Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Importance of Iraq's Draft Oil Law

It is hard to underestimate the importance of the draft Iraqi oil law to the cause of unifying Iraq. It is a major accomplishment of a government not yet one year old. In today's Washignton Post, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, has authored an opinion piece on the law.

Under the national hydrocarbon law approved this week by Iraq's Council of Ministers, oil will serve as a vehicle to unify Iraq and will give all Iraqis a shared stake in their country's future. This is a significant achievement for Iraqis' national reconciliation. It demonstrates that the leaders of Iraq's principal communities can pull together to peacefully resolve difficult issues of national importance.

Resolving concerns about control of oil is central to overcoming internal divisions in Iraq. The country has the third-largest oil reserves in the world, and more than 90 percent of federal income comes from oil revenue. The effective and equitable management of these resources is critical to economic growth as well as to developing a greater sense of shared purpose among Iraqi communities.

The goal of Iraq's leaders was to draft a law that ensured that all Iraqis could be confident they would receive their fair share of the benefits of developing the country's resources, that the revenue from oil and gas would enable a decentralization of power while maintaining national unity, and that Iraq would adopt the best international practices for the development and management of its mineral wealth. By these standards, the hydrocarbon law is a great success. . .

Read the whole piece here.

No comments:


View My Stats