


In order to build trust between those involved in the decision-making process and the rest of
society during a peace process, the importance of the economic situation must not be

 ‘There is no point in promoting peace if there are no jobs’
 Incentive must be offered and delivered to those at the core of the peace-process
 Divided communities in particular must have trust in their representatives
 Economic development/growth is vital to the process of normalization



Addressing the reform of certain institutions requires a committed attitude, despite the
inevitable difficulties that will arise.

 Policing and security sector reform in order to build trust with the public
o (Royal Constabulary and Police Service Northern Ireland (RUC- PSNI) in the NI
o Independent monitoring -- a Commission established in NI
o Pre-reform, Nationalists held 5% of posts in policing (RUC) with now c. 30% on
average (PSNI)
 In accordance with the above reform, the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons
 Human Rights and the Equality Commission
 Judiciary reform

Key points for the Kirkuk delegation to consider in learning from the NI Peace Process

 Trust and respect
 Commitment
 Consistency and partnership
 Clear understanding of all sides, opinions and needs
 The need to listen to others
 To avoid zero-sum game of loss and gain in a peace process
 Overcoming stalemate can be helped by outside facilitators
 Economic dividend opportunities
 Mistakes are inevitable


Delegates were asked to focus on the commonalities and sharing of the experiences among
different cities.

The Kirkuk delegates presented and discussed what the reasons were behind the violence in
the city and province, following the morning’s emphasis on Constitutional issues.

 Border disputes
 Language problems and rights
 Sects / doctrines of religions
 Natural resources
 Geographical location of Kirkuk
 Old and new ideologies

All are the influencing factors that exacerbate violence and tensions in Kirkuk.

Suggestions, to resolve the above, from the workshop included:

 Promotion of inter-faith forums

 Public hearings
 Addressing the most neglected parts of society
 Promoting an open media

Kirkuk delegates responded by informing the workshop that regional interference across
Iraq and Kirkuk in general hinders the progress of these outstanding issues. Negligence of
the regions impacts the progress of overcoming these obstacles for Kirkuk. Furthermore, the
unresolved violations that many suffered in Kirkuk prohibit progress.

Northern Ireland Security Panel

The idea of this panel was to introduce the various reforms that occurred in Northern
Ireland’s security sector as a result of the peace process.

The sharing of this experience addressed key themes such as:

 The need to create a comprehensive security strategy
 Training programmes to ensure the implementation of above strategy
 Ability to communicate a security strategy to your people
 Commonalities between Northern Ireland and other divided cities
o Kosovo – PSNI exchange programme and the benefits of learning from
another divided city / security sector reform programme
 Human cost of reforming the security / policing sector
o Pattern Report redundancies
 Role of weapons in normalization process and in a transitional society
o Decommissioning
o Eradicating the culture of insecurity, public ownership of weapons

General recommendations to Kirkuk (and other delegations) based on the NI experience of
security and policing sector reform from the panel:

 Building trust between the people and police forces is fundamental
 Overall, the security sector must be accountable and transparent
o Admitting publicly to mistakes
o Stating justifications for measures and decisions to ensure trust and
legitimacy from society
 Policing must be fair, effective and impartial
 Confidence-building among society must ensure equality in the forces (gender, age,
religion, ethnicity)

The Women’s Panel

The overall aim of this plenary session was to address the role of women in transitional
societies, in particular within Iraq and Kirkuk. Beginning with the FCT conference in Mitrovica
in 2010, the FCT has put great emphasis on gender issues and in the process established a
Women’s Forum, which operates as its own track on the FCT agenda.

The key issues that were raised included:

 Lack of opportunity
o Managerial positions are extremely low (at present, 23/94 Directors in Kirkuk
are women, 1 women judge and 3 women lawyers exist)
o Women’s position as ‘head of household’ with an insufficient salary

 Lack of services
o Deficit of CSOs and NGOs in Kirkuk dedicated to women’s rights
o No shelter for women
o No provision of support for victims of domestic violence

Suggestions towards resolving these problems:

 Develop women’s networks in different areas such as domestic violence
 Focus on Constitutional amendments
 Gender equality and quota system
 Promotion of education


Following the Women’s Forum plenary session, this workshop aimed to continue the
discussion on the role of women in a transitional Iraq, and also in Kirkuk specifically.

