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Mena stability a key challenge for 2014: Al Mansouri

UAE Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri has said that political instability in the Mena region would be a serious challenge for the whole world.

“Without stability in the Middle East and Africa, the rest of the world will have a lot of challenges,” the minister told the closing plenary of the World Economic Forum, on the Yas Island.

“It’s not the economy that is of concern to these countries… it’s not the data security… it’s the stability… political stability in these counties that is needed,’’ Al Mansouri said while speaking at the closing session of the three-day meeting of 1,000 thought leaders gathered from around the world, who discussed the 88 global issues at their council meetings, which is integral part of the forum.

The minister, who attended the two-day meeting of the Arab and African leaders in Kuwait, said that the region is going through political turmoil over the last three years, after the so-called Arab Spring. He said that the media is raising questions about the implementations of the recommendations, of the previous summits.

He said that the forum, which had highlighted global issues in the past did not come out with any statement on it, in any of its meetings.

Al Mansouri said that the UAE carefully listens to the recommendations and suggestions made by WEF and other international forums, and implements them immediately. But it’s not about the UAE, he said. “It’s what we need to do about the region,” and it should be the number one priority for 2014.

He said that the international players including Europeans, the Americans, Asians must be involved in an effort to resolve the regional issues, ignored in the past. “So far we have not provided for any solution. If that does not happen, all the recommendations that we have, will be missed by this great region,’’ he said.

He added: “This is a global agenda, and we all need to work together to ensure the items discussed are implemented internationally. The UAE is committed to forming global partnerships, through the summit and other global events, in order to collaboratively make a positive difference in the world.”

Commenting on the conclusion of the summit, Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Department and Co-chair of the summit said: “We have discussed globally pressing issues, and we have brainstormed ideas and solutions that the participants will continue to carry forward.”

The World Economic Forum’s 6th Summit on the Global Agenda discussed some of the most pressing issues, including hyper connectivity, population demographics, the development agenda and the rise of megacities. The closing plenary featured a panel discussion that focused on six main topics: Trust and leadership; societies in transformation; driving inclusive growth; a hyper connected world; towards a global climate agreement, and; creating tomorrow’s jobs.

Panel participants included prominent global thought leaders, such as Rod A. Beckstorm, chief security advisor of Samsung Electronics; Donald Kaberuka, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB); Joseph S. Nye Jr, university distinguished service professor at Harvard Kennedy School; and Stefano Scarpetta, director for employment, labour and social affairs for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.