Friday, October 9, 2015

Nobel Peace Prize 2015 awarded to Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet -:

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2015
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has
decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for
2015 is to be awarded to the Tunisian
National Dialogue Quartet for its
decisive contribution to the building of a
pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the
wake of the Jasmine Revolution of
2011. The Quartet was formed in the
summer of 2013 when the
democratization process was in danger
of collapsing as a result of political
assassinations and widespread social
unrest. It established an alternative,
peaceful political process at a time
when the country was on the brink of
civil war. It was thus instrumental in
enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few
years, to establish a constitutional
system of government guaranteeing
fundamental rights for the entire
population, irrespective of gender,
political conviction or religious belief.
The National Dialogue Quartet has
comprised four key organizations in
Tunisian civil society: the Tunisian
General Labour Union (UGTT, Union
Générale Tunisienne du Travail), the
Tunisian Confederation of Industry,
Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA, Union
Tunisienne de l'Industrie, du Commerce
et de l'Artisanat), the Tunisian Human
Rights League (LTDH, La Ligue
Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits
de l'Homme), and the Tunisian Order of
Lawyers (Ordre National des Avocats de
Tunisie). These organizations represent
different sectors and values in Tunisian
society: working life and welfare,
principles of the rule of law and human
rights. On this basis, the Quartet
exercised its role as a mediator and
driving force to advance peaceful
democratic development in Tunisia with
great moral authority. The Nobel Peace
Prize for 2015 is awarded to this
Quartet, not to the four individual
organizations as such.
The Arab Spring originated in Tunisia in
2010-2011, but quickly spread to a
number of countries in North Africa and
the Middle East. In many of these
countries, the struggle for democracy
and fundamental rights has come to a
standstill or suffered setbacks. Tunisia,
however, has seen a democratic
transition based on a vibrant civil
society with demands for respect for
basic human rights.
An essential factor for the culmination of
the revolution in Tunisia in peaceful,
democratic elections last autumn was
the effort made by the Quartet to
support the work of the constituent
assembly and to secure approval of the
constitutional process among the
Tunisian population at large. The
Quartet paved the way for a peaceful
dialogue between the citizens, the
political parties and the authorities and
helped to find consensus-based
solutions to a wide range of challenges
across political and religious divides.
The broad-based national dialogue that
the Quartet succeeded in establishing
countered the spread of violence in
Tunisia and its function is therefore
comparable to that of the peace
congresses to which Alfred Nobel refers
in his will.
The course that events have taken in
Tunisia since the fall of the authoritarian
Ben Ali regime in January 2011 is
unique and remarkable for several
reasons. Firstly, it shows that Islamist
and secular political movements can
work together to achieve significant
results in the country's best interests.
The example of Tunisia thus
underscores the value of dialogue and a
sense of national belonging in a region
marked by conflict. Secondly, the
transition in Tunisia shows that civil
society institutions and organizations
can play a crucial role in a country's
democratization, and that such a
process, even under difficult
circumstances, can lead to free
elections and the peaceful transfer of
power. The National Dialogue Quartet
must be given much of the credit for this
achievement and for ensuring that the
benefits of the Jasmine Revolution have
not been lost.
Tunisia faces significant political,
economic and security challenges. The
Norwegian Nobel Committee hopes that
this year's prize will contribute towards
safeguarding democracy in Tunisia and
be an inspiration to all those who seek
to promote peace and democracy in the
Middle East, North Africa and the rest of
the world. More than anything, the prize
is intended as an encouragement to the
Tunisian people, who despite major
challenges have laid the groundwork for
a national fraternity which the
Committee hopes will serve as an
example to be followed by other
Oslo, 10 October 2015