News » Hope, help and empowerment for Iraqi Christians

Monday, November 28, 2016

Hope, help and empowerment for Iraqi Christians

FICDD, Christian Political Foundation for Europe, UPGO University and DTRC held a conference with 60 representatives of Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian political parties, NGO’s, Women-organisations, Academics and young people. The goal was to create a communication mechanism between these organisations and relevant counterparts in the EU with the goal of creating conditions for the return of this community to their homelands (as called for by several European Parliament resolutions, the latest at 27 October 2016).

The conference opened with a general explanation of the partners, overall goal and agenda of the conference. After this a lively conversation opened that demonstrated the need for this conference. The main question was what went wrong so far in communication in light of expectations and disappointment existing in the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian community. This was related with previous meetings with other European organisations and politicians. One clear conclusion from this exchange was that the community lacked permanent common communication mechanisms which hampered constructive follow-up as both sides got lost in the complexity of the other. 
This conversation was therefore the right start for this event and based on the pressing needs of the community it was clear that more common effort was needed to achieve empowerment via clearer permanent communication of the challenges and needs, especially towards the EU. 
This lead to the next step which was the effort of inventarising the needs of the community and define these as  Political party, NGO, women’s organisation, academic and youth representatives. The next conference blocks were dedicated to the structure, nature and mentality of the EU and how to create a more effective cooperation with the relevant EU bodies politicians, NGO’s and other European organisations. Much time was spent on the Christian-democrat mentality of the EU in terms of emphasis on cooperation, reconciliation, ability to compromise, human dignity and minority rights.

The conference was closed successfully as the political parties as well as other bodies created joint committees to prepare the next steps towards a more effective cooperation with relevant European partners.  The goal of the cooperation of the political parties is to prepare a complete political, security and rebuilding program for the liberated areas of Nineveh Plain with the specific target to present this plan to the EU and EU Member States.

At Sunday 27 November representatives of all organising partners made a field trip to the following liberated towns and villages: Qaraqosh, Bartholla and Karemlesh. This strengthened the resolve of all partner organisations to continued support for the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian community in their efforts to receive support from the EU to enable their return to their homeland of Nineveh Plain.