PES conference in Iraq: Defeating terrorists is only the beginning

PES conference in Iraq: Defeating terrorists is only the beginning

The conference in Sulaymaniyah was held under the title ‘The challenges of ending the conflict: Defending freedom from terror, protecting refugees, and promoting democracy’.

“Our country will need moral and financial support from European partners to rebuild communities and provide new opportunities for the people,” said Qubad Talabani, deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan regional government, who spoke at the event.

Representatives from the Party of European Socialists included President Sergei Stanishev, Vice-President Jan Royall, PES Women President Zita Gurmai and MPs and MEPs from PES member parties around Europe. Iraqi officials, political leaders from the region and representatives from the Arab Social Democratic Forum also attended the conference.

Sergei Stanishev said:

“If we don’t address the root causes of terror – insecurity for the people, the power vacuum, non-functioning social and economic systems – then of course there will more radicalisation, and the risk of more young people being charmed or cheated into the ranks of Daesh.

“Europe’s social democrats stand ready to help our friends and partners in Iraq in any way.”

PES deputy secretary general Giacomo Filibeck coordinated the conference, which was organised in partnership with the Arab Social Democratic Forum, Solidar, the Global Progressive Forum, Olaf Palme Foundation and the Progressive Alliance.

Following the conference, delegates visited nearby refugee camps and trenches at Arbat and Peshmerga.