Governments, heads of state, and leaders from around the world are on YouTube, including the Pope, the Royal Family, and Queen Rania, and presidents from the United States to France, South Korea to Estonia. Today we're especially pleased to announce that the Iraqi Government has launched a dedicated YouTube channel, at youtube.com/iraqigov. Learn more from Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki:
Earlier this year, I visited Baghdad as a guest of the U.S. State Department to engage in conversations about the role of technology in Iraq. In discussions with elected officials, private companies and NGOs, I routinely heard the desire to connect with fellow citizens, Iraqis outside the country's borders, and cultures across the world. But it wasn't just the Iraqi Government who expressed an interest in YouTube — I was pleasantly surprised by the high level of awareness from a wide variety of Iraqis. One young student told us she uses YouTube to understand what is really happening in her country based on the variety of opinions, citizen journalism and news reports uploaded to the site. There was little difference between her examples and those we often hear in other countries, which speaks to both the global community on YouTube and the universality of the video experience.
Just this past week, our CEO Eric Schmidt traveled to Iraq to meet with government officials there about the challenge and opportunities they face. While in Iraq, Eric shot this video for Citizentube:
We hope that by launching on YouTube, the Iraqi Government and their citizens will also find it easy to use YouTube to engage in such conversations, and bring their proceedings, policies and ideas to a larger audience around the world.