 Women’s participation in society (Kirkuk and Iraq in general) is limited through
legislation and also traditions (culture and social)
 On equality – implementing a quota system to ensure equal opportunities in
employment may cause problems and the balance could shift
 Issue of discrimination in the selection process
 Disconnection between women who do enter politics and the women who then vote
for such representatives

Further discussion on:

 Capacity-building in order to create the space for CSOs and NGOs
 Networks to discuss the ‘new Iraq’ vis-à-vis cultural norms and traditions

New FCT Member City: Tripoli Presentation*

The delegates from Tripoli aimed to connect many of the problems experienced in their city
with those affecting Kirkuk, including the ways in which the on-going conflict in Syria, whose
borders are significantly close to Tripoli, has exacerbated the fragile relationships between
Sunni Muslims and Alewites.

These included:

 Historical context of co-existence and later conflict
 Displacement of people

 The harmful role of the military in conflict
 Different components living together in the city (Arabs, Armenians, Turks, Greeks -
Christians, Muslims, Alewites, Sunnis)
 The spread of sectarianism

Economic consequences

 Deprived regions
 Inadequate central government support
 Lack of FDI / domestic investment
 The need for diversification, explore new industries
 High unemployment
 Altogether, the movement of people to neighbouring cities as a result of the above


 ‘Educational elite’ leaving Tripoli
 Private education dwindling
 Negligence of encouraging education
 Physical education – “everything is politicized, even sport.”

The mass movement of people leaving Tripoli to neighbouring Syria was by in large a result
of the insecurity and poverty growing in the city.

The delegates emphasized the importance of civil society in helping to solve these problems
(also for Kirkuk):

 Strengthen the capacity and scope of CSOs and NGOs as the work they carry out is
influential in Tripoli

Economic development in Kirkuk

During this plenary session, it became apparent that the issues facing Kirkuk’s progress in
economic development are inseparable from many constitutional, political and social issues.
The issue of budget allocation to Kirkuk impacts the amount in which the KPC can allocate to
projects such as irrigation.

The recognition for the need to change is evident as the panel stated vital issues that have to
be addressed:

 Banking sector reform (weak, inefficient and very difficult to receive a bank loan;
cases of discrimination based on ethnicity)
 Promotion and restructuring of agricultural production and output
 Encouraging investment to Kirkuk
 Diversify, move away from sole reliance on oil / petrol industry
 Implement a framework to resolve the 42,000 land dispute cases (at present, 5%


The key issues that were raised in this plenary highlighted the urgency of Kirkuk’s economic
stalemate with also the legacy of Iraq’s former regimes’ socialist policy.

Economic development legacy issues:

 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is largely absent in Kirkuk much owed to the
insecurity and
 Education is required as a lack of expertise is evident in many sectors of the economy
 Inherited practices, internally, prohibit capital flow
 Confidence building is required


Outstanding issues of compensation and land disputes were discussed in this workshop.
These issues present very serious consequences in Kirkuk regarding the mentality,
motivation, and trust of the people towards security and political authorities; this is most
serious for the legitimacy of the KPC.

Agricultural development

Kirkuk must aim to overcome the decline in interest of its industries and potential sectors for
investment. In addition, a diversification of the economic development plan for Kirkuk must
be implemented urgently. The concentration of efforts and investment in the oil and
petroleum sector neglects the agricultural potential of Kirkuk province.

Stalling agricultural development: disputed properties and farmers are unable to receive
loans from the inefficient Iraqi banking sector.

Suggestions to alleviate these problems:

 Create the space for investment
 Establish a role for CSOs to raise awareness
 Research soil fertility (make this an immediate priority) in order to maximize output
and resolve the uncharted problem of irrigation in many areas of the province
 Confidence building among farmers, perhaps establish a Farmers Union
 Develop education programmes for farmers and those involved in agriculture –
investigate potential EU support

Youth and Social Media

Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica youth leaders Ardiana Osmai and Milos Golubovic launched
the FCT Youth Forum as an outcome of FCT Kirkuk. The Youth Forum is meant to be a safe
space for positive changes in our Forum cities.

The benefits of the media / social media towards bridging relations among youths in Kirkuk
and also throughout Iraq were addressed by the panel as:


 Platform for expression and communication between different components of Kirkuk
 Ability to voice opinions
 Develop training and education programmes on how to use computers, media
related technology
 Excellent benefits for future employment both in Iraq and outside
 Co-existence and cooperation
 “One of the main tools that can reach between the people in a divided community”
 “If you want to solve the problem of your city, then you must work together” –


Despite the positive advantages in promoting the use of social media, many view the use of
Facebook, for example, as an opportunity to rebel against the GOI. The correct use of such
media tools is important to stress.


