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Two years on, post-Arab spring democracies debate courses of action that must deliver results to their people, against a backdrop of heightened expectations. Perhaps no issue is more pressing than the improvement of government accountability and ensuring full respect of citizens' rights - with the gaining of individual liberties and social justice a litmus test.
Because justice institutions play a key role in the distribution of power and rights, ensuring equal access to justice will be key in achieving this. However, justice sector services remain mostly inaccessible to the poor and vulnerable citizens. The obstacles they face include considerable lack of awareness of available services and the procedures they may undertake to access them, complicated procedures for accessing services, non-existence of services in practice, and the relatively high costs related fees.
This situation precipitated a number of civil society representatives, judges and lawyers from MENA countries, but also from Europe and the USA, to exchange experience and identify concrete solutions. Key institutions such as the Arab Council for Judicial and Legal studies, the Open Society Foundation and the Euro-Arab Institute (INSTEA) outlined pathways towards more openness and efficiency of justice sector services. The discussions, held at CMI as part of the 'Rencontre Valmer' series, highlighted the growing role of civil society organizations not only in providing legal aid services but also in advocating for judicial reforms. They do, however, need to build capacity as well partnerships with a variety of national stakeholders, which all-together can develop a coordinated response to legal aid needs....
Three Questions to Inger Andersen
Vice President of the World Bank, Middle East and North Africa Region
On April 4-5 2013, Ms Inger Andersen, Vice President of the World Bank, Middle East and North Africa region went to the CMI in Marseille to participate at several events including the launch of the World Bank Gender Report: “Open Doors: Gender Equality in the Middle East and North Africa” and the CMI Rencontre Valmer dedicated to urban issues in the MENA region: “Transforming Arab City: Local empowerment and urban governance”. Her visit was the opportunity to record her prospective.
More on Gender Report More on Rencontre Valmer
The report identifies a whole set of economic, legal and cultural hurdles that have kept the region’s women out of public life and out of the labor market. Despite the great strides taken by women over the last four decades in health and higher education, the report details the multiple challenges women face. Only one in four women in MENA are employed or looking for work, half the global rate. The high rate of unemployment amongst women, exacerbated by difficulty of balancing a career with raising a family, only serves to widen disparities between men and women.
The report was discussed with a diverse group of academics, civil society representatives, women entrepreneurs and representatives of development institutions.
More information REPORT
The CMI, in partnership with OCEMO, organized the workshop entitled "Social Cohesion in a Context of Crisis", which addressed employment and social protection issues. The fourth event in which the CMI participated was the "Combating Gender Stereotypes" workshop, where the World Bank report "Opening Doors: Gender Equality in the Middle East and North Africa" was introduced. Finally, as a follow-up to the publication of the 2012 Med Report "Towards green growth in Mediterranean countries", the CMI contributed to the session entitled "A Green Economy for a Sustainable Mediterranean".
Urbanization Knowledge Exchange to Support MENA Stakeholders "The Evolving Regional Urban Agenda: Focus on Municipal Finance"
BASEL, Switzerland January 22, 2013 – Rapid urbanization can hold long-term economic, social and environmental promise for developing countries if investments made now in infrastructure, housing and public services are efficient and sustainable, the World Bank says in a new report “Planning, Connecting, and Financing Cities – Now: Priorities for City”.
read more report Slideshow of the launch day
"I have learnt a lot from these discussions. Your 'Rencontre' has become ours", says Mr. Abdellatif Mazouz, Minister in charge of Moroccans abroad, Morocco
Dr. Indermit Gill, co-author of the Golden Growth, Restoring the Lustre of the European economic model report, presented the impressive achievements of Europe as a powerful engine for economic convergence, assessing the longer-term challenges and evaluating the three main components of the European model: (i) labor and labor mobility; (ii) trade and investment; (iii) entrepreneurship and innovation. These components served as entry points in the discussions and as reference points for the work undertaken by the CMI programs under the newly established theme “Integrated Economies”. The debate provided strategic advice for these programs as they develop their work plan under the CMI 2.0 framework.
During the meeting, Ms. Inger Andersen, Vice president of the World Bank, Middle East and North Africa Region, emphasized "The CMI develops an environment in which ideas can flow freely as we tackle the core issues: jobs; growth; sustainability. During this period of change, it is vital to build and maintain a platform for dialogue facilitating the honest exchange of views, ultimately spelling out solutions and delivering benefits to the region."
Mr. Alaya Bettaieb, State Secretary, Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in Tunisia highlighted that "Inclusive growth, integrated development and the redressing of disparities throughout the region, are the challenges which face us. The CMI, in bringing together partners from the North and the South thus allowing for the free exchange of knowledge and expertise, represents an excellent platform from which to confront such challenges."