Permanent Forum of Arab-African Dialogue on Democracy and Human Rights

Permanent Forum of Arab-African Dialogue on Democracy and Human Rights

The Forum is a space for permanent dialogue for civil society, parliamentarians, decision-makers, regional organizations, as well as specialized UN agencies, to discuss and rethink matters relating to the conditions of democracy and human rights in Africa and in the Arab world.

The creation of such a Forum responds to an urgent need, given the various problems that African and Arab States are facing both to consolidate democracy and to reinforce the respect for human rights. For almost two decades, countries have taken a number of initiatives in this direction, despite significant obstacles related to national contexts or to regional or international geopolitical reasons. To move forward both the progress and the obstacles deserve to be the object of reinforced discussion and exchange between the two regions.

The Forum is all the more important in light of the recent international crisis of the financial and economic system. This requires rethinking in a renewed and thorough way the impact of such an upheaval on the consolidation of democracy and human rights.

Geographical, cultural and religious proximities will certainly facilitate the sharing and exchange of experiences and best practices while strengthening the interactive links between stakeholders, and between countries sharing a number of common challenges.

The Forum is interregional in that it convenes the Arab World and Africa, two geographical regions, around the themes of democracy and human rights, and thus encourages South-South cooperation. It is multi-thematic, addressing issues of common interest to the two regions in line with the general concern of reinforcing and renewing the conditions of democracy and human rights. Finally, it is also multi-partner, as it brings together several key actors, such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), parliamentarians, the academic community, research networks, UN Agencies, regional organizations and other civil society actors.

Its challenges are to foster the ownership, through dialogue, of all normative instruments in the fields of democracy and human rights by civil society and other national and regional actors, in order to facilitate their application.

The Honorary President of the Forum is H.E. Mr Abdou Diouf, Secretary-General of La Francophonie and former President of Senegal. Its Vice-President is H.E. Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights.

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