ARASTA was set up amid extraordinary local, regional, and international conditions that left a distinctive mark on its mission and objectives. It coincided with the launching of the democratization process, the legalization of political pluralism, and the resumption of the electoral parliamentary life in the region and Iraq in whole.

Through its various activities, ARASTA aims at consolidating the role of civil society as an effective partner in democratic development and at upholding the values of human rights, citizenship, and equality. ARASTA also encourages dialogue, reconciliation, and respect for other viewpoints, while refusing violence, extremism, and hatred.

In fulfilling its mission, ARASTA uses scientific methodology in preparing studies and research papers, and in organizing awareness raising campaigns. It also upgrades policies and launches national initiatives for democratic transformation and for achieving deep economic and political reforms to enhance Kurdistan and Iraq's progress towards democracy, openness, and modernization.

ARASTA aims to mobilize ordinary members of society in all regions of the country particularly women and youth in contributing to the establishment of an institutional government that works in the interest of the community.

We believe women and youth are under-utilized members of society whose potential could be harnessed and channeled towards effective private sector development, not only in public sector.