Hivos would like to congratulate the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for having been awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. As the Norwegian Nobel Committee stated, the Quartet won this prize for its important role in establishing peace and stability in Tunisia, by creating “an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war”.
The Quartet consists of four key civil society organisations in Tunisia, being the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Order of Lawyers and the Tunisian Human Rights League. Together, they managed to negotiate a road map towards democracy in a time when Tunisia was deeply divided over its future.
Due to the Quartet’s immense commitment to find a broadly supported solution, the different factions in Tunisian society and politics were able to find common ground and continue their path towards a democratic country. We are very proud that the Women’s Committee of the UGTT is a partner organisation within our Women on the Frontline programme.
The fact that a Nobel Peace Prize prize was awarded to a civil society consortium is of great importance. Not only does it give the efforts of the Tunisian National Quartet its well-deserved recognition, but the Prize also emphasizes the crucial role that civil society organisations can play in reaching peaceful and democratic societies in North Africa and the Middle East.
This Nobel Prize is a great sign of appreciation of their challenging, important work, and will hopefully lead to a bigger space for civil society within political processes in the broader region.