By Congrong Zheng
This blog will first start with a TED talk about the future of Iraq and also UN’s influence in Iraq from TEDxBaghdad.Martin Kobler is personally vested in the Middle East with a vast amount of diplomatic experience in the region.
Started from 1995, the United Nations has been operating in Iraq through multiple programs. According to UN Iraq,Specialized agencies established their offices in Iraq in the early 1990s, and others UN entities, like UNAMI, after 2003. “The United Nations Iraq (UN Iraq) works at the request of the government of Iraq to support national development efforts on political, electoral, and humanitarian levels. The UN advises and supports the government of Iraq and its people and works on capacity building to strengthen people and institutions during the democratic transition.”
Specifically, UN Iraq has helped Iraq to conduct numerous electoral events since 2003, including voter registration updates in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 and national and governorate council elections in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2013.
For employment, UNOPS and the International Labour Organization (ILO) supported the first national employment policy, while the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) trained over 7,000 Iraqis in agro-industrial and manufacturing skills, and rehabilitated more than 20 vocational centers.
On the front page of UN Iraq, they showed a story about how UNIDO helped local entrepreneurs, Anwar Hussein has changed his life and his business. UNIDO offered business courses at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). By attending to these courses, Anwar is able to expand his skills and get bank loans. His revenue increased by 35-45 percent. In addition, he owns a 50-percent share in a gas station, and water and electricity generators that support the city of Thi-Qar.
Reflecting on his journey with EDC, Anwar says that “starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. EDC taught me how to maintain and grow my business.”