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CIC Victoria: UC lunch event – Tunisia: 10 years after the Arab Spring
November 24, 2021 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm PST
For event details and registration please contact: CIC.Victoria.Sec@gmail.com
This CIC member and guest event features Chris O’Conner, OBE – former United Kingdom Ambassador to Tunisia (2008-2013)
The Arab Spring began with a wave of pro-democracy protests that took place in the Middle East and North Africa beginning in 2010 and 2011, challenging some of the region’s entrenched authoritarian regimes. The first demonstrations took place in central Tunisia in December 2010, catalyzed by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor protesting his treatment by local officials. Soon after, longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted from power. However, and more recently, events in Tunisia have taken a turn for the worse. After years of economic stagnation and political paralysis, aggravated by a rise in COVID-19 cases, Tunisian President Kais Saied sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority, citing a national emergency in a move his foes called a coup. His intervention undermined the democratic gains of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution that ended autocratic rule. Helping us to understand the current situation in Tunisia and the aftermath of the Arab Spring across the Middle East, we are delighted to welcome Chris O’Conner to CIC Victoria.
Chris O’Connor was the British Consul General in Los Angeles from August 2013 until September 2017 where he represented the UK government in Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii and US Pacific Territories. Prior to this, he was UK Ambassador to Tunisia from 2008-2013. In addition, he has worked in British embassies in Cairo, Riyadh and Beirut, where he was the deputy UK Ambassador, as well as the British High Commission in Ottawa and the UK Delegation to NATO. He was head of the UK Foreign Office Middle East Peace Process Team in London from 2003-2005.