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Council of Ministers approves groundbreaking draft education bill

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - The Council of Ministers on Wednesday held its weekly meeting chaired by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, in which a draft bill establishing an education accreditation body in the Kurdistan Region, the first of its kind in Iraq, was approved.

Opening the meeting, the Council voted on and approved a draft bill establishing an accreditation body for the Region’s education system.

The Kurdistan Accrediting Association for Education (KAAE) is the first such authority in Iraq and will establish quality standards for academic institutions and programs, as well as evaluating compliance through a well-defined mechanism of self-study and peer review in accordance with best practices.

The KAAE will support the Ministries of Education and Higher Education in establishing policies and strategy, and in building capacity for academic institutions, enabling them to achieve these standards.

Thereafter, the Council discussed restructuring the Oil and Gas Affairs Council in the Region and, after discussion, decided to set out mechanisms in order to do so.

Prime Minister Barzani then addressed talks between Erbil and Baghdad aimed at reaching a solution to outstanding issues, including oil and gas, within the framework of the Constitution, which clearly sets out the rights of the Kurdistan Region.

The Prime Minister noted that it is the job of parliament - which is not currently constituted in Iraq - to approve the Oil and Gas Law, in accordance with the constitution. Prime Minister Barzani added that both sides are continuing talks, as per the Constitution.

Next, the Council discussed preparing a draft bill for minerals investment, with a view towards further discussion and, eventually, forwarding the draft bill to parliament. The bill will encourage greater investment in the Region’s natural resources according to international standards.

The Council then considered means of preventing an increase in the prices of goods in the market in light of ongoing global crises, and decided to continue working independently as well as with the Federal Government to regulate market prices.

Deputy Prime Minister Talabani then addressed increasing cases of violence against women, stressing the need to prevent the occurrence of such incidents and outlined steps to confront the underlying mentalities which lead to such crimes. He suggested the launch of a campaign to stop the tragedy, and praised the work of the security forces in arresting perpetrators. The Council decided to hold a special session to discuss the specifics of this campaign.

Finally, the Council decided to finalise the establishment of a National Bank in the Kurdistan Region - a requirement of the Iraqi Central Bank - which will have a positive effect on the Region’s banking system and unite all banks under one national bank.