Ref.: “Conference of Arabic Physicians in Europe (Arabmed, NGO-Member of the United Nations), Paris 26th October 2012”

Dr. Nassif HITTI Ambassador, Head of the Arab League Mission in Paris And Permanent Observer to UNESCO 36, RUE FORTUNY – 75017 PARIS – TEL: 01 43 80 61 50 – FAX: 01 48 88 91 71

I had the opportunity to participate at the conference on “Opposition, Resistance, Rebellion and Revolution - the Arab Spring from the Vantage Point of Political Philosophy”.

The particular added value of this conference to the many conferences on the Arab revolutions changes that have been organized in the set two years lies in its comprehensive multidisciplinary approach that allowed to shed more light and to have a deeper view and understanding of the different interdependent factors in the causes of the revolutions but also in the ongoing transitions as well as the factors that will

condition successes and failures in the future. There are many challenges lying ahead ranging from the political, to the economic to the social as well as the demographic and geostrategic that weighs on the transitions, and could derail the process of transition. Also, despite the fact that there are many commonalities among Arab societies on the level of development in general and cultural and social matters, yet there are elements of differences that are important thus one must be careful not to generalize from one experience into the other the degree of institutional development is one aspect; the societal composition is another one or how homogeneous is a society, the geopolitical location is another important variable. One also must take into consideration that destroying an old regime is a matter of courage and willingness but building a new one bee to develop a vision that must be inclusive interns of the ratification to that matter by all components of the society, to gain the largest most solid legitimacy basis for the newly constructed regime. I like always to remind that democracy is not what some like to think of or consider as only a procedure of elections, it is more of a set of political values learned overtime by experience it is also based the concept of equality of citizenship. of rejecting exclusion or marginalization of others in the same societies, of establishing good governance and of accountability, of not allowing oneself to ever think that it has as political force because if ideology or because of a gained majority at one point of time moral superiority over others. Democracy is acquired by engaging into such a process of state building and in certain Arab societies of nation building because of the weakness of national institutions. So the challenge is big and there is at all order to move from closer semi close societies into modern open societies based on the respect of diversity and difference as sources of enrichment not if of divisions. We are in the Arab World in the beginning of this process with a tall order, and we need to work all together to face up successfully to the challenge of modernity and development.