Forward Thinking welcome the news that the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet have been awarded the Nobel peace prize. The award reflects the significant political progress Tunisia has achieved since 2011, and reflects the central importance of dialogue, compromise and consensus in times of transition. We hope that the award will encourage other countries, both regionally and internationally to place these values at the heart of their own transitions, as they seek to establish peaceful, democratic and pluralistic societies.
However, the awarding of the prize to the National Dialogue Quarter should not overshadow the central role played by Tunisia’s political leaders, in keeping the country on the democratic path. In particular, both Beji Caid Essbesi (then leader of Nidaa Tounes and now President of Tunisia) and Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi (leader of Ennahda) displayed considerable leadership and political bravery in the summer of 2013, and helped to forge an inclusive political agreement in spite of the considerable pressures that were pushing the country towards confrontation. At this time of celebration for Tunisia, the substantial and ongoing contribution made by these two individuals should also be acknowledged and recognised.