New national human development report to focus on youth in Iraq

20 Nov 2011

Istanbul - A team of Iraqi and international officials and experts concluded a two day consultation in Istanbul to finalize the preparations for producing Iraq’s 2012 National Human Development Report.

The Report, the third so far, will have a thematic focus on Youth, a topic which is highly relevant in the context of  current  events in the Arab Region and the many challenges that are confronting  Iraq youth.

Iraq is one of the most youthful countries in the world—nearly half of its population of 30 million is less than 19 years old. Unemployment among Iraqi youth is 30%, double the national average. Unemployment in the in the Middle East is 10%.

“The Government of Iraq welcomes the preparations to produce this report as it will provide tools to empower youth and respond to their needs" said Dr. Yousuf Ali Al-Shukri the Iraqi Minister of Planning. “Youth in Iraq carry burdens of neglect, and marginalization due to decades of conflict and wars. They deserve to be able to shape their own bright future and live a happy and prosperous life" he added.

Iraq has previously  prepared two National Human Development Reports. The first was prepared in 1995 highlighting the impact of the international sanctions on the Iraqi population. The second, published in 2008, focused on Human Security in Iraq and aimed to assess the development situation in the country following the regime change in 2003. It supported the reconstruction and development process and made a key reference to the National Development Plan for 2010-2014.

“I praise the Government of Iraq for their ownership in preparing to produce such an important   Report and the leadership they have already shown in working with UNDP and other partners to produce a high quality report with new human development statistics on youth" said Peter Batchelor, Country Director of UNDP Iraq. “UNDP and sister UN agencies like UNFPA and UNICEF stand ready to support the process to ensure we produce a high quality report that meets international standards" Batchelor added.

The Iraqi delegation was led by the Minister of Planning, Dr. Yousuf Ali Al-Shukri, and included high level representatives from various ministries in Baghdad and Erbil, academia and civil society. International participants included the New-York based Human Development Report Office, the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, the UNDP Regional Centre in Cairo, and representatives from UNDP Country Offices in the region (Egypt, Morocco and Turkey), ESCWA, and participants from UNFPA, UNICEF and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Iraq.

“The Government of Iraq is strongly committed to supporting UNDP in publishing this Report. The drafting process will contribute to a further strengthening of the relationship between the Government and the United Nations, and between the Government and Iraqi youth” said Mr. Al-Shukri in his closing remarks.

Contact Information

Juliette Touma, Communication Specialist, UNDP Iraq, Tel: +962-79-826-34-37, Email: juliette.touma@undp.org