Kurdistan 2033, The New Generation Movement Strategy for a Developed Kurdistan

10/30/2018 2:54:45 PM

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Shaswar Abdulwahid
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The Kurdistan Region stands at a crossroads and the decisions that are made today will have an effect far into the future. To successfully navigate these dangerous times, the Region needs a political movement that envisions a decisive, new future: one that strives to build an inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Kurdistan where human rights, individual liberties, women’s rights, power sharing, economic development, tolerance, and compassion are society’s guiding principles. That movement needs to be decisive in its support for these values, eschewing the systems of patronage that are so damaging to society.

The Kurdistan Region needs to undertake a brave new change, unafraid to take on the large and complicated problems that require constructive dialogue with the Iraqi government. The New Generation Movement can resolve the issues between Erbil and Baghdad and make the Iraqi Constitution for our citizens.
We will do this in a way that empowers women and girls in political decision-making. Women and girls should not be used to decorate the table of politicians. Their role in decision-making must be equal to that of men. 

In the spirit of transparency and openness, the New Generation Movement is making its policy goals public by releasing this detailed fifteen-year plan. Drawing on the expertise of numerous advisors, this plan outlines three phases of development for the most important parts of our society.
New Generation will work hard to become the largest party in the Region. For too long, the chaotic multi-party governments have divided the cake of government amongst themselves and, as a result, failed the people. This arrangement enables the old political forces to avoid taking for their own failures. New Generation seeks to form a majority government capable of implementing a cohesive, progressive policy agenda to end that practice. 

Unlike the older parties, New Generation does not look for excuses for its failures or others to blame. It is committed to governing with accountability and transparency. Success or failure would be measured by the welfare of the citizens, not the fortunes of the movement’s leadership. If we fail in that regard, we should not remain in power.

This fifteen-year policy program put forward by the New Generation Movement requires harmony and stability to be successful. Ensuring peace and coexistence is central to this plan. Therefore, as a way of introduction, I would like to discuss these issues in greater detail.

First, peace within the Kurdistan Region means creating an atmosphere of coexistence and tolerance that ensures a diverse and inclusive society between citizens of different ethnic and religious groups, all holding equal rights and responsibilities. We are all endowed with human rights that stem our common humanity and are not granted on the basis of religion, ethnicity, or gender. We are all citizens of Kurdistan or the people under our protection. The New Generation Movement serves all equally.

A matter that has particular relevance for the Kurdistan Region is the historical tension between our political parties. While we all have strongly held beliefs and will firmly challenge each other on policy. Nevertheless, we are all also from this region and country. We should respect each other and ensure that our rivalry never reaches a point where we undermine our common identity or depend on external forces to resolve our differences. Developing the homeland is the first and foremost duty of us as citizens and as political parties. Maintaining peace within the borders of the Kurdistan Region is all of our responsibility, regardless of our partisan affiliation.

Second, in terms of maintaining peace in the disputed territories, no government or military force has been able to resolve the issue using force. The last one who attempted to do so was Saddam Hussein, who failed to impose his will on the area around Kirkuk or on the Kurdistan Region, even with one million fighters and armed men. Peace in this contested zone stems from a commitment to tolerance, political stability, and economic development. Kurds should respect all other ethnicities, religions, and sects in these areas. Providing good governance would demonstrate the positive benefit of living under the umbrella of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). If a referendum were to be held in the future, residents in the disputed areas would want to choose this government freely. Kurds should use a discourse of coexistence. 
Third, in order to have a stable and progressive Kurdistan Region, we need a strong relationship between the Region and Iraq. Our Region stands to benefit from a peaceful, democratic Iraq and we should aim to build a mutually beneficial partnership with the government in Baghdad. War reached our region and thousands of this our sons and daughters became victims. The strategy of the New Generation is for the Region to have a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with a democratic Iraq, where both respect each other’s institutions. 

Fourth, New Generation believes that none of the three above-mentioned points can be realized if the Kurdistan Region does not have a good relationship with neighboring countries, especially Iran and Turkey. This relationship must be one based on mutual respect. The fate of the Kurdistan Region is linked to those countries. Successful development of the Region hinges of having positive trade relations and a stable security situation with them. When in power, New Generation will attempt to strengthen these relationships without surrendering any of its autonomy. In exchange, Iran and Turkey should respect the Kurdistan Region, its government, and its people and treat it as a sovereignty entity. Conducting regional relations in this manner is immeasurably preferable to that of the past and it will be the goal of New Generation to do so.
Political stability and peace leads to economic development: It is an issue of primary importance for the New Generation. because without a strong economy, we cannot realize the true potential of the Kurdistan Region. In the following pages, we outline the policy program of the New Generation Movement. In it we address the issues of the economic well-being of the people and government, the health care and education of its citizens, the environment, and the peshmerga. Without a strong economy, we cannot effectively tackle these issues. Without a healthy, well-educated, verdant, and secure society, we cannot meet our economic potential.

This fifteen-year plan of the New Generation Movement has been divided into three different phases for each sector: a one-year plan, a four-year plan, and a fifteen-year plan. We have attempted to be as detailed and open as possible, while recognizing that some of the finer points will change as we adapt to new circumstances. Nevertheless, the values inherent to this plan – transparency, good governance, accountability, and stability – will not change. As a new political force, we offer a vision that looks forward to a Kurdistan Region that is stable, progressive, and prosperous and ask the people of Kurdistan to help us meet that goal.

Shaswar Abdulwaheed Qadir
President of the New Generation Movement