Ambassador Ammar opened her remarks with the words, "When people choose a noble and worthy existence, The Fates will accordingly respond” from Tunisia’s National Anthem, and said that on this special occasion, it was her duty to pay tribute to all emblematic figures and outstanding personalities of the National Movement in Tunisia, and especially to Leader Habib Bourguiba who guided the struggle for Independence, and built a strong and wide National Unity.

“Tunisia became a Sovereign State Nation founded on republican values within a modern constitution,” the ambassador said. “The young independent State started very early a deep reformist process in gender equality and education policy.

“On the international level Tunisia became a respected State in the United Nations and adopted a clever and visionary foreign policy.

“I will remind very briefly some historical milestones in the construction of Tunisian National Identity.

“In 1956, Leader Habib Bourguiba took an ambitious and unique political decision by establishing the ‘Code of Personal Status’, a fundamental corpus of law for women emancipation and family evolution, consecrating equal rights between men and women. This happened even before the instauration of the Tunisian Republic in 1957 and the promulgation of the Tunisian Constitution in 1959.”

Her Excellency Samia Ilhem Ammar

Her Excellency Samia Ilhem Ammar with Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy Budapest, David Kostelancik

During six decades, Ambassador Ammar said, Tunisia raised solid state institutions, developed a comprehensive system of education, a modern social policy, important infrastructures and a market economy.

A few years ago, in a context of deep global upheavals and threats, Tunisia had made the choice for democratic transition. With the adoption of a new constitution in 2014, the country had affirmed adhesion to values of democracy, secular state, pluralism and universal human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Elections for Parliament and President of Republic took place with success. The country is actually guided by a government of national union reassembling the main political forces. Media have freedom of expression.

“Trade unions and civil society associations are very dynamic. Women’s participation to public life is increasing, raising awareness about equal rights and opportunities, as well as full citizenship for men and women.

“Tunisia will hold the first free municipal elections, in the beginning of May and changes are expected on the political scene.”

Ambassador Ammar said she had decided to dedicate this celebration to women’s participation to public life as a significant heritage of Tunisia’s Independence and a great potential in the country’s process of transition.

“It is not only a matter of feminism. It is about how Tunisia is learning to build a real democracy, with strong republican institutions; to achieve an effective state of law; to implement universal human rights and freedoms; to ensure social cohesion, stability, economic growth and sustainable development; to preserve and promote an inclusive humanist society.


“In such a long-term process, women’s active commitment and participation to all levels of public life, including leadership, is a precious and strong antidote against any kind of obscure and destructive ideology. Tunisian women represent half of the country’s population: an incredible force for producing wealth and proposing ideas.

“They constitute, indeed, a smart and a powerful group of electors.

“Motivated by values of patriotism and progress, they are connected to a large network of active associations and organisations, both on national and international level.

“For these reasons and many others, Tunisian women will always make the difference because they are among the best guardians of our model of society and our way of being Tunisian.

“Despite many huge challenges, on political, economic and social levels, the ongoing process of transition is on the right track, with experiencing difficulties as other transitions did.

“Nevertheless, deep reforms are being implemented. Security is increasingly improved.

“Here, I would like to pay a special tribute to our Police and Military Forces for their constant effort to ensure security in all the country, in particular on our borders, in touristic and transport areas.

“More than ever, we are committed in preventing and fighting efficiently terrorism, criminality and illegal mass migration.

“Tunisia is in a crucial crossroad of its transition and deserves full support considering its strategic location, in the Mediterranean, between Africa and Europe.”

Ambassador Ammar expressed her deep appreciation to the Hungarian authorities for the clever and continuous support given to her country, since the beginning of its process of transition. In these two past years, important steps had been achieved. “We enhanced bilateral relations by successful exchanges of visits at levels of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of State for economic diplomacy.

“We have been pursuing a constructive political dialogue, setting a new legal framework for our cooperation in many sectors and identifying opportunities for trade and investment. We also improved common perception, facilitate people-to-people contacts, especially through cooperation in tourism and high level education, aiming to strengthen our cultural bonds.

“So, dear friends, let’s continue to have vision and ambition for intensifying this new dynamic of our bilateral relations in the next future.

“I would like also to reiterate my gratitude to all the Hungarian officials who sustained actively Tunisia about important issues raised at the European Union level. My country is committed to constructive dialogue and cooperation with the EU Member States and Institutions for a balanced and strategic partnership.

“I am delighted to share with you moments of harmony, lightness and hope. Let’s give the floor to our citizen artists. Tahya Tounes! Long Live Tunisia.”

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