An evening with the Tunisian national dialogue quartet, Nobel Peace Prize

Events The speech will be delivered in French.

The Tunisian Quartet



Houcine Abassi

Mr. Houcine Abassi

Secretary General
Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT)

Biography >

Houcine Abassi started his trade union activities in 1973 as a member of the trade union of school supervisors, then as a member of the regional union of school supervisors and principals in 1983. Then he became a member of the General Union of School Supervisors and Principals. In 1997, he was elected member of the Regional Union of Kairouan, becoming its Secretary General in 2003.

In December 2006, he was elected a member of the national executive bureau of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) at the national congress held in the city of Monastir. He was assigned the department of legislation and industrial disputes. Later he became the acting Deputy Secretary General in charge of research and documentation. He held both positions until the following congress in December 2011 in the city of Tabarka when he was elected Secretary General of the UGTT.

He is a standing member of the Executive Bureau and the General Council of the International Trade Union Confederation as UGTT's Secretary General and the President of the Arab Trade Unions Confederation.

Houcine Abassi has been known for his committed stances and his support to freedom-seekers and democracy-lovers since he was the Secretary General of the Regional Labor Union of Kairouan, where he was the most prominent supporter of the Tunisian League for Human Rights, the Tunisian Bar Association and the Tunisian Judges Association.

He effectively led the initiative launched by the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to help Tunisia emerge from the crisis following the elections of October 23, 2011. He was the main manager of the National Dialogue, which included the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts, the Tunisian National Bar Association and the Tunisian League for Human Rights. This allowed Tunisia to achieve the main objectives of the transitional process, such as drafting and adopting the Constitution, the promulgation of the Elections Act and the establishment of the High Independence Instances of Elections, paving the way for legislative and presidential elections, which many observers felt were transparent and democratic. His intervention with the most important political parties was decisive, as he succeeded in bringing their views closer together in the interest of Tunisia.

With the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, Houcine Abassi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.


Ouided Bouchamaoui

Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui

Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA)

Biography >

Born in Gabes in 1961, Ouided Bouchamaoui holds a DESS (master’s degree) in International Business from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion of Tunis (ISG Business School) and a DESS in International Trade Law from the Faculty of Juridical and Political Sciences of Tunis 2.

A shareholder and administrator of the Hedi Bouchamaoui Group (HBG Holding), she is also a founding member of the Connecting Group (a network of women leaders) and has been the Vice President of the Tunisian Foundation of Control and Governance since 2009.

Since May 2011, Ouided Bouchamaoui has been the President of UTICA, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (a confederation of private employers), the first woman ever elected to the position.

In 2013, UTICA, with the UGTT, the Tunisian General Labor Union, the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, formed The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2015.

In 2013, Ouided Bouchamaoui was named Best Business Woman of the Arab World and was a Business for Peace Award honouree in 2014.

In January 2015, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi made her a Grand Officer of the Order of the Republic – First Class – and His Majesty the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, decorated Ms. Bouchamaoui with the Royal Order of the Polar Star in November 2015.

In December 2015, she also received the Legion of Honour from French President François Hollande.


Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh

Mr. Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh

Tunisian Order of Lawyers

Biography >

Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh has been president of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers since June 2013. He has many years of experience in the law. A lawyer for the Court of Cassation since 2001, he was first member of the Sfax regional council of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers (1998-2004), then secretary general (2007-2010) and, finally, president (2010-2013). He was also a member of the Independent High Authority for Elections and was responsible for Tunisians living abroad in 2011.

Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh is known on the international scene primarily as one of the members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, this group of four organizations with divergent political views made its mark for its decisive role in building a pluralist democracy after the Arab Spring revolution of 2011 in Tunisia. The Quartet’s concerted actions resulted in holding presidential and legislative elections, and in ratifying the new Tunisian Constitution in 2014.


Abdessatar Ben Moussa

Mr. Abdessatar Ben Moussa

Tunisian Human Rights League

Biography >

A lawyer by vocation, Abdessatar Ben Moussa has been the president of the Tunisian Human Rights League since September 23, 2011. Before taking on the role, he had an impressive career in a variety of organizations. He was a member of the Tunis Lawyers Section (1989-1995), the National Council of Tunis Attorneys (2001-2004), the Permanent Bureau of Arab Lawyers (2004-2007), as well as the governing board of the International Association of Lawyers (IAL) (2004-2008). He also chaired the Tunisian National Committee of the IAL (2004-2008) along with the Siliana section of the Tunisian Human Rights League (1989-2011).

His professional experience led to his being named president of the Tunisian Human Rights League in 2011. That same year, Tunisia saw a major revolution resulting in the fall of the Ben Ali regime. Abdessatar Ben Moussa then joined the three other members of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet to restore democracy to the country. The group’s concerted efforts resulted in presidential and legislative elections being held and the new Tunisian Constitution of 2014 being ratified. This accomplishment earned them the Nobel Peace Prize for 2015.

Since October 29, 2015, Abdessatar Ben Moussa has been an IAL goodwill ambassador. He is also a member of the governing body of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and of the board of directors of the Arab Institute for Human Rights.

The Bell International Leaders series receives inspiring, internationally recognized personalities from every field whose vision and achievements have changed the world.

Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015, this group of four organizations with divergent political positions played a central role in building a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia, following the Arab Spring in 2011. The Quartet’s concerted efforts resulted in the holding of presidential and legislative elections, as well as the ratification of a new Tunisian Constitution in 2014.

As models of perseverance, these four leaders fought an epic struggle as the eyes of the entire world were riveted on the political situation unfolding in the region. The Quartet teaches us that fundamental rights in civil society have no particular political stripe, gender, or belief.


  • Business opportunities in Tunisia
  • The history of the Quartet’s formation
  • Tunisia’s transition from a political crisis to a democratic model
  • Tunisia as an example of success in a turbulent region
  • The future of Tunisia
Estelle Metayer
Biography >

Rachida Azdouz is a psychologist specializing in intercultural relations, and the Senior Strategic Development Advisor with the Vice-Rectorate for International Affairs and the Francophonie at the Université de Montréal.

Holding degrees in psychology and education sciences (France), she has developed expertise in the area of rights and values conflict management. She also works on identity strategies in pluralistic contexts, as well as diversity management policies and their impact on coexistence in immigration countries.

Ms. Azdouz was a member of the Conseil des relations interculturelles (1997-2001) and the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation (2001-2010), and she is a member of the Conseil supérieur de la langue française (since 2013). She was the recipient of the Prix Ghislaine Coutu-Vaillancourt in 2014 for her contribution to intercultural dialogue in French.

A well-known figure on the Quebec intercultural scene, she has written articles for specialized journals, and has contributed to various collective works, notably published by Yvon Blais (2007), Presses de l'Université du Québec (2014), and Presses de l'Université Laval (publication on committed knowledge forthcoming in the fall of 2016).

Rachida Azdouz is a commentator on Radio-Canada and an analyst for various media on questions of diversity, secularism, and immigration.

Meet this quartet that is the embodiment of hope.


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