Kaduna’s Imam Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye announce Kaduna will host FCT 2013


In accordance with the mission statement of the FCT, the emphasis of the Kirkuk 2102
gathering was on the realization of practical outcomes that would assist Kirkuk and the
participating cities improve the daily lives of their citizens, and enhance engagement
between officials, NGOs, and residents.

As a result of the extensive one-to-one networking, bilateral as well as multilateral
deliberations that took place among city delegations in Kirkuk, both in formal and informal
sessions, the following projects were pledged as the outcomes of the 2012 Forum for Cities
in Transition gathering:


 Work with Hasan Turan from the Kirkuk Provincial Council to have Kirkuk Police
Service participate in 2013 Police and Firemen Games in Belfast
 Organise a Policing and Community Relations seminar for police services
attending the 2013 Police and Firemen Games in Belfast
 Encourage closer economic links between Belfast and Kirkuk (utilising Invest
NI's office in Erbil)
 Share good practice on promoting equality with cities in transition
 Investigate with Queen's University Belfast the possibility of a conflict
resolution conference in 2015


 Continue the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) ~ Police Service of Northern Ireland
(PSNI) Training exchange.
 Send a Derry-Londonderry delegation to a Forum Youth Conference (Mitrovica)
 Offer a history, truth, and reconciliation (HTR) programme to Tripoli (provided
by Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry-Londonderry)
 Investigate involvement with the peace studies project at INCORE, Derry-


 Host the 2013 annual gathering of the Forum for Cities in Transition


 Highlight of 500 projects per year as per annual plan
 Focus on making 400 new hospital beds available
 Install smart meters to monitor electricity usage
 Plan for a convention centre and guest house
 Support youth, women and children (especially those with disabilities)
 Improve the Domestic Protection Unit within the police service


 Continue the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) ~ Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
Training exchange
 Host an FCT Youth Conference
 Send a Mitrovica delegation to the youth summer camp in Lebanon
 Participate in a "Building Board" at the Cultural Centre, Mitrovica
 Explore potential of applying an economic development plan


 Open up participation in discussion Forum issues on youth radio station


 Provide 2 persons to participate in a youth exchange visit with Tripoli


 Discuss culture of mediation
 Develop youth together and community projects
 Deliver free street art projects


 Yearly FCT Publication (see 2012 Shared Space journal, Northern Ireland
Community Relations Council)

The effectiveness of the FCT depends on the above outcomes being translated into action.
The FCT Secretariat will monitor outcome pledges and follow up on every outcome agreed
to ensure implementation but ultimately, responsibility for and action towards project
implementation belongs to the cities themselves.


FCT Mitrovica Youth Leaders Ardiana Osmani and Milos Golubovic with Kirkuk Youth Volunteers.

Each year the Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) participants are reminded that the FCT
only works if those attending carry out the commitments they made at the close of the
previous year’s gathering. Each gathering is a continuation of the work of the previous
year. At the end of the Kirkuk 2012 gathering each city once again committed itself at the
final plenary session to implement a project(s) before the 2013 gathering.

In this sense, the Kirkuk gathering was not a conference per se but a continuation of the
proceedings that began in Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica in May 2010, again in Derry-
Londonderry in 2011, and demonstrates a commitment to work together in the interim
when they reconvene in Kaduna, Nigeria in 2013.

The Forum for Cities in Transition (FCT) is explicitly grounded in there being tangible
outcomes at the close of each gathering, a commitment made by each city to carry out a
project that will further transition, reconciliation, and development in its own city and/or
to help one of its sister cities where its expertise in a particular area can be of significant
benefit. Commitments are designed so that cities on the higher rungs of transition assist
those on the lower rungs. They are embodied in the principle that divided cities collectively
can do together what they cannot do separately.



