|Date : 2023-09-12|
|Duration : 04:23Hour|
|Type : Agenda Session|
|Attendees : 0 Deputies|
|Excused Absence : 0 Deputy|
|Absence without Excuse : 0 Deputy|
On (12/9/2023), the House of Representatives held its fourteenth session of the second legislative term of the second legislative year of the fifth electoral cycle, headed by Muhammad Al-Halbousi, and the session included:
-After including a new paragraph on its agenda, voting on the number of counsellors in the House of Representatives and determining them to six counsellors based on the provisions of the Law Regulating the Work of consultants No. 3 of 2022, which was published in the Official Gazette, and they are the Research and Development counsellor the Legislative Affairs consultant, the Financial counsellor, the Political counsellor , the Legal counsellor, and the Integrity and Anti-Corruption counsellor.
-The Speaker of the House welcomed the presence of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Water Resources and Justice and the advanced cadres accompanying them to discuss the water crisis based on requests submitted by the ladies and gentlemen of the representatives and the concerned parliamentary committees in order to take the government measures taken regarding the crisis.
-In his speech, Mr. Fouad Hussein, Minister of Foreign Affairs, explained a number of challenges facing Iraq, including natural circumstances especially climate change and high temperatures, which caused an increase in droughts and desertification and their impact on water scarcity in Iraq and in the upstream countries of rivers, in addition to the problems caused by government policy or human intervention. He pointed out that the associated gas burning affects the environmental and climatic level and the health of society, stressing the need to work seriously at the national, regional and international levels to coordinate, find solutions and study the causes of water scarcity, which he considered the result of the problems and policies of neighboring countries such as the construction of dams and the lack of water releases to pressure countries or change the course of rivers, as well as the mismanagement of the water file in Iraq, as well as the problem of water waste and the small number of dams needed.
-The Minister of Foreign Affairs added that Iraq has no choice but to rely on cooperation, bilateral relations and dialogues based on common interests with neighboring countries to obtain the necessary releases of water, and its need for modern water management, pointing out that there is no agreement with Turkey on water management, but understandings subject to political dealings and that the issue of going to international courts requires the consent of both parties and the UN Security Council is not competent in water issues, noting that the release of water by Iran in The Karun River affected the situation of Shatt al-Arab and pushing the salinity to Gulf, in addition to releasing water flows from the Sirwan River in Diyala province
-The Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that there is a legal problem with the 1975 Algiers Agreement concluded between Iraq and Iran, and the possibility of activating it requires approaching the Iranian side, in addition to the House of Representatives taking a legislative step by canceling or amending it.
-Mr. Aoun Dhiab Abdullah, Minister of Water Resources, spoke about the measures taken by the ministry regarding the water crisis in the most difficult season that Iraq had passed in a thoughtful manner by holding official meetings with the Turkish and Iranian sides to work on the continuation of water releases, including releases to Shatt al-Arab, and to take appropriate measures through a professional team to coordinate with Turkey on increasing releases, pointing out that Turkey did not abide by the 1987 agreement and water releases currently amounted to about 290 billion cubic meters per second of The Turkish side and up to Haditha dam of the amount of water is much less than outside it, explaining that the ministry is trying to achieve progress in the field of maintenance of Iraqi dams in addition to submitting a study to build 36 dams and discuss the possibility of desalination of sea water.
-The Minister of Water Resources stated that their measures taken to solve the water problem included the installation of huge stations to transport water from Lake Tharthar to Euphrates River to address water scarcity, and lifting encroachment by removing 15,500 cases of encroachment on rivers with government efforts, in addition to lining small rivers with modern technology that had a tangible impact to get rid of water loss, as well as the ministry’s digging of 630 water wells in various governorates to save water and increase agricultural areas, stressing the importance of supporting the Ministry of Water Resources with allocations Finance to meet its needs of projects, including the tendency to establish a modern irrigation system according to an advanced system
-Mr. Khaled Shawani, Minister of Justice, reviewed some legal documentation of the agreements and protocols concluded between Iraq and Turkey and the contents related to the regulation of water, including the Treaty of Friendship and Good Neighborliness in 1946 between Turkey and Iraq published in the Iraqi newspaper alwaqayie’s, which includes 6 annexes, including the regulation of water matters between the two countries and how to deal and consult between them in the process of organizing tributaries, filling dams and benefiting from water in a way that serves the interests of Iraq and Turkey, pointing out that the friendship agreement is indefinite and includes a clause for the possibility of renewing it. Every five years at the request of one of the parties, in addition to the law ratifying the protocol of economic and technical cooperation between Iraq and Turkey in 1971, which regulates economic and technical relations and financial matters, and includes a program for Turkey’s consultation during the filling of water reservoirs in a way that secures Iraq’s need for water quantities, and that the two parties legislate a law as soon as possible through bilateral talks in this regard, in addition to addressing the rules of the Helsinki International Law of 1966, which includes a set of principles and mechanisms that allowed a solution The water issue, explaining the possibility that the Ministry of Justice has a role in the legal claims provided by international agreements and treaties, and it works in accordance with the policy adopted by the Iraqi state.
Part of the session was chaired by Dr. Shakhwan Abdullah, Vice-Speaker
-The interventions of the ladies and gentlemen of the representatives focused on demanding to know the extent of benefit from international conventions related to preserving the rights of countries benefiting from transboundary waters, such as the Lausanne Convention, the Barcelona Convention and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses of 1997, and to know the reasons for the low level of agricultural and livestock wealth in Iraq and the increase in the area of desertification and to demand the disclosure of the possibility of establishing permanent measurement stations in upstream countries to measure the flow of water, provided that Iraq and Turkey bear equally the costs of their operation according to The 1946 agreement, and the demand for the development of a future financial plan to provide water and plans to inventory the water of dams and address the problem of small rivers and digging wells to meet the need for agricultural land and benefit from advanced devices for irrigation operations, as well as demanding an increase in financial allocations to the Ministry of Water Resources to implement its future plans and demanding the commitment of the provinces to the water quotas prescribed for them, and calling for serious movement towards the file of trade and economic exchange with neighboring countries and benefit from it to serve Iraq’s share of water and move by pressure Law
-Calling on the Ministry of Water Resources to present a vision for the possibility of building new dams in Iraq and heading to conclude agreements with upstream countries to ensure Iraq’s need for water, and demanding radical solutions to the water problem according to a time limit and considering that water is a national wealth owned by the Iraqi people like oil.
-Vice-Speaker of the House , Dr. Shakhwan Abdullah, presented a proposal to form a joint committee of the concerned parliamentary committees to identify the causes of the water crisis and determine the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the House of Representatives, which contributes to reducing it, whether in the legislative or the administrative aspect.
It was then decided to adjourn the session .