Speech by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim: Fulfilling Iraq’s Potential

 

March 26, 2016

 

World Bank Group President Jim Yong KimParliament, Baghdad, Iraq

As Prepared for Delivery

Mr. Speaker, Members of Parliament, Mr. Secretary General, and distinguished guests. It is a great honor to address you today from the home of one of the first great legislator, Hammurabi.  His Code helped shape Babylonian society into the form of government that Iraq strives for today – one that is united, prosperous and based on the rule of law.

So it is with great optimism that I deliver this message: Even in the face of substantial challenges, democracy is taking root in Iraq.

Iraq has chosen the path of political inclusion – a decision that created difficult challenges and holds great promise. It also makes for a noisier political climate. It requires acceptance of the Iraqi people’s differences, diversity and plurality, and the creation of public space to allow for their expression. It requires political compromises to build the broad coalitions needed to achieve national goals. As complex as it may seem, as difficult as it may be, political inclusion is part of the critical path to long-term stability. All of these challenges are, in fact, signs of strength.

The history of the Mashreq shows this to be true. Inclusive societies here have been stable and prosperous. Drawing on the region’s diversity to bolster governing institutions, they leveraged the skill and capacity of the entire population in service of the public good. Balancing central authority with local autonomy, leaders built legitimacy and earned the people’s trust. And public investment in effective governance and infrastructure promoted social development and commerce.

In contrast, regimes that entrenched division – through sectarian appointments or discrimination based on identity – failed. Dynasties that over-centralized authority – leaving regions and municipalities with little control over local matters – fell. And where taxation and distribution of resources were unequal, grievances festered, generating challenges to authority.

In recent months, your parliament has heeded these lessons in working with the government to tackle daunting challenges, including conflict and economic crisis. For example, the forces fighting against Da’esh have used the skill and capacity of a variety of communities to reclaim Iraqi lands. This success shows the power and impact Iraqis can have when they work together in common cause.

You have also struck an effective balance between central authority and local autonomy, backing emergency measures to improve local governance and earn the public’s trust in liberated areas. Your approval allowed $350 million dollars of support from the World Bank for local authorities to help restore basic infrastructure and public services to Iraqi citizens in territories freed from Da’esh’s control. Our joint work assessing the needs of regions, cities and municipalities affected by the conflict and displacement will continue to show the important interplay between local governance and federal leadership.  Federal support of this important work by regional and municipal governments helps provide for the needs of the Iraqi people and promotes the State’s legitimacy.

Meanwhile, investments in reforms at the federal level have helped cushion the blow of low oil prices and improved governance, laying the groundwork for future development and prosperity. Your efforts to strengthen the social protection system means that more public resources flow to the vulnerable. Ending the monopoly of the public banks and increasing the role of the private sector in power generation will increase competitiveness and improve the economy’s strength and diversity. The World Bank Group has provided $1.2 billion dollars to support this reform effort – the largest direct financing we’ve ever provided to a country in the Middle East and North Africa.

You have also paired investments in infrastructure with these improvements in governance, creating important opportunities to capitalize on the potential of Iraq’s geographic location. The country is at the center of a strategic region, where economic integration is a key to future peace and prosperity. This parliament approved, two years ago, an ambitious, far reaching and strategic operation aimed at opening Iraq to its regional environment. Repair and reconstruction of Route 1 in the south, and the border crossing from the north to Turkey, are key bridges to Iraq’s future as an even greater trading hub. We plan to expand on these efforts, which were the product of a strong partnership involving the Government, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, and illustrates what we can accomplish for the Iraqi people by working together.

Imagine what more progress in these areas could mean for the future. With a GDP of almost $200 billion dollars, Iraq is one of the largest economies in the Middle East, even after years of conflict. Its central location and multiple frontiers mean that its stability and growth could have a transformative impact on the entire region. We believe that Iraq’s success can bring stability and prosperity to hundreds of millions of people.

