Taking the Global Deal forward in Tunisia

– Tunisia has embarked on a remarkable journey towards democratic transition, in which social dialogue has been instrumental, said Ann Linde, Swedish minister for EU and Trade, when she opened the Global Deal Forum conference in Tunis on 31 October.

During the Global Deal Forum, which was arranged by the Swedish Embassy in Tunis together with the Swedish-Tunisian Chamber of Commerce, both the Tunisian and the Swedish experience were in focus of discussions, as well as talks on the way forward for the Global Deal in Tunisia.

Tunisian Minister for Social Affairs Mr Mohammed Trabelsi was part of the panel together with Mr Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary General of the trade union UGTT, and Mr Sami Silini, from the employer organisation UTICA. On the Swedish part of the panel, EU and Trade Minister Ann Linde was accompanied by Mr Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, chairman of the Swedish Trade Union Confederation and Mr Göran Trogen, former CEO of Almega employer organisation.

Social dialogue and the Nobel Peace Prize

In Tunisia, all main social partners are associated partners to the Global Deal – the trade union UGTT, the employer organisation UTICA and the Tunisian government. Social dialogue has been of great importance for the democratic process in Tunisia in recent years. In 2015, the National Dialogue Quartet, in which both UTICA and UGTT are partners, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”.

– The prize is a reminder of the important role that civil society and social actors can play for a country’s democratic process and for shaping good conditions for economic inclusive growth during an important stage of political change, said Fredrik Florén, Sweden’s ambassador in Tunis.

The Global Deal is a multi-stakeholder partnership with the objective of jointly addressing challenges in the global labour market and enabling all people to benefit from globalisation. It was initiated by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and developed in close collaboration with the OECD and the ILO as well as social partners and companies. Tunisia’s government, employer organisation and trade union have been with the initiative since its start.