The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, will visit Geneva, Switzerland, from 20-22 April. Its four representatives will share their experiences of the Tunisian transition in a series of meetings, public lectures and discussions.
The highlight of the visit will be their participation in a public lecture entitled “A civil peace by civil society – Tunisian experiences for the future of the region” on 21 April at the United Nations’ (UN) headquarters, the Palais des Nations. The conference is organised jointly by the UN Office at Geneva and the UN Institute for Training and Research.
The representatives of the Quartet are Mr Houcine Abassi, Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union; Mr Abdessattar Ben Moussa, President of the Tunisian Human Rights League; Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui, President of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; and Mr Mohammed Fadhel Mahfoudh, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.
The National Dialogue Quartet played a pivotal role in Tunisia during a critical period in the democratic transition. Following the assassination of political leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohammed Brahmi in 2013, the country was on the verge of chaos with widespread protests, civil unrest, and a boycott of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) by many MPs. In this tense situation, the President of the Assembly took the bold step of suspending the NCA’s work. This opened the way for the Quartet to successfully reconvene the national dialogue process which included the major political parties. Their efforts resulted in agreement on a caretaker Government which led the country until the 2014 Presidential and legislative elections, and also contributed to the successful conclusion of the constitutional process in January 2014. For these efforts, the Quartet was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.
Tunisia continues to face major challenges including the threat from terrorism and continuing instability in neighbouring Libya. This visit of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), is part of HD’s ongoing efforts to support mediation and dialogue in the country, and to assist those in Tunisia who contribute to conflict resolution throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and beyond.
For more information on this visit or on the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, please contact Ms Flore Brannon atpr(at)hdcentre.org or on +41 (0)22 908 11 30/57.