June 22 will be a milestone in the Iraqi evolution process towards democracy and its re-integration in the world system. After the creation of the first Iraqi democratic government in 51 years, the Conference of Brussels is an additional sign of or determination to turn Iraq into a responsible member of the international community. In the conference, 85 participants will discuss about the measures that should be taken to create a stable Iraq, with a government elected upon a permanent Constitution that responds to the people’s interests. We want to revitalize public institutions and to have a booming civil society. We want Iraq to be in peace with itself and with its neighbors, all integrated within the community of civilized nations.
The first stage is achieving stability. This is an essential goal for the region and the anti-democratic forces test the resistance capacity of the democracies that insist on helping the Iraqi democrats. Many foresee a failure that would represent a setback for all democratic movements of the region. Iraq is a test in which the democratic forces and the world can not fail. In spite of the difficulties, there is progress, as it was proved with the success of the elections in spite of terrorist attacks. Although some groups boycotted the vote, later, the have made attempts to re-integrate themselves to the political process. In spite of terrorism, the Iraqi people want us to conclude the transformation process of the country. The Conference of Brussels should back this effort.
The first step in that reconstruction is the Constitution project that takes into account the problems of all Iraqi communities. The Iraqi people should be in charge of its writing. We should also consider the ratification of the Constitution in the fall and the elections that will take place later in the year. For that, we should use the experience of countries that went from a tyranny to a democracy and create a quality public service that may serve as a foundation for the new Iraqi democratic institutions. Likewise, we should guarantee the economic reconstruction of a potentially rich country, devastated by bad management and years of economic sanctions. In that sense, we need technical and financial assistance. We have to train our future technicians and to encourage the taste for initiative in Iraq. Finally, it is necessary to organize a legal reform to build a truly impartial legal apparatus so that justice is well served. Similarly, the norms of human behavior should be included in the basic rules of training of security agents, police and prison guards.
Due to the lack of space, I do not mention a long list of fields in which Iraq needs high technical knowledge. But, we need to have the commitment and the cooperation of the international community. As concrete proposals emerge to achieve the already mentioned goals, the Conference of Brussels will be a success.

Le Monde (France)

Aider les Irakiens, concrètement !”, by Hoshyar Zebari, Le Monde, June 22, 2005.