Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Tunisia’s guardians of democracy


The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded on Thursday to four organisations that helped save Tunisia’s transition to democracy through dialogue, a method the laureates are keen to see applied in Syria and Libya.

“Arms can never be a solution, not in Syria nor in Libya. There is a need for dialogue,” Abdessatar Ben Moussa, head of Tunisia’s Human Rights League, told reporters in Oslo on Wednesday. “No blood and no fighters.”

Along with the Human Rights League, the National Dialogue Quartet is made up of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UTGG), the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), and the Order of Lawyers.

The Quartet will receive the prestigious honour from the hands of the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s chairwoman, Kaci Kullmann Five, at a ceremony scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm at Oslo’s City Hall in the presence of Norway’s King Harald and the Norwegian government.

This year’s Nobel laureates in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics will receive their prizes at a separate ceremony in Stockholm later Thursday.

The Quartet helped save the country’s transition to democracy at a sensitive moment in 2013 when the process was in danger of collapsing because of widespread social unrest.

The group orchestrated a lengthy and thorny “national dialogue” between the Ennahda party and their opponents.