Arab Democracy Foundation’s Workshops at the Tenth Doha Forum
With the much-appreciated support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar, and within the frame of the Tenth Doha Forum, which took place on 31 May to 02 June 2010, ADF organized three workshops on conflict resolution and mediation, human security, and the role of research in promoting democracy.
About 100 Arab, European, American, African, and Asian prominent personalities participated in these three events, among whom were Former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, and Former Netherlands Prime Minister Wim Kok, in addition to Ambassadors Pierre LaFrance from France, Oscar Alvarez from Costa Rica, Peter van Leeuwen from the Netherlands, the former Head of the Turkish intelligence services, Sonmez Koksal, and Former Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ould Mohamedou Mahmoudy.
Workshop One: Conflict Resolution and Mediation
ADF organized a Conflict Resolution and Mediation workshop, benefitting from the value added of Qatar’s role in the Arab region. The first workshop aimed to reflect upon the kind of support for the Arab countries that attempt to resort to transitional justice and acceptance of the mediation as a mechanism to resolve conflicts and achieve national reconciliation. The workshop also aimed to look at the technical support to be provided to these countries through an in-depth knowledge of transitional justice and the development of technical expertise and assistance in the preparation of national strategies.
Former Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Dr. Neil Kritz, researcher, expert in conflict resolution and mediation, and editor of one of the relevant reference books on this issue: Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes, were the main speakers in this workshop. French Ambassador Francis Gutmann, former Secretary General of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and current president of the international organization Mediation, Mr. Joseph Maila, president of the Religions Section at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Amal van Hees, director of the Dutch organization Bridging the Gulf also gave presentations.
Dr. Peter van Leeuwen, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Iraq discussed the situation there with regards to the impact of the war. The Arab researchers and leaders of civil society in the region engaged with the speakers in a rich debate, presenting the own perspective of the Arab experts as per the issue of peaceful conflict resolution, mediation, and transitional justice.
Workshop Two: Towards a Regional Conception of Human Security
This workshop aimed to open a space for dialogue between civil society activists from Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab region to approach the question of human development by linking the concepts of freedom from fear and freedom from want in such a way as to as to merge the political with the social. To quote the Arab Human Development Report 2009, “human security and state security are two sides of the same coin (…)’”.
Ambassador Oscar Alvarez from Costa Rica presented in this workshop a paper entitled: “Reflections about Sustainable and Full Democracy in Latin America”, while Dr. Paul Graham, executive director of the South African Democracy Institute, talked about “The African Architecture and Challenges”. Former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, Former Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ould Mohamedou Mahmoudy, Dr. Kathleen Lauder, director of the Institute on Governance in Canada, the Permanent Ambassador Pierre LaFrance, the former Head of the Turkish intelligence services, Sonmez Koksal, and Dieudonne Zognong, director of Fondation Humanus in Cameroon, all responded to the 2 main papers.
The presentations were followed by an interactive debate with the Arab scholars, researchers, and leaders of civil society who were attending the workshop.
Workshop Three: Research and Democracy Promotion
The participants in this workshop discussed the role of research in promoting democracy, by presenting research from Europe and the Arab region, for instance the role of research in reforming public administration by the World Values Survey Association, and the Arab Barometer project, and the Annual Arab Reform Index by the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI).
Dr. Juan Diez Nicolas, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Complutense University in Madrid, and member of the European Academy of Science and Arts presented the first piece on “the Role of Social Research in Public Administration Reforms”.
This presentation was followed by the Arab Barometer project, explained and analysed by Dr. Amaney Jamal, Professor of Political Science from Princeton University, and Dr. Fares Braizat, Head of Research at the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute at Qatar University. Salam Kawakibi, Senior Researcher at ARI presented the Arab Reform Index for 2010. These three presentations were followed by input from Dr. Roland Rich, Executive Head of the UN Democracy Fund, the Pakistani Senator Sana Ullah Baloch, the Secretary General of the World Values Survey Association, Dr. Bi Puranen from Sweden, Jaime Diez Medrano, President of JD Systems in Spain, Dr. Yilamz Esmer, Profesor of Political Science at the Bahcesehir University in Turkey, and Arnold Luethold, Head of the Africa and Middle East Unit at the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.
ADF Participating in the Tenth Doha Forum Plenary Sessions...
ADF was one of the Qatar Minsitry of Foreign Affairs partners in several plenary sessions of the Tenth Doha Forum. The sessions were as follows: “Politics: Nationl Identity, Immigration, and Faith”, where Mr. Joseph Maila, president of the Religions Section at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs discussed immigration and integration, and “Democracy: Promoting Democratic Transition”, where Dr. Paul Graham, executive director of the South African Democracy Institute talked about democratic processes.
Former Mauritanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Ould Mohamedou Mahmoudy gave a speech at the plenary session: “Economics: Investment after the Financial Crisis”, while French Ambassador Francis Gutmann and the former Head of the Turkish intelligence services, Sonmez Koksal talked in the session: “Stability and International Human Security: Effective Forces”. Dr. Amaney Jamal and Dr. Juan Diez Nicolas spoke in the session: “Education and Scientific Research: Enriching the Educational Programs and Competitiveness.