ESCWA is holding an inter-divisional Expert Group Meeting to Follow-up on the Civil Society Forum held in Cairo in April 2011 on the “Arab Uprisings and Prospects for Renaissance”, in the UN house (MZ floor) on 25 and 26 August 2011. The EGM aims to further examine experiences, draw lessons, identify problems, and discuss the requirements needed to ensure smooth transition and progress towards modernization and democratization of Arab societies.
The EGM will also translate the above-mentioned Cairo Forum's recommendations into action plans and initiatives to reinforce the position of civil society and sustain its role as a key partner in the decision-making process, while seeking a smooth transition towards democracy and civic participation. The meeting will be held around three interdependent components focusing on: (1) The Dynamics of the uprisings in the region, its underlying reasons, the varying models of change (peaceful versus violent/armed), the outcomes and challenges facing the democratic process, and the expedient of relying on the military institution during the democratic transition; (2) Meeting the challenges of the transitional phase, including legislation and institutional reform, functions and priorities of national councils entrusted to lead the democratic change, restructuring of the security sector and the participation of women in the ongoing social movements in selected Arab countries, including in the decision-making process; and (3) Enabling environment to meet emerging challenges, in terms of safeguarding the democratic process, proposing scenarios for economic development, using digital social media network in Arab uprisings, and emphasizing the role of media in ensuring civil participation in the democratic transition.
Participants in the EGM will include civil actors and activists, representatives of civil society organizations and research centers, experts, academic and media entities, private sector representatives, in addition to representatives of United Nations agencies, and regional and international organizations.