0930-1000 Opening Plenary

 Mr Hasan Turan Bahaeldin (Chairman of Kirkuk Provincial Council)
 Dr Najmaldin Karim (Governor of Kirkuk)
 Mr Turhan Hassan Al Mufty (Minister of Regions Affairs)
 Professor Padraig O’Malley (Director, Forum for Cities in Transition)

1000-1045 Presentation by Kirkuk
History, culture, community and background

1130-1230 Panel Discussion: Provision of Municipal Services

 Ali Mahdi (KPC Chief of Services Committee)
 Dilshad Perot (KPC Chief of the Projects Committee)
 Abdulkareem Hassan (Municipality DG)
 Yallchin Mahdi (Electricity DG)
 Abdulqader Mohammed Amen (Water DG)
 Dr Sideeq Omar (Health DG)
 Shin Omar Mubarak (Education DG)
 Zainab (Social Affairs)
 Ali Al Salihi (KPC Chief of the Energy Affairs Committee)
 Jamal Mawlood, Fouad Hussein, Majat Hussein, Halla Nooreldin, Nisreen Khalid (KPC
Services Committee)


0930-1100 Panel Discussion: Constitutional Issues: The Path to Harmony

 Mr Hassan Turan Bahaeldin (Chairman of KPC)
 Halla Nooreldin (KPC Legal Committee)
 Awat Amen (KPC Legal Committee)
 Tahsin Kahiya (KPC Legal Committee)
 Babakr Sideeq (KPC Legal Committee)
 Mohamood Mohammed (KPC Legal Committee)

1115-1230 Presentation by Northern Ireland Peace Process Team

With particular reference to commonalities between the situation in Kirkuk and Northern

 Quintin Oliver (Stratagem, Northern Ireland)
 Séan Farren (SDLP Negotiator)
 Jeffrey Donaldson MP (DUP Negotiator)
 Christopher Maccabe (Former Senior Official, Northern Ireland Office (NIO))
 Peter Shirlow (Queen's University Belfast)
 Daithi O'Ceallaigh (Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland)


0930-1100 Panel Discussion: Policing and Security

 Quintin Oliver (Stratagem, Northern Ireland)
 Chris Yates (Superintendent, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI))
 Kingsley Donaldson (Director, Causeway Institute)
 Jon Burrows (Foyle Commander, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI))
 Adel Zenalabideen
 Mohmmed Kamal (KPC Security Committee)
 Ahmed Al Askary (KPC Security Committee)
 Ali Mahdi (KPC Security Committee)
 Erfan Kirkukly (KPC Security Committee)

1115-1230 Panel Discussion: Women's Issues

 Juana Hassan Aref (Chief, KPC Women, Motherhood & Childhood Affairs Committee)
 Emanuela Del Re (EPOS)
 Guillen Ahmed (KPC Women's Committee)
 Ramla Hameed (KPC Women's Committee)
 Silvanna Bwiya (KPC Women's Committee)
 Layla Mohammed (KPC Women's Committee)
 Awyzan Noori (Women Activist)
 Runak Ali (Women Activist)
 Khilod Abdulrazq (Women Activist)
 Qadriya Al Dheyai (Women Activist)
 Amal Joor (Women Activist)



0930-1045 Panel Discussion: Economic Development and the Role of Agriculture

 Rakan Sa'aed (Kirkuk Deputy Governor)
 Falah Abdulrahman (Investment Commission)
 Sabah Salihi (Kirkuk Trade Chamber)
 Mardan Hameed (Agriculture Deputy DG)
 Jamal Mawlood (KPC Finance and Economic Committee)
 Raad Rushdi (KPC Finance and Economic Committee)
 Ibraheem Khalil (KPC Finance and Economic Committee)
 Sweetlin Astifan (KPC Finance and Economic Committee)
 Ramla Hameed (KPC Finance and Economic Committee)
 Burhan Al Asi' (KPC Agriculture Affairs Committee)

1115-1215 Special Panel Discussion: Youth and Social Media

 Aari Jabari (President, INSAN Iraqi Society)
 Qais Qazaz
 Mansor
 Ahmed Ramzi
 Yarub Talal
 Rita Gorial
 Ardiana Osmani (FCT Youth Forum)
 Milos Golubovic (FCT Youth Forum)
 Mohammed Khalil (KPC NGO Committee)
 Sahera Saifeldin (KPC NGO Committee)

1500-1600 Plenary Session: Conference Outcomes

 Padraig O'Malley (FCT Director)
 Nancy Riordan (FCT Secretariat)
 Review of 2011 & 2012 outcomes
 City declarations of specific, small-scale projects to be delivered for the Forum's
annual conference 2013
 Selection of host city for Forum's 2012 Conference

