An Iraqi dialogue on oil – a unique FBA project

During two years Iraqi leaders have been developing the political cooperation in relation to oil, a hot topic. The project, now completed, has been facilitated by the FBA. “This is the first national dialogue ever on oil in Iraq,” says Joel Ahlberg, project leader at the FBA.

Iraq is one of the world’s largest exporters of oil, and at the same time the only oil producing nation lacking a federal oil and gas legislation. The dispute over oil is one of the most complex conflicts in Iraq, according to Joel. The main topics of debate concern the procedures of exporting oil, how revenues are allocated, and which parties have the authority to sign oil contracts.
– It is very gratifying that we have managed to realize this project.

The project ran from the end of 2013 until the end of 2015, and contained two phases. During the first phase academics and public officials from various parts of Iraq were brought together for three workshops; two in Iraq and one in Sweden. They developed an elaborate analysis on the issue of oil and development in Iraq.

The analysis singled out three main conclusions:

  • Iraq needs to focus on long-term development. This includes setting up an oil fund in order to support improvements of education, health care and infrastructure, and support for agriculture and industrial production.
  • Iraq needs national oil and gas legislation in order to exercise full sovereignty over oil resources.
  • The absence of adequate regulation and a stable development policy creates conditions for corruption. At present Iraq’s oil policy serves to benefit elite groups rather than the welfare of all Iraqis. This needs to change and combating corruption should be a priority.

During the second phase of the project, the report was handed over to Iraqi politicians from different political parties.
– The report has been well received, Joel says.

Political reforms are, however, difficult to push through in Iraq at the moment.
– The Iraqi economy is receding as the oil prices are decreasing, and the war against the terror group ISIS is currently gobbling up 20 per cent of the Iraqi government spend, Joel explains.

He still thinks that the project has had an effect.
– It is a success in itself that different parties have begun to talk to each other in a constructive way about those things. Perhaps the most powerful insight for the people involved in the project is the fact that the mismanagement of the Iraqi oil sector is a bigger problem than the actions of individual actors.

– The oil issue is really explosive. And it is not only a matter of money. The unregulated oil production has negative effects on the environment, and causes pollution. In addition people living near the oil fields are suffering health problems due to the oil extraction. To manage to bring so many differing parties together to discuss possible solutions to Iraq´s problem is in itself unique.

Read more

MORE FROM HOME

Somalia to be rebuilt after 20 years of war

Somalia is one of the world’s most conflict-affected states. For over 20 years, the country has been without a functional central government. But international efforts to unite and reconstruct Somalia are underway. Sweden is now set to double its foreign aid to Somalia, and FBA is commissioned to contribute to Sweden’s development cooperation with the East African nation.

2018-07-02 16:25

Read our publications

Image description

Una perspectiva de género en la construcción de la paz

This training manual has been developed to provide an introduction in Spanish to the policy framework on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) and its follow-up resolutions on women, peace and security.

Documents
Attributes
Author:
Gabriela Elroy
Year:
2018

IN THE FIELD

THE FBA BLOG

  • Posted by Carl Fredrik Birkoff

    Cross-border cooperation between Ethiopia and Kenya for conflict prevention and peacebuilding

    Within the framework of the strategy for Sweden’s regional development cooperation with sub-Saharan Africa 2016-2021 FBA is expected to contribute to increased regional integration and strengthened capacity to address cross-border challenges and opportunities at regional levels. This assignment is very much in line with the innovative, comprehensive and integrated cross-border programme between Ethiopia and Kenya initiated by the Ethiopian and Kenyan governments, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations.

    During the ... Read entire post »

    2018-08-16 15:20
  • Posted by Ben Rhee

    Action for Peacekeeping: What role for the Challenges Forum?

    On March 28 this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) agenda. At the heart of the initiative lies an urgent call to mobilise support for peace operations, which are increasingly faced with a wide-array of complex challenges.

    Operating in some of the most difficult environments and intractable conflicts on the planet, UN and multilateral peace operations today are dealing with a host of issues and unrealistic expectations by the international community ... Read entire post »

    2018-07-11 10:11
  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    When keeping the peace means keeping your distance

    Summertime in Tbilisi has arrived, carried in on the back of dramatic thunderstorms sweeping in from the Black Sea, pouring down enough rain to transform the steep streets of the old town into short-lived rivers, and leaving daily temperatures slightly higher after every visit. Soon even such weather-driven drama will dissipate however, settling into a steady 35 degree heat during July and August, predictable enough to allow for the planning of cooling hikes in the Caucasus ... Read entire post »

    2018-06-27 14:10
Photo

Stefan Åström

Stefan Åström is expert on Latin America and disarmament of ex-combatants

More about our experts

Upcoming courses

Twitter