World Economic Forum to launch own initiatives for the Middle East

The World Economic Forum’s Extraordinary Annual Meeting, to be held in Jordan June 21-23, under the banner of ‘Visions for a Shared Future’, will bring together leaders from business, politics, religion and civil society.

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By  Massoud Derhally Published  May 15, 2003

The World Economic Forum’s Extraordinary Annual Meeting, to be held in Jordan June 21-23, under the banner of ‘Visions for a Shared Future’, will bring together leaders from business, politics, religion and civil society.

The meeting, held under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, will include discussions of economic development, social progress and political stability in the Middle East, the state of transatlantic relations and the need to improve global economic performance.

The World Economic Forum will launch its own initiatives for the Middle East at the summit. Specific sessions will focus on: the future of Arab-Israeli relations, a security structure for the Middle East, regional trade agreements, economic and social reform in the Middle East, the role of the international community in the reconstruction of Iraq, rebuilding the social fabric of Iraq, the political economy of oil, the delivery of rapid and effective humanitarian aid.

Key Arab business and political leaders will be attending the meeting including: US Secretary of State Colin Powell and Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, the European Union’s High Representative for Common, Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, has confirmed that he will be taking part in the three-day gathering.

President and founder of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, welcomed the global interest in the Extraordinary Annual Meeting in Jordan. Commenting on the announcement of Secretary of State Colin Powell’s attendance he said, “We very much welcome the initiative of a free trade zone in the Middle East, which will be discussed in the context of other initiatives being put forward at the World Economic Forum’s Meeting in Jordan. The Forum will engage key leaders from all regions of the world, and from all parts of society.”

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan also has welcomed the World Economic Forum initiative. “I applaud this timely initiative to gather world leaders from business, government and civil society to address, together, the need for economic and social development in the Middle East, and to restore confidence in our global economy and systems of governance,” he said.

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