A Historic Opportunity for Justice in the Region That Must Not be Missed

The conference "Transitional Justice and the MENA Region: Challenges and Possibilities" concluded with a summary of topics discussed during the two days by Ragab Saad, researcher of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights. Saad listed the discussed challenges facing Middle East and North Africa countries going through different stages of transition from dictatorships and repression.

Voices on Justice: Bahrain, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen

The last session of the conference gave the floor to human rights activists from various countries in the Middle East and North Africa region to describe the severity of the human rights violations in their countries, and voice their demands to the international community and the Arabic League.

Activists from Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Sudan reported on their countries’ situations and needs.

Syrian political and human rights activist Hazem Nahar briefed the participants on the situation in his country and expressed concern over escalating human rights violations.

ICC and MENA Region: Pursuing Accountability and Strengthening the Rule of Law

The penultimate session of the conference focused on the issue of complementarity and strengthening the rule of law in countries in the Middle East and North Africa undergoing transition, as well as the impact of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Moderator Salah Nasraoui, Iraqi journalist and activist, opened the session with a review of the Iraqi experience -- particularly the failures -- with transitional justice, and how the lessons learned might apply to other countries in the region.

Fighting Corruption: What Role for Transitional Justice Methods?

The conference’s seventh session focused on tackling corruption as part of addressing past violations. UNDP’s regional Center advisor for Civil Society and Social Policies Marwan Abisamra moderated the session and initiated the discussion by highlighting the selective distribution of revenues among the people of the Arab world countries. Abisamra added that alongside institutional reform, corruption is a pivotal issue in the region. “How to fight corruption?” asked Abisamra.

Preventing Abuse in Egypt and Tunisia: How to Exclude Perpetrators and Reform the Security Sector

The sixth panel of the conference continued the discussion on institutional reform, focusing on the security sector as one of the backbones of justice system and its relationship with civil society. Panelists focused on the challenges to this process in Tunisia and Egypt and made recommendations on how to utilize security sector reform to prevent the recurrence of human rights abuses.