Responding to the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring has put the focus on two actors as catalysts for change in the region. On one hand, civil society which has played a key role challenging authoritarian and not representative political regimes through non violent means. On the other hand, Regional Intergovernmental Organizations, RIGOs, such as the Arab League, the African Union or the Organization of Islamic Conference, which have spearhead multilateral approaches to manage complex and increasingly volatile situations.

There is a need and an opportunity for RIGOs and CSOs active in MENA to create more opportunities for dialogue and identify innovative mechanisms to respond to the Arab Spring. Enhanced collaboration between these two set of actors could emerge as an effective avenue to improve each other's capacities to address current peace and security challenges.

To this end, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) and its regional network MENAPPAC have convened the regional conference ‘Responding to the Arab Spring: Enhancing Civil Society and Regional International Organizations Collaboration to Meet  New Peace and Security Challenges'. This meeting provided a space for RIGOs and CSOs to discuss possibilities for cooperation to establish a more stable and secure regional environment. Read full report



Suhair Mahdi Muhi Eldin Ahmed

Suhair Mahdi has an educational background in economics, with specialties in agricultural economics and socio-economics. Currently she works as Program Manager at Human Security Initiative in...


Lucy Nusseibeh

Lucy Nusseibeh is the founder and Chairperson of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND -, based in East Jerusalem, which has since 1998, been pioneering the promotion of...


Nabila Hamza

Nabila is the President of the Foundation for the Future (FFF), an independent, international non-profit organization established in 2005. The Foundation for the Future is committed to enhancing...

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Conference programme (عربي)

GPPAC has consulted with civil society members and partners in the Middle East and North Africa online about their views on cooperation with regional organisations in the MENA region. The outcomes of these consultations have formed the basis of the Beirut conference in June 2012. The summaries of these consultations are available here: