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The Nahrein Network

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Policy Work

Policy advice and support to building policy knowledge about cultural heritage in Iraq is an important component of the Nahrein Network. The long-term protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage requires particularly in a conflict and post-conflict situation renewed thinking about how policy, namely laws, rules, regulations and frameworks, can contribute to ensuring cultural continuity and sustainability of tangible and intangible cultures.

 In this context, the Nahrein Network has offered advice to the Government of Iraq, including the Ministry of Higher Education and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in the form of policy-oriented papers, meetings and ongoing dialogue.

In 2020, the Nahrein Network contributed towards the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) report on the ‘Role of the EU in the Protection of Cultural Heritage in Conflict and Post-Conflict Contexts in the Middle East’. The policy-oriented research paper, which took Iraq as a case-study, noted that a major shift was taking place from government-to-government cultural diplomacy to increasingly assertive interventions in the field of cultural heritage in conflict contexts. The report was based on forty interviews with EU officials, the EU delegation in Iraq and other key stakeholders who are working to strengthen international policy in the field of conflict and cultural heritage. The EEAS policy paper has contributed to the EU working to devise its own external policy framework that looks at conflict dynamics and cultural heritage.

The Nahrein Network partnered with Chatham House to deliver a number of webinars and roundtable meetings on cultural heritage in Iraq. These events were led by Iraqi heritage experts. A policy-oriented report based on interviews with Iraqi heritage practitioners, donors and international organisations will be published in English and Arabic in 2021.

You can read in more detail about the above mentioned collaborations using the links below: 

Chatham House Collaboration

European Union on the Protection and Enhancement of Cultural Heritage