Members of the LEND Network meet in Tunisia

January 30, 2013

Over 20 government officials, parliamentarians and civil society activists from Tunisia, members of the LEND Network (Leaders Engaged in New Democracies), convened on January 21-22 for a face-to-face meeting in Tunis.

The Network’s experts and advisors (among others, Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada and Petre Roman, former Prime Minister of Romania), as well as representatives of initiating and supporting organizations of the network- the Community of Democracies, Club de Madrid, and OpenText took part in the meeting. The participants had the opportunity to meet in person those with whom they have been so far virtually cooperating, and to discuss the most important topics related to the process of democratic transition in Tunisia.

The meeting’s agenda began with a presentation and discussion of functionalities of the LEND Network's platform. Members of the Network showed a high level of engagement in the discussion, and agreed on the creation of particular working groups, with membership drawn from the Network users, to research and develop new ideas and functions for the Network.

The meeting continued with a series of three open discussions on topics regarding democratic transition:

In a panel on political reforms and good governance, participants discussed the democratic structure of the political reform in the country, including political participation, party system, institutional reform, the involvement of civil society organizations and the keys for consolidation of the democratic regime and restoration of public trust in the political system.

The second panel dealt with economic reforms and social inclusive development, in the light of the demands of the revolution- reduction of unemployment, better living conditions, and the promotion of regional development. Participants discussed the preferred economic model for implementation in the country, and the economic challenges that the new government faces.

Special interest from the side of the participants was noted in the third panel, on transitional justice, one of the most sensitive topics in countries undergoing democratic transition.

Several important meetings were held also after the meeting’s official closure. A special meeting was held between local parliamentarians and former Prime Minister of Romania, Mr. Petre Roman, with guest participation by the Secretary General of the Community of Democracies, Ambassador Maria Leissner. Ambassador Leissner held also a meeting with the Tunisian Director for Human Rights of  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lassaad Bellamine.