Country Name: Republic of IraqCommittee: General AssemblyRepresented by: Youngjun Seo, JasonTopic: Evaluation on the Millenium Development GoalsBackground InformationIt has been 18 years since the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, as eight common goals of the world for 2015, by the United Nation Millennium Declaration in September 8, 2000. Eight goals of MDG includes achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, dealing with HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases, strengthening global partnership, and especially focusing on eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality, and ensuring environmental sustainability. The MDGs were replaced by the SDGs in the year of 2015.The Government of Iraq targeted a reduction in poverty levels to 16% by 2015, but it ended up in 18.9% of population still has been living below national poverty line.
Iraq has taken a backward step since 1990 in its efforts to achieve full and productive employment for young people. Rising from 7% since 1990, the youth unemployment rate of 30% is now double the national average of 15%, far from what the government had targeted of 4% in 2015. Iraq remains generally on course for achieving gender equality in primary education enrolment. Women’s share of wage employment outside agriculture fell from 11% to 7% between 1990 to 2008.
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Just 18% of women aged 15 years and over participate in the labour force and 26% are illiterate. Iraq is targeting a 50% share of non-agricultural waged work for women by 2015, from 16% in 2004.The Proportion of households using an improved water source has remained around 80% since 1990. In rural areas, only 57% of households are to do so. Iraqi government set the goal of 91% of households to use improved water source. However, 26% of the population is covered by the public sewage network, dropping to 2% in rural areas, while 83% of Iraq’s wastewater is left untreated but contributing to the pollution of the waterways and environment.
UN PoliciesHuman Development Index that was established by United Nations Development Programme to “emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.” The Human Development Index is an overall measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: long and healthy life, being knowledgeable and having an adequate living conditions. From HDI, Iraqi government. World Food Programme(WFP) is supporting the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to change social safety nets. WFP provides sufficient nourishments to approximately 600,000 primary schools in Iraq by its “school feeding programme”.
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) also launched over 30 projects benefiting 713,000 citizens including rehabilitation of water By the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN has been trying several actions to equally treat all sides of gender discrimination. The UN Population Fund(UNFPA), founded in 1969, attempting to “deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, and every birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”. Family Support, Justice, and Security Project is organized by UNDP, “to help develop a strategy to ensure victims of domestic and gender based violence (GBV) are offered refuge, reintegration and access to justice”. Including UN, many organizations has been helping to promote gender equality: World Health Organization(WHO), UN Women, UNESCO, UNICEF, International Organization for Migration(IOM), United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA).Iraqi government established Ministry of Environment(MoE) in 2003. MoE seeks in its general approach, the adoption of the concepts of sustainable development and integrated environment managements: climate change, biodiversity, desertification, and ozone.
UNEP and Iraq MoE should prepare for the national strategy for environment and executive work plan regarding to practical use of green technology, green economy, and ecotourism. The National Environmental Strategy and Action Plan for Iraq in 2013 to 2017 was collaborated by United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the World Health Organization. “The Strategy mainly aims at developing and implementing environmental policy and plans; conducting audits, assessment and correction; and reviewing the management system.” Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) also launched over 30 projects benefiting 713,000 citizens including rehabilitation of water and UNOPS is working on capacity building in a various sectors and laid over 156,000 meters of water pipelines. SolutionsEven though limited data had delayed MDGs, poverty and human conditions in Iraq did not improve in 1990 considerably in recent years. Iraq has very low employment rate; 38% in 2008, and women have very low economic opportunities. Also, volatility of oil prices is another threatening factor of Iraq’s economy and shows the needs of economic diversifications. The People’s Republic of China had successfully helped 500 million of citizens out of poverty and reduced the East Asian poverty rate by 57%.
It would be almost impossible to repeat it, but Iraq believes that we can eradicate the causes of poverty by increasing the numbers of jobs, accelerating industrial and urbanization, using income growth by Universal Social Development, building national capacities for primary healthcare and sufficient time investment with at least 20 years to recover the losses of continuous armed conflicts since 1920 to present day. The government of Iraq strongly support eradication of poverty as the major issue that connects every other MDG goals.According to the UNEP and Iraq Ministry of Environment from the document of National Strategy and Action Plan of Iraq, the reasons of environmental detoriations are: population increase, urbanization, desertification, lack of environmental awareness, inadequate environmental monitoring systems, and wars and political situation of Iraqi government.
As a result, scarcity of water resources, air pollution, deterioration of biodiversity, and pollution of marine water increased. Water resources is considered as a major environmental issue in Iraq. Problems with infrastructure such as leaking sewage pipes and septic tanks contaminating public drinking water network. Lack of disaster preparedness and inefficient usage of water causes deficiency of quality and quantity of rural water supplies for drought and desertification. Iraqi government faces difficulties to get close with its target of 91% of households using an improved water supply, and major issues remain in addressing water quality.
Reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructures and improving wastewater treatment are major solution to use of safe water and sanitation.Under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN stated several women rights for gender equality: “transgender rights”, “reproductive rights”, “violence against women and female genital mutilation”, “wage gap and equal treatment of women in the workforce”. However, gender equality in Iraq needs to improve from ratifying legislative statements to balance political ideology, religious belief, and social idea regarding to gender inequality. The Constitution of Iraq, Article 14, states that all Iraqis are equal and laws prohibits discrimination based on sex.
However, according to the Iraqi Constitution also sites from Islam as a basis source of legislation. Article 41 from the Iraqi Constitution says each religious groups in Iraq to govern its own personal matters. As a result, the position of women in Iraq is based on Islamic laws which is based on male authority religion. Iraq had ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, but there should be ratification to balance the statements.