Dick Cheney to Headline at 12th Arab Strategy Forum

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 12th edition of the Arab Strategy Forum will begin in Dubai on December 9 at Ritz Carlton DIFC. At the event, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Li Zhaoxing will lay out the future direction that US-China relations and competition will have on the global order. The Forum will also host a discussion on whether we are heading into the next decade starting with a global economic recession and what can be done to mitigate its effect.

The annual event explores the major social, political and economic factors that will shape the Arab world in the coming years. This year’s edition will draw the participation of 18 keynote speakers, including an array of former ministers, international officials, leading industry experts, international strategists, writers, and media professionals. This year’s Forum is running under the theme ‘Forecasting the Next Decade’. The panels, discussions, and keynotes held at the one-day event will explore and forecast the events and trends anticipated to unfold over the next 10 years, and their impact on politics, socio-economic frameworks, international relationships, and diplomacy.

In addition, the Forum will issue three reports that expound further on the social conditions of the next decade: The Future of Islamism, Global Trends in 2030 and 11 Questions for the Next Decade. His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Forum, said: “With our current geopolitical and economic context as a starting point, the 12th edition of the Arab Strategy Forum will hear from prominent political and economic figures and their forecasts for the future in the region, and globally. In the coming decade, we expect to witness the consequences and changes from many of the important events and social transformations developing around us today.”

“Knowledge, leadership and practical solutions are essential in preparing for the years ahead, and a sustainable and steady future – all of which we will learn more about at this year’s edition of the Arab Strategy Forum. The Forum presents today’s challenges and opportunities to the world’s leading decision-makers who can address them in a precise, balanced and scientific manner, so we can best learn how to anticipate, manage and maintain socio-political equilibrium in the region and beyond. Ensuring this tolerant, open-minded, future-forward approach in tackling the big issues that face our world, is paramount to our aims to bring greater harmony and unity to the world, and a testament to the UAE’s continuous efforts to spread a culture of tolerance and coexistence through forecasting and preparing for the future,” added His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi.

Forum Agenda
This year’s Forum will include six panel discussions and two Q&A sessions. His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Forum, will deliver the keynote speech, highlighting the ‘Three Determinants Shaping the Next Decade’. Following His Excellency’s speech, Nick Alan, CEO of Control Risks, will hold a session titled ‘Top 5 Risks -2020’ to discuss potential global political and security risks and the new reality of 2020.

The session aims to help public and private institutions identify major macro-economic and political developments that can affect their decisions next year. In addition, the ‘Control Risks 2020 Riskmap’ will be launched at the Forum. Sean Cleary, President of Strategic Concepts, will deliver a speech titled ‘The World in 2030’, which will highlight the major transformations, developments and trends likely to emerge at the political, economic and social levels over the next decade.

The Future of Islamism in The Next Decade
Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and British writer Ed Hussein will take part in a panel, moderated by Faisal Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News, to address the future of Islamism in the Next Decade.

Global Economic Recession
Under the title ‘Is The World Heading Towards a Global Economic Recession’, global equity investor Vikram Mansharamani will fact-check the claim that 2020 will start with a recession by analyzing the tell-tale signs of whether or not the next decade will commence with an economic downturn, where it will emerge from, which sectors and countries will be affected by it the most, and potentially what must be done to alleviate its impact and ensure a recovery.

The Arab Economy
This session will discuss ‘Economic Transformations in the Arab Region in the Next Decade’, in which Dr Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director-General and Chairman of the Board, Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), Alain Bejjani Member of Advisory Board Atlantic Council (International Advisory Board), Dr AbdulMunem Saeed, Chairman of the advisory board of the Egyptian Center for Strategic Studies, and Dr Mamdouh Salameh, an international economic expert in the oil and gas industry, will discuss the possibility of achieving qualitative leaps in the Arab economy amid a raft of new economic visions and transformations.

In addition, the session will highlight the role of oil and gas in the economic future of the region in light of global energy trends, and the future of employment and indebtedness and its impact on political stability. The future of entrepreneurship and the private sector as a partner in enhancing the development cycle and facing economic challenges will also be put under the microscope.

The Race for Relevance and Influence in the Region
The fascinating and unpredictable dynamics between three big regional powers in the Middle East – Turkey, Iran, and Russia – will be explored during this session. The panel session will welcome three-country experts from renowned think tanks and institutions, to shed light on the factors and revealing signals that will shape the future of the region.

The panel includes Karim Sadjadpour, Chief Iran Expert and Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Professor Hüseyin Bağcı, Professor and Chair of International Relations at Middle East Technical University in Ankara and Deputy Director of Foreign Policy Institute in Ankara, Dr AbdulAziz Bin Sagr, Chairman of the Gulf Research Center.

Karim Sadjadpour will answer questions about Iran’s policy towards the region and the possibility of its continuation under the US sanctions, while Hüseyin Bağcı will discuss the relationship between Turkey and its neighboring countries, and the worldview of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his impact on the region, plus the possibility of Turkey playing an important role in enhancing regional stability. For his part, Dr. AbdulAziz Bin Sagr will review the basic principles of Saudi Arabia’s strategy for the region in the short- and long-term and discuss his expectations for Russia’s initiative to establish security in the Gulf region.

The Future of the Arab Region 2030
In this session the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash, Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and Marwan Muasher, former Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister will address the future of the Arab world alliances under the new world order, as well as the role China, Russia and America will play in shaping it.

In addition to the political challenges in the Arab world and its future in the next decade, the future of Arab-Iranian relations, the political reflection of the discovery of natural gas fields in the Mediterranean, and the future of Arab relations will also be explored. The future of the Palestinian cause in the next decade and the role of America and Iran in it will also come under scrutiny and examination.

The Global Order 2030: The United States & China
This session will welcome His Excellency Li Zhaoxing, former Foreign Minister of China, and former US Vice President Richard Cheney, to discuss the global order in 2030, with specific insight on the US and China’s leading roles in it, over a roundtable. Zhaoxing will highlight the vision and motives of China’s foreign policy over the next decade, China’s role in the Arab region and its peace efforts, the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative on Chinese foreign policy, the China-US trade sphere over the past two years, and the future of this collaboration.

For his part, Cheney will offer his perceptions of the world order in the next decade with the rise of China and Russia, and the economic impact of technological and security trends, and how they have impacted the US’s standing in maintaining world security. In addition, the possibility of the United States forming a new global system to work with its historic allies China and Russia871 will also be explored.


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