Global Agenda Council on the Arab World 2012-2014

 

The challenge

The Arab world is experiencing a period of unprecedented change that will shape the future economic, social and governance systems of the region, at a time when long-standing relationships between developed and emerging economies are being redefined. The region possesses the key raw materials of success, including a youthful population eager to engage and contribute to the region’s economy, energy endowments and some of the fastest-growing economies globally. While the jury is still out on the political outcomes of the uprisings that started in many parts of the Arab world in 2011, decision-makers urgently need to deliver employment opportunities and foster development. On the social front, the region is confronted with a rise in polarization, and societies are grappling with efforts to create and strengthen pluralistic institutions.

What the Council is doing about it

The Global Agenda Council on the Arab World is working on addressing the above issues on three fronts. Firstly, to address the concernthat societies in the Middle East and North Africaare growing increasingly divided across political, economic and social lines,Members of the Council from the fields of development, political economy and media will examine the various facets of the challenge. They will propose interventions to avert the institutionalization of polarized societies in the region, and to move towards pluralistic institutions that are inclusive of citizens’ differences. To complement this work, a social media campaign against hate will be launched.

Secondly, the Council is rethinking the private sector’s role in Arab economies in transition. Afterhaving looked at the perceptions of the general public during the sensitive period of 2009-2011, Members are developing a blueprint for an Arab Moral Capitalism, and disseminating recommendations to strengthen governance in the sector. The Council is also focused on supporting governmentsthrough the provision of policy recommendations adapted to times of transitionthroughanalysis work led by the International Monetary Fund.

Thirdly, keeping the employment numbers stable is more than ever a priority of governments and businesses alike. Members of the Council will be working across the Global Agenda Council Network for regional applications of best practices.

An important priority of the Council is to spread its knowledge to the wider public within the region. Council Members are continuously promoting the Council’s ideas at various meetings related to the Middle East, including, for example, the Economics Research Forum. They havepublisheda series of blogs and op-eds in leading publications, and have engaged youth in debates about the future of the region through webinars and events. Over the next 12 months, the Council will continue fostering discussions on transformations in the Arab world and helping shape the regional agenda for the Forum.

The region possesses the key raw materials of success, including a youthful population eager to engage and contribute to the region’s economy, energy endowments and some of the fastest-growing economies globally.

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Rigas Hadzilacos, Associate, Global Agenda Councils, rigas.hadzilacos@weforum.org
Council Manager: Hala Hanna, Senior Programme Manager, Middle East and North Africa, hala.hanna@weforum.org 
Forum Lead: Miroslav Dusek, Senior Director, Head, Middle East and North Africa, miroslav.dusek@weforum.org