- Mr. William Warda: We met Mr. Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, and talked about the need to support Iraq in reforming laws and policies to protect minorities and strengthen their presence at homeland.
- Mr. Warda: We thank the US Department of State for this honor and we thank the Iraqi Foreign Minister and the Iraqi Ambassador to Washington for their participation in the Honoring ceremony.
- Mr. Warda: We were given a wide space to talk about religious freedom and its importance. I was one of the keynote speakers at the special session on the Middle East. Mrs. Pascale Warda was the keynote speaker in the session on women's rights and religious freedoms.
- Mr. Warda: We appealed the international community to help Iraq to reform the laws and curricula and reconsider some policies and practices that affect in one way or another existence and survival of minorities in Iraq.
Returning homeland days earlier from Washington, Mr. William Warda and Mrs. Pascale Warda after receiving the International Award for Religious Freedom Defender, Mr. William to NERGAL news network expressed his happiness for his participation in the second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., organized by the US Department of State, and for honoring, along with Mrs. Pascale Warda, the International State Award for Religious Freedom Defenders and human rights.
Mr. Warda said "I would like to thank His Excellency the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo , for his invitation to us and our recognition of this award, and to thanks Sam Brownback, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in the US State Department and his team. Headed by Mr. Knox Thames Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and North Africa, I would also like to thank His Excellency the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Iraq, Mr. Mohamad A. Alhakim , and His Excellency the Iraqi Ambassador to Washington, who attended the honoring ceremony. The conference had a great impact and appreciation for us. "
Adding "I was pleased to have the participation of the supreme spiritual father, His Holiness Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East in Iraq and the world, and Mar Awa, Archbishop of California, and Father Thabet Pastor of the Chaldean Church of Karamlis, in the honoring ceremony in US department of State.
Mr. Warda stressed that he attended most of the conference's sessions, as on the first track, which included several axes dealing with the basic blocks to promote religious freedoms, the second track sessions was on the trends in religious freedoms.
Mr. William Warda also attended number of side events on the sidelines of the conference regarding the challenges facing religious freedom, saying "We have been given a wide space to speak and discuss number of sessions," stressing that he was one of the key speakers in the morning session of the second day of the conference on July 17, 2019, which was devoted to the challenges of religious freedom in the Middle East and North Africa. Where Mrs. Pascale Warda, a keynote speaker at the evening session on women's rights and international religious freedoms."
Mr. Warda said, "Our meetings addressed the appeal of the international community to help the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to reform the laws on the rights of minorities and to review some policies and practices that affect in one way or another the existence and survival of minorities in Iraq, and work to reconsider the educational curriculum and change to serve the common life of all religions in Iraq and the protection of diversity and the prevention of discrimination , our discussions also focused on urging States to place the issue of respect for religious freedom as a priority of their foreign policy and international relations".
In this context, he stressed for "urging states, including Iraq, to abide by their international obligations to protect religious minorities in support of their existence and development of their regions and to work to support the return of displaced persons, immigrants and refugees to their areas of origin by assisting Iraq in repairing the infrastructure and speeding up the process of compensation and help Iraq to develop an integrated program of transitional justice".