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“No democracy without social justice,” says Tunisian President

“Minorities which ruled with iron and fire will never return,” Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki told delegates at the ILO’s International Labour Conference in Geneva.

News | 08 June 2012
GENEVA (ILO News) – The Tunisian President, whose country had spearheaded the Arab Spring uprisings, sent a strong message to the international community, warning that failure to respond to popular demands for social justice could rapidly lead to violence.

“The people will never again accept poverty and marginalisation,” he said.

“Democracy cannot survive without social justice,” he said, stressing “the right to sustainable development”. For Tunisia, this means “seizing a historic opportunity brought about by the economic crisis and the revolution to achieve a more just society”.

Dialogue between the government, trade unions and employers is a high priority for Tunisia."
President Markouzi
"Dialogue between the government, trade unions and employers is a high priority for Tunisia", he said, adding that this dialogue will lead to the signing on January 14, 2013 of a tripartite pact for social stability, with a focus on promotion of decent work.

The Tunisian President hailed the ILO’s contribution in this process, as well as the support it has given Tunisia since December 2010.

Mr. Marzouki intends to apply lessons learned from successful policies in other countries, including in Latin America, in order to stimulate economic activity and curb unemployment – still a major issue in Tunisia, particularly among youth – in what he said would be “a long and difficult battle” to achieve sustainable development.

Video highlights of Tunisian President, Mohamed Moncef Marzouki's intervention at the 101st International Labour Conference (in Arabic)