‘We have a great number of migrants, refugees and displaced people in Iraq as a result of the War on Terrorism against ISIS. We have a great obligation to rebuild our country, and the course provides us with new knowledge on capacity building and the reliability of institutions, which is crucial for our new democracy.’
The 3rd edition of the course on ‘Good Governance and Migration’ displayed to its participants an exchange of knowledge and experience, academic learning, interactive participatory sessions, visits to renowned international institutions and a chance to meet the Mayor of Geneva and authorities from Ville de Genève.
Colonel Christian Bühlmann, Head of GCSP's Regional Perspectives Programme, reflected, ‘I am impressed by the knowledge and the expertise of our Iraqi guests. During classes, they ask insightful questions, challenge the lecturers and connect the new knowledge with their previous experience. I appreciated working with them and look forward to seeing how they will contribute to foster peace, stability and security in their country.’
Valentina Schweizer, the course coordinator, reflects, ‘I really enjoyed spending these two weeks with such extraordinary people – it was a truly blissful and enriching experience and I hope to see as many of them as possible again in the future.’
Ms Nazdar Sherzad, and Mr Wakas Al-Hayani, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, shared reflections on their experience of the course with GCSP:
When asked about the key learnings he drew from the course, Mr Al-Hayani jumped on the occasion to thank the GCSP for this great initiative, a warm welcome and the effort put into teaching the delegation about migration and good governance. He says ‘the course was very important for us, because we have a great number of migrants, refugees and displaced people in Iraq as a result of the War on Terrorism against ISIS. We have a great obligation to rebuild our country, and the course provides us with new knowledge on capacity building and the reliability of institutions, which is crucial for our new democracy.’
Ms Sherzad felt similarly, and emphasized that ‘good governance and migration are very important issues because nowadays we have this problem universally, not only in Iraq. The migration problem is crucial and we need good governance to be able to organize our governments around this issue.’
Recalling the course topics, Mr Al-Hayani assessed the ‘The course was very comprehensive. We took a lot of lectures from different professors covering many areas of political science and international relations. We had lectures on legislative areas, federalism, some African case studies pertinent to the situation in Iraq; international law, refugee law, and we also had a lot of visits to some United Nations Organizations here in Geneva, and had the honor to meet the Mayor of Geneva. It was very good, and I am very glad to be here.’
Ms Sherzad added ‘We have learned a lot of knowledge from both internal and external experts, and we had a very good dialogue with them. It was also a good experience for us. Geneva is a very interesting city because of its international organizations. We had a chance to visit these places, and really enjoyed it.’
Part of the interactive and hands-on approach included visiting top international organizations and institutions around the region including the United Nations, International Organization of Migration, UNHCR, as well as the authorities of the Ville de Genève.
Reflecting on their experience at the GCSP, the participants thanked the organizers, Alexandra Matas and Valentina Schweizer, for their warm care and their exceptional work in organizing the course.
A similar course will be offered in May to a delegation of diplomats from Guinea. The course sits under the Effective Governance Cluster within the Regional Perspectives Programme at the GCSP.