Appendix II 2011 Derry-Londonderry FCT Outcomes
1. Will work with Nicosia to produce a film festival about peace building and
reconciliation, but which will require the engagement of all FCT cities.
2. Will create an exchange program with Nicosia to facilitate the exchange of
community volunteers between the two cities.
3. Will work with the PSNI on a policing project that will focus on protection of human

4. PSNI exchange includes Belfast.
5. Informal discussions to develop further links with Derry-Londonderry.

6. Will continue the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) - Police Service of Northern Ireland
(PSNI) Training exchange.
7. Will convene a one day retreat for members of the Derry Forum committee to
explore ways in which Derry-Londonderry can combat sectarianism with the
intention of defining the modalities of programs reflecting their deliberations to the
school authorities in their respective communities with a view to having a program
with similar content accepted and becoming part every school’s curriculum.
8. Will (with Ramallah and Kaduna) develop college links and lectures (retired faculty) to
run various training classes; Will explore with the relevant authorities how Derry-
Londonderry might initiate a process for granting Kaduna students scholarships
9. Will encourage cultural tourism kick starting it with visits by members of the Derry-
Londonderry tourism office to a number of cities with a view to having them as
guests for Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013.

10. Will assist Ramallah with a platform for diaspora fundraising.
11. Will engage further with the Women’s Forum with a view to hosting a group of
women in Haifa.
12. Will establish a diverse multicultural centre for dialogue. Research will be presented
in 2012.

13. Accessibility of postal services to residents from East Jerusalem
14. Equalization for rights and services that are given to school children in East and West
Jerusalem (received an approval from the city council for extra budget for this
15. Two new baby-clinics in East Jerusalem (since last year, delegates opened one new
16. Two new welfare offices in East Jerusalem
17. Equalize the queuing time for Arabs and Jews in municipal tax office
18. Equalizing salary for community social workers from East Jerusalem
19. Implementation of a city regulation - Free dental examinations for all kids (ages 6-16)
including children from East Jerusalem.

20. Organize a local FCT in Jerusalem: with a long conference or a long series of meetings
for high level officials, managers and deputy mayors from East Jerusalem with
community leaders, religious leaders and activists from ease Jerusalem to share
experiences, challenges (including challenges of working with the other side) already
partly funded.

21. Will come to Derry-Londonderry for a learning visit regarding hosting the FCT
conference in 2013.
22. Invite IFI officials to visit Kaduna to explore the possibility to set up a Kaduna Fund.
23. Community exchange re: sectarianism with Ramallah (see Ramallah)
24. Will explore with the University of Ulster how to establish exchange programs both
at student and faculty levels.

25. Announced the City of Kirkuk will host the FCT conference in 2012.
26. Will work with the Northwest Regional College Derry-Londonderry to facilitate
exchanges of staff and students with the Kirkuk College of Technology.
27. Will work with Kaduna and Ramallah on sectarianism issues, with the three cities
committed initially to establish the modalities of how they might approach this
outcome using the FCT’s web site as the basis of communication and beginning the
dialogue; the ultimate goal of this commitment is multilateral exchanges among the
youth of these cities to take place in all three cities over a period of time.
28. Will explore the establishment of a fund similar to the International Fund for Ireland
(IFI) and draw on the expertise the IFI attendees offered.


29. Will continue the Kosovo Police Service (KPS) ~ Police Service of Northern Ireland
(PSNI) Training exchange.
30. Will avail themselves of the expertise of both Nicosia and Derry-Londonderry to
establish a business program, specifically designed to meet Mitrovica’s special needs.
31. Will continue to play a leading role in developing and implementing the Women’s

32. Will initiate an exchange with Nicosia: five Greek and 5 Turkish Cypriots to visit
Germany and in return send 5 Turk and 5 German youth to Nicosia, Cyprus.

33. Invited Director Padraig O’Malley to Mostar to meet with Mayor Beslic to gain
Municipal representation.
34. Will further train youth and professionals in Mostar in art and cultural activities,
concentrating on the use of art as a tool of reconciliation in conflicts.
35. Will exchange activities for art in public spaces and identify possible donors with the
Playhouse in Derry-Londonderry.

36. Will initiate a youth exchange with Mitte (see: Mitte).

37. Become actively engaged in the Women’s Forum.
38. Coordinate (all FCT city) film festival with Beirut.
39. Volunteer-Cultural exchange with Beirut.

40. Will host Muslims and Christians from Kaduna and develop an exchange program.
41. Will develop diaspora links for fundraising assisted by Haifa.

