In light of the sweeping changes in the Arab region, ESCWA has launched a series of civil society dialogues entitled: "Exploring New Frontiers". These dialogues aim to take stock of the transition that Arab countries are going through and discuss the changing role of civil society and the emerging challenges and windows of opportunity. They are also intended to discuss the process of institutionalizing new citizen participation frameworks, and ensuring social cohesion.
In response to the recent developments in Egypt, ESCWA held its fifth civil society dialogue session on 4 July 2013. The session sought to assess the impact of the June 30th demonstrations, the repercussions of Egypt's second regime change and the role of civil society in the process.
A succinct overview was given by former presidential candidate in Egypt and chairperson of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Law Khaled Ali of unfolding event and challenges since the election of President Mursi and leading up to the "30 June Revolution."
These included activities undertaken by a number of civil society groups such as labour unions and civil society organizations as well as a detailed analysis of "Tamarod (Rebel)" the group of civic activists who spear headed the initiative for a second regime change. The presentation was followed by a debate focusing on the impact of regime change in Egypt on the region, the role of the army and the challenges of the transitional period and the role of civil society specifically in the areas of accountability, and safeguarding the goals of the revolution and the integrity of the transition process.
Participants in this dialogue session included experts and political activists, representatives of civil society organizations, and staff members from different ESCWA divisions and sections.
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