Prime Minister Barzani stresses the importance of reforms

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – In the presence of representatives of the diplomatic missions and a number of Kurdistan members of parliament and ministers, the Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, opened the ceremony of launching the electronic social protection network system, initiated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

In a speech he made, Prime Minister Barzani, described the Ministry’s project as part of a broader reform policy, which the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, plans to implement.

He said, “The KRG insists on continuing the reform process because it believes meaningful reform is important to successfully meet the difficult challenges we face. It is about enhancing efforts toward justice and providing more efficient and effective services to our citizens.”

Following is the text of the speech:

Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished guests,

Good morning and welcome,

It is my pleasure to participate with you all in the commencement ceremony of an important project that has great value for the Kurdistan Regional Government. This is yet another step by the KRG to strengthen the government’s reform efforts, notably its administrative system.

This is a step towards establishing a fair, effective system pertaining to salaries, allowances, and financial assistance. To a great extent, it will diminish the possibility of taking undue advantage of the government’s payroll system. This system will greatly facilitate the administration of matters to better serve our citizens.

The idea of developing the current social protection network into an efficient, effective electronic system is not new to the KRG.  The government has been preparing and developing this project for some time.  I take this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Mr. Muhammed Hawdiani, for making this project a priority and bringing it to a stage ready for implementation.

The implementation of this project enables all departments in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to be linked directly to the Ministry’s Diwan.  This is intended to enable the Ministry to carry out tasks in an easy and smooth manner. On the one hand, this will strengthen the social protection system; on the other hand, it is a practical step towards combating corruption.

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Planning, and the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, for their cooperation and team work in developing this important system. We look forward to other KRG ministries and offices successfully adopting and applying key features of this project.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Kurdistan Regional Government is making concerted efforts to conduct important reforms in all sectors by taking advantage of modern systems, cutting-edge technologies, innovative knowledge and expertise in order to reorganize the working of our government.  The intention is to bring our administrative and service systems up to levels that are efficient, effective, which meet international standards.

Step by step, taking into consideration our resources and capabilities, we will continue to make necessary reforms in all fields.  We have a strong will to make reforms and we will continue to do so. We say we will do it step by step because we believe that for reform to be done effectively it needs to be done carefully, with patience and perseverance. We will do reforms in accordance with thoughtful planning and carefully designed programs, not by impulsive action.

Reform is not an isolated process independent of other principles and interactions.  Reform is a broad and long-term process that relates to many factors. It cannot be seen and realized as a mere decision of the prime minister or the council of ministers to do reform!

That is why this process is not as simple as reading it in a newspaper article. It is a process that needs a strong will to make it happen. It needs patience and perseverance until it provides expected results. It is a process that needs short, medium, and long term plans. Such is the project implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. It is anticipated to have positive impact in the near future on our reform efforts by insuring justice for disabled persons seeking benefits from our social protection system.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Taking practical reform steps during this time when we fight terrorism and face severe political, economic, and financial challenges has only one meaning, which is that the KRG insists on continuing the reform process because it believes meaningful reform is important to successfully meet the difficult challenges we face. It is about enhancing efforts toward justice and providing more efficient and effective services to our citizens.

Reform is a priority on the government’s agenda.  All KRG ministers are making reform efforts and many have made good progress. In early 2014 when disagreements with Baghdad over budget and other issues began, the KRG took practical steps to reduce expenditure and increase income. I certainly believe that Kurdistan’s citizens in the near future will see more results of the reforms.

I also want to reiterate that this step by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is one of the initial steps of the KRG in the reform process. In the near future the KRG will announce greater steps in this regard.

Again, I thank the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Minister. I wish them continued success.

Thank you and Welcome again.


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