Appendix III Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica 2010 Outcomes:

 The Derry/Londonderry delegation announced that Derry/Londonderry will host the
FCT 2011 conference, subject to the Council’s formal compliance.
 The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and its Kosovo counterparts have agreed
a joint policing partnership under which they will exchange best practice and the PSNI
invited a team of Kosovo police officials representing both Kosovo/Albanian and
Serbian police officers for a study visit to Northern Ireland.
 The Haifa delegation will host members of the local volunteer corps from both
 Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica -- who were engaged in initial preparations for the
conference and served as a vital component of accessibility throughout the conference
-- in Haifa to learn from cross community youth initiatives that have proven successful
in bridging community divides in Haifa.
 The Derry/Londonderry delegates agreed to share their expertise on developing a
sports stadium with counterparts in Mitrovicë/Kosovska Mitrovica, a pivotal ingredient
of the MF business plan.
 The Nicosia delegation that visited the Kosovska Mitrovica business center will provide
technical assistance and knowledge transfer services to support it in establishing itself
and facilitating its operations.
 The Haifa delegation, which included members who are skilled in water infrastructure
management and attendant issues, will share that expertise with Mitrovicë/Kosovska
 The Dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies, University of
Massachusetts Boston, Steve Crosby, a conference observer, undertook to initiate
steps to try to place Ardiana Osmani and Milos Golubovic, assistants to Mia Marzouk,
the Mitrovica Forum coordinator, in one of the School’s programs, beginning in
September 2011.
 The Northern Ireland Foundation (NIF), co-secretariat arm of the FCT will confer two
special citizenship awards, the highest that the Foundation can award, on Vuk Mitrovic
and Sanja Mrkic for their sterling efforts in preparation for and at the event which will
be awarded in person in N. Ireland shortly as part of a study visit to NGOs and the
University of Ulster in N. Ireland.
 Kirkuk undertook to implement a stalled city wide partial clean-up and waste
management operation within environmentally friendly standards.
 The University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of Mitrovica will sign a
Memorandum of Understanding providing for exchanges of faculty and staff between
the two institutions
 Of the 15 participants from the four non founding cities -- Mostar, Beirut, Jerusalem
and Haifa -- 10 added their signatures to the “Call to Action”. The five others -- two
from Mostar, two from Jerusalem and one from Beirut, although fully endorsing the
document were unable to sign it, because they were attending the conference as
officially designated representatives of their cities or in the case of Beirut, the delegate
risked legal ramifications.


Call To Action

Forum for Cities
In Transition
Forum for Cities in Transition
April 14 – 16
, 2009

The Forum for Cities in Transition – whose members comprise four Cities (Derry/Londonderry,
Kirkuk, Kosovska Mitrovica and Mitrovica (south), Nicosia) – meeting in Boston, 14-16 April
2009, affirmed its commitment to promoting understanding between member cities with the
aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent
Even though we face different problems, challenges, and contexts, cities in transition can both
learn from, and offer lessons to, each other. We believe that this learning should be shared, so
that cities in transition can use the resources and knowledge of others to address these
People from societies in transition are in the best position to help people in other societies in
Basic Principles
The Forum identified basic principles upon which such positive outcomes can be achieved. We
call on leaders to uphold and apply these principles in policymaking and service delivery, and to
measure progress against them.
1) Respect for the dignity of every individual
2) Respect for the value of leadership in building trust and confidence across and within
3) Respect for human rights, equality, fairness and adherence to the rule of law, including
fair treatment of minorities
4) Respect for the value of dialogue between conflicting parties according to context
The participating cities affirmed:
1) That City to City workshops of this sort are effective, productive and valuable
2) That learning from each other’s successes and challenges is immensely empowering
3) That some external actors can act as an obstacle and a barrier to promoting joint
working and problem solving
4) That they create a Forum for Cities in Transition, with those present becoming founding
5) That the Forum’s purpose shall be to address common problems through expanding the
pool of knowledge from which to draw practical lessons
6) To develop and maintain an active network of individuals and cities present for mutual
7) To deepen and broaden the network by taking ownership of the Forum’s future, the
individuals signing here agree to take steps to explore how each of the cities involved
can plan to host future Forum annual events in their own territories in conjunction with
civil society and educational institutions
8) That the Secretariat for the Forum shall initially be provided by the Moakley Chair and
the Northern Ireland Foundation.