Event Reports

IDP and Refugee Crises in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq


Over the past several years, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has experienced a massive influx of both Syrian refugees and Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs). This humanitarian crisis has exacerbated the financial and political problems of the Kurdistan region. In order to discuss the different approaches regarding the refugee and IDP crisis in the KRI, Open Think Tank (OTT) and the KAS Syria/Iraq office held a conference featuring more than a dozen high-ranking policy makers, civil society members, and the media on 17-18 November 2016 in Dohuk.

Inter-Religious Dialogue and Co-existence in the KRI


The mosaic of different religious, sectarian and ethnic minorities has always been a characteristic feature of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. However, their coexistence has been threatened by the rise of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its extremist ideology. To discuss ways to reach renewed and improved methods of coexistence in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the Women Empowerment Organization (WEO) and the KAS Syria/Iraq Office held a conference with more than a dozen religious and political leaders for a conference on 3rd November 2016 in Erbil.

Challenges and Opportunities for a Post-ISIS Iraq


With the beginning of the Mosul offensive, the discussion surrounding the future of a post-ISIS Iraq has increased. While much of the debate is centered on the security situation, plans regarding the future governance of Iraq and relations between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government need to be addressed. It is in this vein that the Middle East Research Institute (MERI), with the support of KAS, hosted its annual high-level three-day forum in Erbil titled “The Future of the Middle East: Challenges and Opportunities" from 25 to 27 October.

Implications of the US election 2016 for the Middle East

Panel discussion ON scenarios of future US POLICIES in the region

The 2016 US presidential election will have direct consequences for the Middle East and will determine the future US relations with the region. The KAS Syria/Iraq Office and Maison du Futur hosted a conference on 14 October 2016 in Bikfaya to discuss the possible impacts of the controversial US presidential election on Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. The conference brought together experts from various countries in the region and included the presentation of a policy paper published by KAS and Maison du Futur on the implications of the US elections for the Middle East.

Rule of law training for staff of Kurdish Prime Minister’s office

KAS and ETTC continue successful workshop series for Kurdish officials

The KAS Syria/Iraq office and the European Technology and Training Centre (ETTC) conducted a rule of law workshop for 15 high-level representatives from the Iraqi-Kurdish Prime Minister’s office from 4 September to 8 September in Erbil. The five-day event was aimed at training the participants in the significance of rule of law as well as cross-cultural communication and negotiation. After the successful completion of the rule of law workshop for Kurdish security forces in the first half of 2016, the workshop signified a second step in the training series for Kurdish officials.

Sinjar: Challenges and opportunities for a return of Yazidi refugees

WEO and KAS hold high-level conference in Erbil to conclude workshop series

Two years ago, the shocking images of the atrocities committed against the Yazidis by the so-called Islamic State terrified the world. Hundreds of thousands had to flee. However, the liberation of Sinjar in November 2015 has raised hopes for an imminent return. The conference held in Erbil on 22 August 2016 dealt with the obstacles and possibilities for a reintegration of the Yazidis in Sinjar. It marked the end of a series of workshops with local stakeholders held in 2016 by the Women Empowerment Organisation (WEO) with support of KAS in the territories liberated from ISIS.

Mediating Syrian Needs and Lebanese Concerns

Round table discussion on the effects of the labour law in the refugee crisis

On 28 July 2016, Lebanon Support with the support of KAS hosted a round-table discussion on Syrian refugees’ livelihoods in Lebanon. The event was the second roundtable discussion of a series on the social effects of political and legal measures targeting Syrians in Lebanon. The discussion addressed the Lebanese government’s policy regarding the access of Syrian refugees to the Lebanese labour market and the consequences of this policy. As a discussant, Lebanon Support had invited George Ghali from the Act for Human Rights organisation (ALEF).

“The Effects of the Syrian Crisis on Neighbouring Countries”

ORSAM and KAS discuss results of recent study at Issam Fares Institute

The Syrian crisis has not only changed the lives of those fleeing the country. It has also had a profound impact on the neighbouring states that now host them. The aim of the conference, which took place on 15 June 2016, was to analyse and discuss how the Syrian crisis has affected Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan. It brought together six renowned speakers from various academic institutions of the region and included the presentation of a comparative study on the issue conducted by the Turkish ORSAM Institute.

KAS hosts two CDU MPs in Kurdistan-Iraq and Lebanon

Karin Maag and Peter Weiß learn about the refugee crisis in the region

More than one million refugees have found their way to Germany. Not only do German policy-makers face the question of how to meaningfully integrate these refugees, but also of how to fight the root causes of migration in the most affected regions, particularly the Middle East. In order to explore these questions, the Syria/Iraq office hosted the CDU members of parliament Karin Maag and Peter Weiß from 16 May to 20 May 2016 in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) and Lebanon and visited humanitarian projects of the German organizations Diakonie and Caritas.

Rule of law training for Peshmerga and police

KAS and ETTC conduct three workshops for generals and staff officers

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq has undergone an unprecedented development since 2003 and stands out today as Germany’s most important local partner in the fight against the Islamic State. Since January 2014, Germany has supported the Peshmerga with weapons and a Bundeswehr training mission. In order to further strengthen the political development of the region, KAS and the European Technology and Training Center (ETTC) conducted three workshops in Erbil in April 2016 in rule of law and diplomatic etiquette training for representatives of the Peshmerga, the Zeravani forces and the police

About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

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