The Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) in cooperation with the Arab Forum for Alternatives (AFA) held a conference on 22-23 February 2012, in Cairo entitled “The New Egyptian Constitution: Experiences and Challenges”. Researchers from Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Greece and France took part in the event, as did representatives of various Egyptian political parties and relevant civil society organisations and research centres.
The conference reviewed and analysed the history and background of different Egyptian basic texts and constitutions, and the main challenges associated with drafting the new Egyptian constitution. The sessions focussed in detail on the challenges and opportunities of the transitional period, especially its impact on the new constitution, and the participants made a series of recommendations to the Constituent assembly on different aspects of the new constitution. The Conference also examined experiences from other countries in this domain (Turkey, Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia and Algeria).
The sessions addressed a series of topics from the point of view of impact on the constitutional text and drafting mechanism. These topics were: relations of production and socio-economic rights; managing diversity and combating discrimination; transparency and right to information; women’s rights; civil-military relations; decentralisation, local administration and participatory democracy, and the political system and political rights.