6 October 2008 - NATO PARLIAMENTARIANS TO HOLD SEMINAR IN ABU DHABI
Parliamentarians from 15 NATO member countries will be meeting fellow legislators from Middle Eastern and North African countries at a seminar in Abu Dhabi, 8-9 October, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. Some 60 members of parliament, as well as officials from international organizations and governments, senior academics, journalists and experts will discuss “The Middle East and Global Challenges”.
The meeting will be opened by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, and José Lello, President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and the proceedings presided by Jean-Michel Boucheron, Chairman of the Assembly’s Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group.
Ambassador Álvaro de Soto, former UN Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, will pronounce a keynote address outlining global challenges in the Middle East context.
On the first day, sessions will be devoted to political reform in the Middle East and the Gulf dimension of the energy security challenge. Contributors will include H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Speaker of the Federal National Council of the UAE, Ambassador Ahmed Benhelli, Assistant Secretary General of the League of Arab States in Cairo, Marina Ottaway, Director of the Middle East programme at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Noé van Hulst, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum in Riyadh, and UAE energy officials Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, Envoy to the IAEA, and David Scott.
On the second day, participants will focus on Gulf security perceptions and the role of NATO, as well as on initiatives and obstacles in the area of inter-cultural dialogue. Among the speakers will be Scott Ritter, former Chief UN Inspector in Iraq, Michael F. Gaul, NATO Deputy Director, Defence and Security Economics Directorate, Maha Akeel, Managing Editor, Journal of the Organisationof the Islamic Conference, Jeddah, and Ilter Turan, Professor of Political Science at Istanbul Bilgi University.
This seminar is part of the activities of the NATO PA Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group which provides a forum for parliamentarians from NATO member countries and their counterparts in countries of the Middle East and North Africa to discuss common security and political issues.