Theme II: Pre-empting Civic Strife and a Return to Autocracy

Social Cohesion, Transitional Justice and Human Rights

Moderator: Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary, ECA

     

(i)

From Privilege to Competition: The Role of the Private Sector

What measures can be implemented to transform the private sector into an engine for economic growth and development? How to combat “crony capitalism” and help create a level playing field for a competitive private sector? What governance reforms are needed to unleash the potential of that sector, combat organized crime, and prevent the emergence of oligarchies?

Nickolay Mladenov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria

 

(ii)

 

Islam in Constitutions: Equality and Citizenship Rights

Does reference to Islam in constitutions undermine democratization, civic values or equality before the law? Will constitutions based on Islam threaten social cohesion and exacerbate communal tensions? How will such constitutions reflect the rights and aspirations of other political and non political groups whether religious, or secular, communist or liberal?

Abdelmonem Aboul Fotouh, Presidential Candidate, Secretary-General of the Arab Medical Association, Presidential Candidate, Egypt

 

(iii)

Abdoulie Janneh, United Nations Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

 

(iv)

Dealing with the Legacies of the Past

Addressing the legacy of past atrocities is intimately linked to the nature of the conflict, the identity of perpetrators, and the prevailing societal and cultural norms. Are models such as National Commissions on the Disappeared and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, suitable mechanisms for dealing with the legacy of past atrocities in the Arab region? What are the lessons learnt from the experiences of other countries?

Essop Pahad, Former Minister in the Presidency, South Africa

 

(v)

Ensuring Equity and Citizenship

What are the major challenges to social cohesion during periods of transition? How can traditional or customary societal mechanisms, including tribes and ethnic groups, be involved in efforts to address those challenges? What mechanisms are needed to ensure the involvement of women in decision-making? What steps can be taken to promote a renewed sense of civic identity and, in particular, how can educational and cultural initiatives support this process?

Asma Jehangir, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan

 

UN ESCWA 2012