Workshop on “Social Development: A new prospective on Human Security in the BMENA Region”

Doha, Qatar, 12-13 October 2009.

The “Arab Democracy Foundation” (ADF) and “No Peace Without Justice” (NPWJ), in partnership with the governments of Morocco and Italy, organised a Workshop on “Social Development: A new prospective on Human Security in the BMENA Region”, held in Doha, Qatar, on 12-13 October 2009.

The meeting aimed at promoting productive dialogue on a peer-to-peer basis between civil society and governments of the bMENA Region, G8 and other democratic partners, on issues relating to Human Development and Human Security in countries of the region. The Doha Workshop was intended to provide a setting for concrete exchanges between high-level governmental and non-governmental actors from the Region aiming at the development of proposals and goals that can be jointly agreed upon by them. The workshop particularly focused on addressing the relationship between political reform and social development, and the broader challenges that fit within the human security issues, with a particular reference to the 2009 Arab Human Development report issued by UNDP. The meeting provided a two-day substantive dialogue and consultations through which participants discussed in detail the many specific components of the concept of Human Security, encompassing various facets of citizens’ rights to freedom from fear and freedom from want.
The Doha Workshop concluded with the adoption of a set of conclusions emphasizing that Human Security and Human Development are fundamental guiding principles of domestic and international government policies, and that civil society actors are legitimate participants of dialogue together with Governments in their implementation process. Among its main recommendations, the document calls for the promotion of political pluralism and condemns all violations committed against civilian population, emphasizing the need to encourage national reconciliation and accountability also trough transitional justice processes; as well as acknowledging the importance of supporting and encouraging good governance and institutions capable of ensuring the broad and balanced participation of all segments of society. As stated in the document, the development of future Human Development and Human Security Policies for the BMENA Region requires the establishment of processes of coordination and consultation between governments and civil society at the national and regional level on issues of democracy, human rights and local governance. 
The Doha Workshop built upon the guiding principles for stronger dialogue and cooperation between Governments and civil society contained in the “Partnership document”, which has been acknowledged by the fifth Forum of the Future held in Abu Dhabi in October 2008.
Participants included high-level governmental representatives, prominent democracy activists with an expertise in various areas of human security from several counties of the Region,as well as representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The meeting was part of a series of initiatives organised in preparation for the 2009 Forum for the Future, under the Italian and Moroccan co-presidency, in coordination with the Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD) partnership. The recommendations emerged from the Workshop will be presented to the Ministerial Meeting of the Forum for the Future 2009 in Marrakech, Morocco, on 2-3 November 2009, to provide a set of constructive proposals and recommendations that could fruitfully feed the discussion between governments and civil society.
Concept Paper
For further information, please contact: Gianluca Eramo, email:, phone: +32 494 533 925