On 29 June 2010, in the framework of the conference entitled ‘The Democratic Movement in Iran: Pitfalls and Potential’ organised at the Italian Parliament by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and the Transnational Nonviolent Radical Party, NPWJ will present its book: “Supporting Iranian Civil Society: A toolkit for democratic colleagues in the international community“.

The main policy objective of this publication is to encourage and reinforce European and international human rights groups commitment to provide appropriate support to Iranian civil society in its effort to achieve democratic reform and promote human rights and the rule of law in their country. The toolkit is based on the general principle that “locals know best”, and put forward a set of suggestions, proposals and ideas that provides an alternative to an all or nothing approach, but where the objectives, and more importantly, the pace, is controlled by those directly at risk.

Within the framework of its MENA Democracy campaign, the NPWJ Iran Program, begun in 2007, aims at reinforcing and supporting domestic civil society actors, democracy advocates and reformers working for the promotion of democratic values, the respect of human rights and the rule of law and advocating for greater public participation in the political process, while leaving it up to local actors to determine objectives, strategies and methodologies and ensure that political and democratic reform in Iran comes from the efforts of Iranians working inside the country. NPWJ intends to pursue these goals both directly with in-country partners and through coordinating its work with and providing assistance to other international organisations that have the capacity and the political will to do the same.

Declaration by Niccolo’ Figa-Talamanca, Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice:

“Iran’s rich and varied civil society is the most likely source of meaningful democratic reform in Iran, but it requires increased international support and solidarity in its effort to achieve these aims. The loose alliance of journalists, academics, students, women’s groups, and other voluntary organisations that work under the heading of civil society has in recent times proved itself one of the few forces able to pressure Iran’s ruling theocracy towards political reform.

The time has now come for the international community to act in support of Iranian civil society at this crucial juncture in the history of the country’s democratic movement. We hope this document will serve as a useful resource to those who wish to heed the call of Iranian civil society leaders and provide them with the support they need right now.”

The Conference will be held in Sala delle Colonne, Chamber of Deputies, Rome.
See program attached.

For further information, please contact: Gianluca Eramo, email: geramo@npwj.org, phone: +32 (0)2 548-3925 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.orgor +32 (0)2 548-3915.