IPI MENA Director Emphasizes Need for Culture of Democracy

On November 4th, IPI MENA Director Nejib Friji addressed the Assilah International Cultural Moussem in Assilah, Morocco, emphasizing the need to cultivate a culture of democracy as part of a home-grown solution to achieve durable peace.

The 42nd edition of the annual forum was organized by the Assilah Forum Foundation, in partnership with Morocco’s Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication, and the city of Assilah. The discussion at this year’s symposium revolved around the theme “Electoral democracy: what future?” drew in a global audience at all levels of the decision makers, from government officials to members of civil society, as it aimed to promote a global vision on the future of democracy.

Speaking on the second session entitled “Representative & Multi-Party Democracy: What future on a global level?” Mr. Friji underlined how and the ways in which the international community and local authorities should approach building democracy, as he warned of the destabilizing nature that comes from oversimplifying democracy as elections, as well as imposing rigid understanding of democracies.

“Democracy should be home-grown, in sync with organic structures and reinforcing institutions,” Mr. Friji stated, naming multiple components rooted in the culture of peace, that play a key role in fostering a culture of democracy. These included: education and culture, religious leaders and institutions, media, all in tandem with civil society. “Democracy has a future,” he asserted, “there is not a one-size-fits-all approach on the path towards democracy, however, the underlying values and principles are cross-cutting.”

Participants in the discussion included; Mr. Mohamed Benaïssa, Secretary General of the Assilah Forum Foundation and Former Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs; Khemaies Jhinaoui, Former Foreign Minister of Tunisia and President of Tunisian Council of International Relations; Dr. Abdullah Ould Abah, Former United Nations Official; Mr. Hakim Ben Hamouda Former Tunisian Minister of Economy and Finance;  Mr. Lahcen Haddad, former Minister of Tourism, Morocco, and Mr. Abdul-Wahab Badrakhan, Political Analyst.