Regional Forum “The Role of Assemblies in Fostering Social Cohesion and Peaceful Political Transformations in the Arab States”

Time: 26-27 September 2016

The regional forum on the role of assemblies in fostering social cohesion and peaceful political transformations in Arab States will explore these questions, focusing on the crucial roles that constitution-making bodies and parliaments need to play in reconfiguring the relationship between citizens and the State.

The Forum aims in particular to address the following key questions:

* Why do countries across the region differ significantly in the nature and outcome of their political transitions?

* Under what conditions can parliaments and constitutional reform help to build inclusive, dynamic and robust societies?

* How can these institutions prevent the degeneration of political changes into violence through ‘preventive governance’?

The conference seeks to provide answers to these questions through discussions which will hone in on the expertise of participants including parliamentarians, government officials, donor organizations and academics. The dialogue will illuminate findings from empirical research, including cross-country comparative analyses. Outcomes of the conference will include analysis on how the international community can support non-violent and democratic transformations, practice guidelines, and potentially in the longer term, a regional programme mobilising a network of experts on inclusive and accountable transformations in the region.

The objective of the conference is two-fold:

1. Develop innovative and realistic approaches to foster inclusive political processes in the Arab States, specifically strengthening parliaments and constitution-making bodies to enable them to act as bulwarks of social cohesion through enhanced preventive governance capacity, accountability, participation and representation to promote legitimate and dynamic social contracts in line with SDG 16.

2. Integrate the international response by developing international guidelines on the role of parliaments and constitution-making bodies in political transformations, informed by regional lessons learnt, a participatory approach and empirical research.


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