The Experience of national conference and its results?

By Fesseha Nair

This article is based on the outcomes of the Eritrean National conference for Democratic change held in Addis from July 31st to August 10th 2010.

The central point in relation to the issue of national conference is that few misused it as simply talk and no action but in reality, the conference was an attractive concept- mature and civilised.

It was a process of discussion between parties that led to best agreement by consensus. It was the first kind of dialogue between Eritreans that enabled them understood the true meaning or deeper significance of something that flowed and come into being.

Through the conference our natural intelligence was able to reveal itself. Our humanity afforded the possibility of recognizing itself. The conference has offered us an opportunity to interact in a non-adversarial way. It has changed adversaries to opportunities.

The conference has encouraged the diversity of thoughts and opinions to the open without suppressing them. It has facilitated the progressive emergence of a mutual understanding of the problems and the search for consensus.

The conference was school of problem solving and was about listening for a deeper awareness and understanding of what is actually taking place in our country Eritrea under the tyranny.

The conference evolved a partnership between the civil society and political organizations and bridged the divide between “ them” and “ us”  where inclusivity and participation of the people is assured.

This is a new model in the Eritrean experience. The participants of the conference committed themselves to unite their efforts against the common enemy and the enemy of the Eritrean people while preparing to build a democratic Eritrea where all citizens’ fundamental rights are respected.

A new dimension was created under the principles of democracy, human rights respect and the consolidation of the democratic forces. The conference evolved with innovative thinking and new approaches. One of these innovative was the formation of, “ National Commission for  democratic change. “ And the other was twinning of the political organizations with the civil society movements that made them engage together against the dictatorship in Eritrea.

From my own observations and personal experience, the conference was a learning place, where appropriate questions were raised.

The conference attended and identified what problems are to be solved, what are the questions to be answered, what are the assumptions and at last what are the solutions to be adopted if Eritreans can live together in peace and develop themselves as people and society.

The conference resulted with adopting of framework and policy of accommodation guaranteeing the enjoyment of rights, fundamental freedoms, recognition and respect of the Eritrean diversity. It was this framework that annoyed the chauvinists and arrogant elites of the national unity advocates. The conference has made clear that “national unity” cannot come by force or violence but must be voluntary. The wrong method pursued by the old political elites and still incited by the arrogant political leaders of the so called nationalist organizations is declared dead and defunct.

The conference has come out with the conceptual framework on how to win the dictatorship and develop democracy in Eritrea. The Commission for Democratic Change comprising all the political, civil, youth and women organizations is a partnership mainstreaming the democratization process, deepening the national and international dialogue on varying issues.

The conference adopted building strong internal opposition forces inside Eritrea so that they can save the people from the dictatorial disaster.

The conference asserted that the situation of the Eritrean people under the brutal dictatorship is crucial to formulate the grand strategy. How can we muster sufficient confidence of the people? How can we strengthen the people to challenge the dictatorship?  What institutions of the people can be regained from the dictator’s control? What institutions must be created by the opposition? How can organizational strength of the democratic forces be developed? How can the forces for democratic change be trained? What resources( financial, equipment,,…etc) will be required throughout the struggle? What types of symbolism can be most effective in mobilising the population? What kind of actions and in what stages could the sources of power of the dictator be incrementally weakened and severed?

The strategy to win the dictator have been discussed and was assigned to the commission to draft a grand strategic plan for bringing down the dictatorship and establishing a democratic system after the fall of the dictatorship.

The results of the conference are today evidenced by the activities of the national commission for democratic change in every corner of the world.

1.     Enhancing the role of civil society, democratic process include all not only political organizations but all actors such as civil society, religious leaders, women’s organizations, workers’ associations, students and teachers, academia and so on.

2.     Building institutional capacities for sustaining democratic process has been started

3.     Assisting the development of national think tank and centres of dialogue will be established.

4.     Strengthening national, regional and international networks have started by the commission.

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Posted by on Oct 30 2010 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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