This is one reason the World Bank is deeply invested in helping Iraqis build a path to a better tomorrow. It’s also why Iraq will feature prominently in our plans to invest $20 billion dollars in the Middle East and North Africa’s development by 2021 – three times the amount of the last five years.

Making the most of this opportunity means Iraq must continue building the foundations of an inclusive society. We believe that three steps are critical:

First: Looking beyond the traditional social, cultural and geographic boundaries in Iraq, let me suggest that the best way to protect and preserve the cohesion of the country is to do what your forbears did – empower all its regions, and give more capacity to local government, all the way to the municipal level.
The World Bank can help take this effort to new heights. We proposed using financial support to reward those local governments that can prove they are able to build an inclusive system of governance and deliver quality public services. This financing would build on the emergency measures you previously approved, delivering substantially more funds and technical knowledge to assist municipalities directly.

Second, Iraq needs to diversify its economy. The key to success is to create incentives for the private sector to invest in Iraq. This would unleash the creativity and the genius of the Iraqi people and help Iraqis produce cutting-edge services and tools. You, the representatives of the people, have the capacity to adopt laws that would open the door for young entrepreneurs, who are eager to take risks and engage in new ventures.

Third, Iraq needs to put its economic house in order, reducing waste of precious resources, strengthening accountability, and undertaking important, necessary reforms. In the energy sector, for example, reforms must address subsidies which contribute to chronic and pervasive shortages of electricity. When cash transfers targeting the poor and the needy replace subsidies, efficiency and equity improves and citizens’ voices grow stronger. Inefficient State Owned Enterprises that stifle private sector development need to be reformed, so a more vibrant entrepreneurial sector can emerge.  Better citizen engagement leads to more scrutiny on government spending –fighting corruption, right-sizing the public work force and instilling transparency are critical to promoting the legitimacy and sustainability of Iraq’s public sector. Through demonstrating a commitment to such real changes, we hope Iraq can find the support it seeks to relieve its immense fiscal pressures in the light of significantly reduced oil prices.

Excellencies, members of parliament – the Iraqi people need you. As their democratically elected leaders, your work is critical to helping them reach their full potential.

For centuries, Iraq was the example of human development in the Arab World. Iraqi universities attracted students from all over the world; they delivered high levels of quality education. My hope is that Iraq will play this role once again.

To get there, you must foster individual opportunity through quality public services and an open and competitive business climate. You will need to ensure that oil revenues are shared by all Iraqis. Even in the face of immense setbacks and challenges, the only hope is to rely on the strength and fortitude of the people, through strong, inclusive and resilient institutions.

Let me close by saying that through war, violence and strife, the Iraqi people have shown the world the meaning of resistance, resilience, courage and nobility. Shahamaa.

Iraq has a deep and rich history, upon which to build a bright and prosperous future. You, the representatives of the people, have taken upon yourselves the responsibility to lead this great country towards that future.

I make this commitment here today: The World Bank will be on your side, and on the side of every Iraqi citizen, for each step of this long journey toward justice, development, peace and shared prosperity.

Thank you for the privilege of speaking with you today. Shukraan jazilaa

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/speech/2016/03/26/speech-world-bank-group-president-jim-yong-kim-iraq-potential

Dr. Haidar al-Abadi Prime Minister receives Secretary General of the United Nations and the heads of the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank

 

 

