Friday, March 22, 2013

Tunisia: 'Despite Challenges and Difficulties, Tunisia Remains Haven of Peace'

President of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Mustapha Ben Jaafar said he was confident in the success of the democratic transition process in Tunisia, "in view, he said, of all the achievements made over the past two years despite the challenges, the security situation in Libya and the economic difficulties of the Euro zone."

Mustapha Ben Jaafar was addressing Thursday members of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association.

He said "despite the difficulties and disruptions it faces, Tunisia remains a haven of peace, a land of co-existence and co-operation and a transit point for Western investment destined to the Arab and African spaces."

Ben Jaafar also stressed "the impact of a successful democratic transition in Tunisia on the other Arab revolutions."

Creating jobs, reforming the educational and security system, limiting centralisation and ensuring social balance in all its dimensions are among the challenges faced by the Tunisian government, said Mr. Ben Jaafar, highlighting the need to ensure that the new constitution meets the expectations of Tunisians.

Answering questions of participants in the 8th annual conference of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association (HAAA) entitled "the Arab World: From Revolution to Transformation", Mustapha Ben Jaafar said setting a timeline for works of the NCA and the next elections "will be made through consensus between all political formations", downplaying the risk of holding a referendum to validate the constitution.

The NCA President also rejected any foreign interference in the internal affairs of Arab Spring countries.

For his part, Provost of Harvard Jorge Dominguez deplored the poor presence of Arab students in this American university despite the 2.6 million dollars in scholarships made available.

He also expressed his astonishment at Tunisian students' aversion to participate in distance learning courses organised by Harvard in new technologies, with only 700 Tunisian students taking part in this course out of a total of 50,000 from other countries of the world.