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2011: watershed year for the Middle East and North Africa


By dxw

The Arab uprisings of the last 15 months have been critical for challenging repression and demonstrating the power of collective action. A year on, Wilton Park will examine the impact of the Arab transitions and explore the challenges ahead.

Impact and challenges for the Middle East and North Africa one year on from the Arab transitions

21 – 23 May 2012  (WP1166)

The Arab people’s common desire for dignity and equal opportunity link the uprisings and transitions that have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa. They signify a collective call for a political voice, accountability of the state and good governance; yet they have each been unique, with their own narrative. From the relatively peaceful protests in Egypt to the violent clashes and struggles between rebel forces and Gaddafi’s brutal troops in Libya. Taking stock provides perspective to examine what has been achieved. It opens up a discursive space to identify policy formulation and practice that will help tackle the challenges ahead.

Considering the wide reaching effect of the Arab uprisings and the continuing difficulties for the region, our forthcoming conference, Impact and challenges for the Middle East and North Africa one year on from the Arab transitions, is particularly timely. The meeting will serve as a forum to discuss the key challenges for Arab countries in transition and how they can best be addressed.

The priority themes for discussion include:

  • security issues
  • managing the negative effects of change on the economy
  • promoting economic growth and prosperity
  • the role and future prospects of Islamist groups. 

Syria, Libya and Egypt will be at the forefront of the discussion.

The conference is being held in partnership with NATO Defense College in Rome. It will bring together between 50 to 60 experts from the Middle East region and elsewhere. Participants will comprise of government officials, policy analysts, academics, opinion leaders in the media and non-governmental organisations.

The meeting will provide a fascinating opportunity to take stock of what has occurred over the past year in the region as well as explore and plan for upcoming prospects and challenges.

Our programme regularly features Middle East issues; January’s Future trends and challenges for the Middle East and North Africa: towards 2030 brought together senior officials to consider international perspectives on the Middle East and North Africa. This conference sought to project 20 years on from the changes brought about by the Arab wave of democracy. The report from this conference is available to download.

Further information