New York

22 September 2016

Secretary-General's message to High-Level Ministerial Event: "Tunisia: Reforms and Investment Opportunities"

[Delivered by Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa]

I am pleased to send a strong message of support to this important meeting. I thank all of the organizers for their initiative.

Tunisia has long been a beacon of stability in a geopolitically challenging region, known for its political stability, strong macroeconomic fundamentals, solid institutional capacity, modern infrastructure, good education system, young and well-trained labour force and highly engaged civil society. As an avowed feminist, I am particularly heartened that Tunisia is a pioneer in women’s equality and empowerment across the region. These factors, combined with Tunisia’s characteristic warmth and inclusiveness, underpin the success of its political transition.

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a Nobel Peace Laureate, played a decisive role in building a pluralistic political system in Tunisia. By offering a viable and peaceful alternative path to democracy at a difficult time, the Quartet helped Tunisia to put in place a constitutional Government guaranteeing fundamental human rights for all people, irrespective of gender, political or religious convictions. This was achieved over a remarkably brief period of time thanks to Tunisia’s strong civil society. This experience contains important lessons for neighbouring countries such as Libya and beyond.  

Tunisia has also faced challenges. Its political transition process came at a turbulent time. The rising wave of terrorism and violent extremism led to the tragic terror attacks that traumatized the country and damaged the economy.

With international support, the Tunisian authorities have achieved remarkable success in keeping the political transition process on track while preserving macroeconomic stability through investment-friendly structural reforms. Its National Development Plan is consistent with our 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

We need to maintain a strong partnership between the Government, the multilateral system, including the regional development banks, and the private sector. The upcoming Tunis Conference on 29 to 30 November aims to cement this partnership. Today we spotlight this conference, and take a solid first step towards a strong outcome. 

The United Nations fully supports this conference and will continue its unwavering commitment to helping Tunisia build a better future for its people. This will contribute to stability in the region and our world.