The International Compact: a roadmap to stability for the region

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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The International Compact with Iraq (ICI) to be launched Thursday at a conference in Egypt is a five-year plan aimed at stabilizing the war-torn country politically and economically.

Co-chaired by the United Nations, the World Bank and Iraq, the initiative offers benchmarks for economic integration, increased security and good governance.

It was inaugurated on July 28 in both Baghdad and New York but its adoption by the conference which kicked off Thursday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh would mark its formal launch.

Essentially, the Compact represents a road map for the next five years aimed at helping Iraq to achieve its long-term goals of economic prosperity, political stability and lasting security, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his opening remarks.

The ICI is seen as a framework that would help Iraq s embattled Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, to implement a reconciliation program between the country s warring communities.

The plan s execution would be mainly Al-Maliki s responsibility but it also provides for an array of measures offering technical and financial support to his government.

Among the ICI s key points are new laws to pave the way for provincial polls, allow the return into public life of officials from the Saddam Hussein s former Baathist regime and set rules for oil revenue-sharing.

The framework further aims to build up Iraqi security forces and their capabilities and intends to form a mechanism to deal with human rights issues and consolidate the base of transparency and accountability.

On the economic front, it will study and identify the various forms of investments, financial aid, debt exemptions and technical and administrative support measures required by the Iraqi government.

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