Comprehensive Capacity Building program for MENA Civil Society Actors on Democracy Transition and Transitional Justice Strategies.

Rabat, 18-26 November 2007

NPWJ, in partnership with its regional partner Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM), and in cooperation with the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights (OMDH), the Centre d'Etudes en Droit Humains et Democratie (MARKAZ) and Freedom House, organised a ten-day meeting Rabat on 18-26 November 2007.

The event was an in-depth and intensive workshop, to reinforce the transfer and learning processes of knowledge and skills concerning democracy transition in the MENA Region, to elaborate and test protocols and processes for democratic transition learning programs. Building on the positive and fruitful experience of the Doha Conference, the issue transitional justice was a central theme for discussion during the meeting.
The meeting offered a venue for exploring non-violent strategies for political dialogue and democratic reform in the MENA Region and provided a follow-up to previous events organised within the framework of the MENA Democracy program in Rabat (March 2007), Doha (May 2007) and Amman (June 2007).

The key components of the meeting included practical professional internship training, the codification of various mechanisms to impart this practical knowledge to a new generation of reformers in the Region, and strategies for protection. This  integrated approach was beneficial in developing the skills of civil society organisations and democracy advocates by teaching emerging leaders how to work more effectively with each other, political parties, the media, and officials at all levels of government. In this respect, the training also developed the use of civic mobilisation techniques and strategies among civil society leaders and activists in the Arab Region as a means of inducing change toward societies more respectful of human rights and democracy principles.
In developing the theme of the transitional justice, participants at the meeting had the opportunity to discuss the needs and constraints for the development of a transitional justice policy in the MENA Region. Indeed, as experienced during the Doha conference, this theme is more and more an issue on which democracy activists and civil society organisations from the Region are starting to focus.

There are indeed several experiences in the Region with different histories and outcomes and civil society from the Region is starting to analyse previous experiences and to analyse how to bring those experiences within their own country. To this end, participants at the meeting elaborated a work-plan aimed at establishing an Arab Transitional Justice Working Group comprised of indigenous human rights organisations with participation from foreign experts.