Sulaimani Forum | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

Warning message

Mean Menu style requires jQuery library version 1.7 or higher, but you have opted to provide your own library. Please ensure you have the proper version of jQuery included. (note: this is not an error)

Sulaimani Forum

Sixth Sulaimani Forum brings leaders and experts to AUIS

  The sixth Sulaimani Forum took place March 6-7, 2019 at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) under the title “Iraq and Its Neighbors: Toward a New Regional Order.” This year’s event featured key policymakers, stakeholders, and experts from near and far for two days of thought-provoking debates and discussions on the most pressing issues facing the Middle East. Conversations moved beyond conflict analysis to explore factors necessary for stabilization, good governance, and economic growth in Iraq and the broader region.   This Forum featured high-level plenary sessions—conversations between senior international and national officials and experts that examined new regional economic, security, and political frameworks, all with a focus on Iraq. Discussions also focused on major challenges facing Iraq and how to address them: the youth population; energy infrastructure; private sector growth and investment; rehabilitation of liberated territories; water scarcity; and the protection and empowerment of minority religious and ethnic communities.   A number of policy roundtables were also held on the sidelines of the Forum, bringing together experts and officials to tackle specific issues such as private enterprise growth, Mosul reconstruction, and new developments among Iraq's security actors.   This year’s Forum welcomed H.E. Dr. Barham Salih, President of Iraq; Minister of Oil Thamir Al Ghadhban; Minister of Electricity Luay Al Khateeb; and Minister of Culture Abdulamir Al Hamdani, among other dignitaries and officials from the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Jordanian Minister of Industry and Trade Tariq Hammouri joined the Forum for a discussion of regional economic cooperation, along with other regional officials such as former Secretary General of the Arab League Amre Moussa. The senior leadership of UNAMI, UNITAD, IFC, the World Bank, and major companies such as GE, Siemens, BP, Total and Chevron were also in attendance.   Experts such as The National's Mina Al Oraibi, USIP and the New Yorker’s Robin Wright, CNN and New America’s Peter Bergen, and others also participated in the Forum’s sessions in addition to ambassadors from a wide range of diplomatic representations to Iraq.

The Fifth Annual Sulaimani Forum Proceedings Published

The Forum, hosted on March 8-9, 2017, allowed for a candid and free exchange of ideas on issues of critical importance for the future of Kurdistan, Iraq and the wider region through several panel debates as well as one-to-one conversations with distinguished speakers. Over 500 guests from Iraq and all over the world convened on the AUIS campus to participate in these discussions on a wide range of topics from the unprecedented human cost of the ongoing war against Da’esh to the prospects of sustainable reform in Iraq’s governance structure. “It is a unique forum in this region with this rich, honest dialogue,”                                                              Tamara Cofman Wittes, Brookings Institution The Forum was attended by national and regional political leaders as well as current and former ministers, diplomats, and senior officials from the European Union, United States and the Middle East. Guests and participants also included representatives from the world of academia and research, led by Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University. Correspondents from CNN, BBC, Politico, Economist, New Yorker, NPR, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Al-Monitor, Christian Science Monitor, The Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as major Iraqi and Kurdish outlets also attended. Highlights of the Forum included a keynote address and exclusive interview with H.E. Dr. Haider Al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq; a conversation on Iraq’s prospects for governance reform with Professor Francis Fukuyama, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University and Dr. Barham Salih, founder of AUIS and member of the University’s Board of Trustees; and an update on the Mosul operation with the Head of Counter Terrorism Services of the Iraqi Security Forces, General Talib Shaghati. "It is probably the foremost event like this in the entire region. It's really become the Davos of the Middle East"                                                                                                                             Kenneth Pollack, Brookings Institution  The action surrounding the Forum was not confined to the event venue. A lively discussion of the conference took place on Twitter, as panelists, guests, and students took to the social media, sending more than 3,000 tweets with the hashtag #SuliForum causing the event to trend in Iraq, reaching around 6 million people on Twitter, and generating 65 million potential impressions. "It strikes me as a very unique event [...] It's kind of the gold standard where you get to see a place which is many ways totally different than the conventional wisdom back in Washington."                                                                                        Sussan Glasser, Politico Conference proceedings are available online and in print. Please email [email protected] to request a print copy. The online version can be downloaded on this link. The panel discussions are available on our YouTube channel. View and download high resolution photos on our Flickr page.

The Fifth Annual Sulaimani Forum in Images

Welcome and Inaugural Address Panel 1: The Human Cost of War  Panel 2: Mosul Operation, an Update and Prospects Panel 3: Regional Competition and a Framework for Stability Panel 4: Iraq's Political Scene: Mapping the Settlement or Settlement of the Map? Prospects for Governance Reforms: A Conversation with Francis Fukuyama Panel 5: Crisis of Governance and Imperative of Reform Panel 6: Job Creation and Sustainable Economic Growth An Update on the Battle for Mosul: A Conversation with Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati Panel 7: U.S. Policy in the Middle East

Sulaimani Forum

The last few years have seen unprecedented chaos, upheaval and transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. From the Arab Spring to the onset of Daesh, internal conflict, changing power dynamics, humanitarian disasters and mass migration have left the region reeling from instability and an uncertain future. Amidst conflict and change, the Sulaimani Forum has provided a unique platform to debate and look for durable solutions to these critical issues. In just four years, the Sulaimani Forum has evolved into one of the region’s premier hubs for innovative policy debates at the heart of the Middle East, attracting an exceptionally prestigious and diverse audience from all over the world. From discussing the catalysts and impact of the Arab Spring to the rapidly changing power dynamics of the Middle East, and to understanding the onset and rapid spread of extremism. From discussing the catastrophic social impact of the humanitarian crisis and the financial meltdown to analyzing new dynamics in the region, the Forum has brought together international experts, political leaders, academics, and journalists to engage in candid, open and meaningful dialogue to tackle the complex issues facing the region. At the Forum, the challenge is not only to discuss, but to look for solutions to the crisis facing the region. This year, dialogue aims to move the Middle East and North Africa beyond the current cycle of conflict. For more information about the upcoming Sulaimani Forum on March 8-9, 2017, please visit the Forum website. 

Renewed Challenges for the Middle East

Ahmed Ali, senior fellow at the American University's Institute of Regional and International Studies reviews the immense challenges facing Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq and the Middle East as we gear up for hosting the fourth annual Sulaimani Forum on March 16-17, 2016. The annual Forum aims to convene prominent leaders, intellectuals and practitioners to the cultural hub of Sulaimani, Iraq to engage in meaningful dialogue and tackle the most complex issues facing the region.   "One hundred years after the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement, there are serious questions about the current political structure of the Middle East. There are challenges of figuring out identities and governance systems. The old guard in Egypt, Yemen, and Tunisia has changed. The new leaders are yet to succeed in setting an agreeable collective direction for their countries. Syria is staring into the abyss of its status as a nation-state. It has become a base for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and it witnesses ongoing violence. This new regional order places Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan at a crossroads that is familiar yet is uncharted territory. Mosul is still under ISIS control, both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and federal Iraq are in dire financial shape, and the distrust among all communities is at a peak. With these ongoing developments, the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) is holding its fourth Sulaimani Forum in March of this year. This year’s Forum takes on extra significance given the 100 year anniversary of Sykes-Picot and it will seek to cover the myriad of national and regional challenges..." Read full article.       More about the upcoming Sulaimani Forum. 


Subscribe to RSS - Sulaimani Forum