The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa 2015, the 16th meeting in the region, will be held at the Dead Sea in Jordan on 21-23 May.

As the region is facing a double challenge of security and macro-economic uncertainty, the theme of the meeting – Creating a Regional Framework for Prosperity and Peace through Public-Private Cooperation – reflects the Forum’s belief that both need to be addressed simultaneously. As an international institution for public-private cooperation, the Forum’s programme for Jordan has evolved around inclusive growth, competitiveness, youth unemployment, energy and infrastructure in the region. The countering of violent extremism and the dire situation of refugees and internally displaced people in several countries of the region will also be an integral part of the agenda, including several working groups and sessions as well as the closing plenary.

The meeting offers an opportunity for decision-makers across sectors to discuss these issues that will determine the region’s future. In the context of challenging regional conflict, ongoing consensus building within national borders and recent elections shaping the region’s way forward, leaders will meet to identify pathways for collaboration to drive growth and cooperation.

“The future economic health of the Middle East and North Africa is intricately linked to the security situation and vice versa. Only by addressing the underlying challenges of inclusive growth, infrastructure and human capital and by helping the large numbers of displaced people can we hope to succeed in building a safe and prosperous future,” said Miroslav Dusek, Senior Director and Head of Middle East and North Africa at the World Economic Forum.

Participants from the host country include, H.M. Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; H.M. Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; H.R.H. Al Hussein Bin Abdullah, Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; and a strong representation from the government including Abdullah Ensour, Prime Minister of Jordan.

From the region as well as from the international community, selected participants who have confirmed their participations are: Mahmoud  Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority and Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee; Abdelfattah Said Hussein Alsisi, President of Egypt; Atifete Jahjaga, President of the Republic of Kosovo; Ayad Allawi, Vice-President, Iraq; Abdelilah Benkirane, Chief of Government of Morocco;Abdesselam Bouchouareb, Minister of Industry and Mines, Algeria; Sebastian Kurz, Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Austria; Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy and Industry; Azerbaijan;  Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, Bahrain; Ibrahim Al Jaafari, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq; Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq; Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohamed Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce, Qatar; Nizar Bin Obaid Madani, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia; Khaled Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Chairman, KBW Investments, Saudi Arabia; Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs of the United Arab Emirates; Sultan Saeed Nasser Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates Sarah Sewall, US Under-Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights;  Richard Stengel, US Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs;;H.R.H. Carolina de Borbon Parma, Head and Representative for Partnerships in Switzerland, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), Geneva; Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva; and Keiko Honda, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Washington DC.

The Co-Chairs of the meeting are: Omar K. Alghanim, Chief Executive Officer, Alghanim Industries, Kuwait; Gordon Brown, Chair, World Economic Forum Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative; UN Special Envoy for Global Education; Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2007-2010); Suma Chakrabarti, President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), London; Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), United Arab Emirates; and John Rice, Vice-Chairman, GE, Hong Kong SA.

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Image: A general view of the Jordanian capital Amman November 12, 2005. REUTERS