IPB's statement on the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet

The International Peace Bureau of which Pax Christi International is a member, welcomes the decision of the NNC to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. In contrast to many previous awards, this is a prize for civil society organisations that reflect and articulate intense activity at the grassroots. It is a bottom-up prize rather than another top-down one.

One may regret that the opportunity was not taken to send a rebuke to the big powers who are flexing their militaristic muscles in regions such as like Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and East Asia. A chance was missed on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings to send a powerful disarmament message via the hibakusha. The evaluation of a peace prize is also measured by the options that were rejected.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the promotion of genuine, inclusive democracy based on broad consultation and dialogue is a vital contribution, not only to the stablisation of Tunisia and the Arab world, but indeed to the building of fair and peaceful societies everywhere.

The Prize echoes the IPB's own MacBride Peace award, made in 2012 to Lina Ben Mhenni, the Tunisian blogger and human rights activist.