Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its contribution to building democracy after the so-called Jasmine Revolution in 2011, which gave rise to the Arab Spring.
The negotiating team helped the country overcome a political crisis, ending a political deadlock in 2013 that threatened to scupper the North African state's political transition after the fall of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
Incorporating trade unions, lawyers, civil rights activists, and business people in its member organizations, the Quartet mediated between the Islamist Ennahda party and then-opposition party Nidaa Tounes during a critical time, ultimately helping to rescue the democratic process and pave the way for elections late in 2014.
"The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest," said the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee 2015, Kaci Kullmann Five, while making the announcement in Oslo. "It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war.
"It was thus instrumental in enabling Tunisia, in the space of a few years, to establish a constitutional system of government guaranteeing fundamental rights for the entire population, irrespective of gender, political conviction, or religious belief."
The fight for democracy and fundamental rights in many other Arab Spring countries has "come to a standstill or suffered setbacks," said the committee in a statement. "Tunisia, however, has seen a democratic transition based on a vibrant civil society with demands for respect for basic human rights."
The Nobel Peace Prize, worth 8 million Swedish crowns ($972,000), will be presented in Oslo on December 10.
"This is a great joy and pride for Tunisia, but also a hope for the Arab World," said Hussien Abassi, the head of the UGTT labor union which was part of the Quartet. "It's a message that dialogue can lead us on the right path. This prize is a message for our region to put down arms and sit and talk at the negotiation table."
Follow VICE News on Twitter: @vicenews