10月份對話訊息「諾貝爾和平獎發給對話力」A Nobel Prize For Dialogue

諾貝爾和平獎發給對話力」


今年的諾貝爾和平獎於十月頒發給突尼西亞全國對話四方集團(Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet)。這個月的對話新訊,就要為大家整理一下這個突尼西亞團體如何運用對話來達成和平與民主的重要學習。

第一個學習就是承認公民社會組織現在扮演的角色遠遠超過傳統的任務。突尼西亞對話四方集團最大的成就可能是挑戰過去認為國際間的協調是解決棘手政治問題最佳方式的舊有迷思。這些當地的協調者和國際協調者與特使不同之處,就是這些由公民社會主導的當地協調者了解當地的現實,可以每天追蹤現況。在突尼西亞,當地的引導者進行的對話相對上費用較低,這在發展的工作上一直都是很重要的考量。

該組織在2013年開始投入工作時,突尼西亞的政府與反對黨嚴重分歧,政治結構上充斥著互相指責與屈辱,跟現在這個區域的狀況一樣。

四方集團決定要讓所有政黨參與,顯示出國家需要的是包容而不是排擠 – 無論是突尼西亞或是其他地方,這對於多元主義的民主體制,以及順利的民主化轉型過程,都是非常重要的原則。

但是四方集團最特別的特質就是它歡迎不同的價值觀、背景、甚至對於彼此衝突的不同看法。這可能會出現問題,因為如果處理不當,解決衝突的過程可能讓緊張的情緒更激烈,而不是更和緩。

該組織發現他們必須避免偏見,因為偏見可能會讓這脆弱的過程更失焦,但是因為政治領袖夠成熟,願意信任他們,也願意妥協。這個學習就是:思考當地參與的人士時,必須要注意到保持中立的重要性。

所有突尼西亞的利益關係人與政治人物都願意承擔這項政治協議與決定,也讓這個解決方案更可能持久。

突尼西亞的民主化轉型過程肯定會遇到更多的困境,但是這項先例將會幫助這個國家,用更多的自信,而不是更多的焦慮與不安來面對未來的阻礙,因為我們看見和平與民主是共存的。

突尼西亞也讓我們看見公民社會組織對於政權穩定、和平、以及對民主政治繼續延展所扮演的關鍵性角色。

而這就是我們最大的學習:快速採取行動,在內部找到可以延續對話的方案。這個區域的歷史中充斥著因為單一事件就演變成衝突的案例。只要是危機,就沒有所謂小事或大事,都需要處理 – 四方集團也讓我們注意到全國性的公民社會團體對話的必要性,而這些已經在許多國家的不同狀況下發展或正在發展,包括黎巴嫩、巴林、伊拉克、敘利亞、利比亞、葉門等等。

在接下來的幾個月,這些國家的公民組織可能會開始思考如何推廣或進行對話。每一個中東和北非的國家都應該可以挑戰這些狀況,發展出可以進行對話的技巧與能力。

找出最適合的做法,找到具有這些技巧的對的人,是需要學習的。因此,加強協調、管理複雜的衝突的能力可以說是非常重要的。

有時候可以將這個四方集團的經驗作為寶貴的參考。就如許多推動多元民主體制的組織所採用的北愛爾蘭或南非的模式,榮獲諾貝爾和平獎的這個突尼西亞四方集團的範例,也將會在全球各地成為被引用、重視的模式。

突尼西亞全國對話四方集團呈現的是一個世界級的和平模式,建立民主體制的模式。但是這個世界會有所回應嗎?如果要國際團體能夠充分運用突尼西亞所突顯出的這些改變,能夠在公民社會組織、政治人物與政治組織之間建立互信,就必須支援當地培養的調解者的調解與對話的能力。

*取自The Guardian的Dina Melhem的文章,她是西敏民主基金會中東與北非地區理事


A Nobel Prize for Dialogue


The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this October to the Tunisian national dialogue quartet.  This month’s newsletter highlights some lessons learned from the Tunisian group’s dialogic approach to achieving peace and democracy.

First lesson is an acknowledgement that civil society organisations now play a role that goes beyond their traditional work. The Tunisian quartet’s biggest legacy may be challenging the traditional notion that inter-state moderation is the best way to solve difficult political problems.  Unlike international moderators and envoys, who fly from country to country to negotiate, homegrown moderators led by civil society understand local realities. They can follow up on a daily basis. In Tunisia, local facilitators led a dialogue that was relatively inexpensive – always an important consideration in development work.

When the quartet began its work in 2013, Tunisia’s governing and opposition parties were deeply divided. Blame and shame dominated the political discourse, just as it does across the region right now.

The quartet’s decision to engage all the parties demonstrated the need for inclusion rather than exclusion – a key principle for pluralist democracy and for prospects of a smooth democratic transition, in Tunisia or elsewhere.

The quartet’s most intriguing characteristic, though, was its welcoming of different values, backgrounds and, perhaps, perspectives on the conflict. This could have been problematic, because a mismanaged conflict resolution process would have heightened rather than diminished tensions.

The quartet realised that they had to avoid bias, which could have derailed the fragile process. They were rewarded, and helped, by mature political leadership, which was prepared to trust them and make concessions. The lesson is: local actors considering engagement must realise the importance of neutrality.

All Tunisian stakeholders and political actors have ownership of the political agreement and settlement, and this makes a sustainable solution more likely.

There will doubtless be more hiccups in Tunisia’s democratic transition, but this precedent will help the country treat future blockages with confidence rather than anxiety and panic; because now we’ve seen that peace and democracy go hand-in-hand.

Tunisia shows us just how crucial civil society organisations are for the protection of stability and peace, and the development of flourishing democracies.

And this is the biggest lesson of all: the need to act quickly and find an internal solution that sustains dialogue. The region’s history is littered with examples of conflicts that started because of an isolated incident. There is no such thing as a small crisis or a big crisis. All need addressing – the quartet has highlighted how national civil society groups’ dialogues are needed, envisaged or getting underway in many countries with different contexts, including Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

In the months ahead, civil society organisations in these states could start thinking about ways to contribute to a dialogue, or initiate one. Every Middle Eastern and north African country’s civil society should be able to challenge these situations, and develop the skills and capabilities to do so.

Identifying the most suitable approach and engaging the right people with the right skills needs to be learned. So strengthening capacities to mediate and manage complex conflicts is important.

In some cases, the experience of the quartet can be a valuable reference. Like the northern Irish or South African models used by many organisations engaged in promoting pluralistic democracy, the prize-winning example of Tunisia’s Dialogue quartet will be remembered and referenced across the globe.

Tunisia’s Dialogue quartet offers a world-class model in peace- and democracy-building processes. But can the world respond? For the international community to make the most of the promised changes highlighted by Tunisia, home-grown mediation & dialogue skills and efforts aimed at forging and consolidating trust between civil society organisations, political actors and political institutions need further support.

*Adapted from Dina Melhem’s article for the Guardian.  Dina is regional director for the Middle East and North Africa at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

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