A group of students, faculty, and community members gathered in College at Florham’s Lenfell Hall on Wednesday, October 23rd, to hear H.E. Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations, discuss the progress and future aspirations of his home country.
Hosted by the UN/NGO Pathways program in order to raise more global awareness for FDU students, the conversation also featured Ambassador Kamal, President of The Ambassador’s Club at the United Nations.
Ambassador Kamal with Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati
Kamal described Ambassador Bayati as “Unique and indispensible”, and indeed, Bayati has served seven years as an ambassador, more than double the normal life of a UN Ambassador. Ambassador Bayati also serves as Vice President of the General Assembly (September 2007 to September 2008), and promotes a vision of peace for all nations. “We are all one big family, and we are all human because we care about each other,” Bayati opened by saying. “I keep reminding people of this fact.”
Ambassadors Kamal and Bayati discussed Iraq’s role in the world today, as well as its role in years to come. “Because some would argue that Iraq is an agent of the United States or Iran, it shows that Iraq is independent,” Bayati explained when asked about Iraq’s position in the world and the UN today. Despite its tumultuous history, Iraq continues to look forward into a brighter future, beginning with the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. “We now have elections, and a parliament made of 25% women,” Ambassador Bayati stated.
However, the lamentable past of Iraq is still in the minds of those who experienced it. “It was not only Sunni against Shia. Saddam created an army of criminals, people who killed anyone for money.” Bayati remembered. But despite the past of his country, Bayati has only optimistic thoughts for the future.
Ambassador Bayati closed by stating, “Iraqis will have no option but to coexist and respect each other. War is a lose/lose. Peace is a win/win. Iraq must learn to live in peace with ourselves and with our neighbors.”
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Rachel Powell, UN/NGO Pathways Intern
The UN/NGO Pathways Program features Ambassador Forums, Video Conferences and Special Events through our partnership with the Ambassador's Club at the U.N. and our NGO status with the UN's Department of Public Information. For more information about future events, contact Dr. Jo Anne Murphy, Director of Programs with Intergovernmental and Nongovernmental Organizations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.