At the 5th annual conference on "Enriching the Middle East's Economic Future," held in conjunction with the Doha Forum, distinguished participants search for practical solutions to regional issues. The three-day event has been organized by the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.
Through Wednesday of this week in Qatar, the UCLA Center for Middle East Development (CMED), together with the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is hosting over 700 participants from 77 countries around the world to discuss economic development, free trade and democracy in the Middle East.
Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan at the conference on Monday
CMED’s 5th Annual “Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future” conference and the 10th Annual Doha Forum commenced Monday with an address by the Emir of the State of Qatar, H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. He was joined by President Tarja Halonen of Finland, President Gjorge Ivanov of Macedonia, Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai of Hungary, and Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, among other dignitaries.
“We are facing a moment of major change that requires the peace and stability of the entire world,” said the Emir, who emphasized the challenges of the current economic situation.
Later in the day, the UCLA conference’s first panel included Former President of Lebanon Amin Gemayel, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Club of Madrid President Wim Kok, U.S. Congressman Brian Baird, and Qatari Dignitary H.E. Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi.
The panelists responded to a challenge from Dr. Steven Spiegel, CMED director and UCLA professor of political science, to define “How We Can” promote economic advances and development in the region, a play on President’s Barack Obama’s campaign slogan “Yes We Can.” Panelists identified several critical areas of focus for progress in the region, including youth, education, human development, and government transparency.
Participants of the three-day conference—including business leaders, financial experts, scholars and political officials—will attend panels addressing the theme, “Building an Enhanced World Order: Looking Forward, Solving Problems.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, panels will consider ways that the region might successfully adjust to the post-crisis global scenario, including engagement with both the West and Asia. Further panels will look at practical options for a recovering economy, including new ways to promote regional entrepreneurship, engage women in business, respond to climate change, and identify emerging real estate opportunities.
For more information about the Center for Middle East Development, including post-conference results, please visit CMED's website.