“It is an important political signal that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the National Dialogue Quartet. A quartet in which trade unions, employers, lawyers and human rights activists in Tunisia cooperate with one clear goal. So far Tunisia is the only country in which the Arab Spring was successful”, says Jan Gruiters, general director of peace organisation PAX.
“In other countries, nonviolent civic initiatives are being heavily suppressed. This Tunisian initiative for peace and democracy shows that changes can and ought to come from within. The award of the Peace Prize is encouraging for non-violent and democratic people and organisations in the Middle East, such as in Syria and Iraq.” In those two countries PAX supports various civil society organisations. One of the most prominent initiatives are the organisations of Adopt a Revolution and Kulluna Mwatinun.
Gruiters: “I see the Nobel Prize as a great encouragement especially since in many countries in the Middle East the political space for similar initiatives is systematically reduced. It is a call to give in to negotiations with ‘uneasy partners’, those who suppress freedom and democracy under the guise of security and stability. Awarding the peace prize to the Tunisian Quartet is as much a call to the international community to enhance social change in the Middle East, especially in the countries where they are oppressed by violence and repression as it is to the regimes of the Middle East itself.”