2 6-3-201 6
Mr. Prime Minister , Dr. Haider al – Abadi said Iraqis ‘ ability to emerge from the current crisis stronger, indicating that the country overcome the ordeal and will cross to safety and frees its territory and strengthens the economy.
This came during the sovereignty of the Secretary General of the United Nations , Mr. Ban Ki -moon and World Bank President Jim Jonk Kim and President of the Islamic development Bank Ahmed Mohammed and held a meeting with them.
He welcomed Dr. Abadi delegation who came to assist Iraq in reforms and his support in thefight against terrorism , noting that Iraq is making big victories and frees its territory.
He referred to the terrorist gangs commit crimes and anecdotal evidence yesterday by targeting the playground in (Alexandria) Babylon shows how Agramha and the whole world knows that these gangs threaten all countries and not Iraq alone.
among that we have begun a program of reform through a substantial reduction in spending and encourage the private sector and diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil and theimplementation of plans in the industrial, agricultural, financial and administrative sectors .
turn voiced Ban Ki – moon of the United Nations for Iraq to support the implementation ofcomprehensive reforms and the liberalization of its territory , congratulating the triumphs of the security forces of the army and police and Peshmerga and mobilize popular and clans and wished the continued liberalization of Fallujah and Mosul.
he gave Ban Ki – moon condolences to the victims of the bombings on the football pitch and thevictims of all the bombings.
He renewed his call for the international community to support Iraq , and that any support consult and approval of Iraq and his government called on the government to enforce the law and the authority of the state.
in between World Bank President to visit Iraq is to support and assign Iraq and support thesteps the President of the reformist ministers and we need increased efforts to fight corruption and gang terror.
He announced the allocation of $ 250 million to restore stability to the liberated areas ,indicating that the international community stands with Iraq to build an Iraq that serves all its citizens.
as comforted the Islamic development Bank , the Iraqi people , the President of the bombings that took place yesterday in the sports stadium , expressing the Islamic Bank in solidarity with the Iraqi people.
He announced the readiness Islamic Bank to hold a conference to support and assign areas that have been liberated from the terrorism.
He announced his support for Iraq and the Prime Minister on his reform agenda and encourage investment in the liberated areas.

http://pmo.iq/press2016/26-3-20161.htm

 

Attorney Ihsanoglu delivers Ban Ki-moon personally file presented by the Turkmen Daash of chemical weapons

 

 

History of edits:: 03/26/2016 16:568 visits readable
{Baghdad: Euphrates News} handed the House of Representatives decision on mass citizen Niazi architecture Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon personally file presented by the Turkmen Daash of chemical weapons. “
A statement by the Office of the Attorney Ihsanoglu received by the agency {Euphrates News} a copy of it on Saturday , “MP Davutoglu handed Ban Ki – moon personally presented the Turkmen by Daash weapons chemical in Taza Khurmatu ,for the purpose of internationally internationalization file.”
The Daash terrorist gangs proceeded on target in terms of Tuz KHURMATO Katyusha rockets fired from the village of al – Bashir carry warheads toxic, which led to large cases of suffocation among the people of Tuz.
She was an MP for the citizen bloc Abeer al – Husseini was surprised by the silence of the international community on hit city of Taza poison gas.
The head of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council , Mr. Ammar al – Hakim has been stressed in the office of Baghdad youth elites held in the office of Mr. al – Hakim inBaghdad before the duration of the internationalization of the issue of Taza, returned the use of poison gas a serious indication of a threat to international peace in general, as called for international organizations to shoulder their responsibilities, and provide relief to the injured, and expressed surprise from the international silence over the tragedy, while you see the world media follow – up is packed withother issues , claiming it of human rights abuses, and genocide. is over

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Brett McGurk- Twitter

 

Brett McGurk Retweeted Jim Yong Kim

Important visit to by , focus on economic reforms and Post-ISIL stabilization /reconstruction

Brett McGurk added,

Urgent Islamic Bank: We have agreed with the World Bank on the transfer of Iraq ‘s dependence on oil to agriculture and industry

 

History of edits:: 03/26/2016 16:270 visits readable
[Oan- Baghdad]
Islamic Development Bank President Ahmad Mohamed Ali announced the agreement with the World Bank and the United Nations on the transfer of Iraq ‘s dependence on oil proceeds as income his chief to agriculture and industry development.
Ali said during his speech hosted in the parliament session today in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement to inform the Parliament, “We have agreed to support Iraq and to accompany him strategically to restore the foundations of social and economic stability and covenants that give them is to support Iraq to develop an ambitious vision and translate in sound plans for the advancement and recover, and the resumption of economic ascent, and the headwaters of the enumeration to grow on the basis of transition from dependence on oil to the advancement of agriculture and industry address the discharge of unemployment and poverty and ensure re-focused the national private sector in the development process “followed ..