International Colloquium on Political Pluralism and Electoral Processes

Colloquium Background Paper - Rabat, 1-3 October 2005

In the framework of the Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD), the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Morocco and of Italy, in cooperation with non-governmental partners from both countries, namely “No Peace Without Justice” (Italy) and “Maroc 2020” (Morocco), are convening an International Colloquium on Political Pluralism and Electoral Processes , to be held in Rabat, Morocco, on 1‑3 October 2005.
In keeping with the purposes of the DAD, this gathering aims to promote productive dialogue between civil society and governments of the broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA), G8 and other partners, on issues relating to political development, democracy and human rights.  The Rabat Colloquium hopes to provide a setting for concrete exchanges between high‑level governmental and non-governmental actors from the region, including political leaders, members of parliament and media representatives, so as to encourage a habit of dialogue within which successful experiences can be discussed and eventually built upon.
The results of the Colloquium will be brought to the Bahrain meeting of the Forum for the Future in November 2005, to provide concrete indications of progress in the DAD process as agreed in Rabat in December 2004. The Colloquium aspires to provide the opportunity for BMENA, G8 and other Governments and civil society to reach mutual understanding about each other's concerns through exchange and discussion. In this respect, the International Colloquium on Political Pluralism and Electoral Processes is an important component of the DAD and a concrete manifestation of the spirit of the Partnership for Progress and a Common Future . In order to provide the best possible atmosphere in which experiences, problems and possible approaches to these issues of common interest can be discussed constructively and productively, three categories of participants have been invited to the International Colloquium:
•  Government Delegations from the countries of the BMENA Region, G8 and other partners, typically composed of a ministerial-level Head of Delegation and 2-3 other members;
•  Civil Society Delegations from the BMENA Region, G8 and other partners, comprised of high-level representatives of non-government intellectuals, political figures, parliamentarians and media representatives; and
•  Regional Institutions, who can contribute to the discussions by sharing their experiences and approaches relating to political development.
In this context, in parallel with the invitations extended by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Morocco and Italy to BMENA, G8 and other Government delegations, “No Peace Without Justice” in cooperation with “Maroc 2020” – as non-governmental organisers – have invited civil society representatives. A majority of these civil society representatives have taken part in a Workshop on Political Pluralism and Electoral Processes organised in Venice ( Italy ) from 21 to 23 July 2005 by No Peace Without Justice. The conclusions of this workshop will help to inform the work sessions of the Rabat Colloquium.
The Rabat International Colloquium will also provide a useful opportunity for participants to identify relevant suggestions that can help guide the DAD process. Indeed, the holding of a wide-ranging consultation process between governments and civil society in an informal, open and inclusive format in itself represents significant progress, as it initiates a tradition of dialogue on issues of political development, devoted to strengthening democracy and participation of civil society.
The Colloquium Secretariat is being provided by the convening governmental and non-governmental parties. Additional information on flights, accommodation and accreditation procedures are being sent to participating delegations directly by the Colloquium Secretariat.
For additional information, please visit the conference website