Sixteen members of the Kurdistan Region's diplomatic community met today at AUIS to discuss common interests and concerns. Afterward, they met with the KRG Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Qubad Talabani, joined by the AUIS President and AUIS Vice President of Academic Affairs, to discuss current issues such as press freedom, human rights, and political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region.
Among those attending were the Consuls General and Heads of Office of Canada, Czech Republic, European Union Liaison Office Erbil, France, Greece, South Korea, UNAMI Regional Office Erbil, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Organized by the U.S. Consul General, Irvin Hicks Jr., it was the third such meeting of the Consuls General Coordination Group since its formation last year, and the first held in Sulaimani.
Consul General Hicks commented, "We are here in Sulaymaniyah to advance our shared human rights agenda. Human rights, including freedom of expression and the rights of women, minorities, and other marginalized groups, are essential to any healthy democracy."
"This meeting demonstrates the power of 'cooperation in a fragmented world,' the theme of the World Economic Forum now underway in Davos," observed AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson. "Friends are a comfort in difficult times, and all of us are lucky to have such friends not just in the Kurdistan Region and rest of Iraq, but in other countries."