July 2020
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FEATURED ARTICLE – Ms. Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary, ESCWA, Addresses Chatham House

In a seminal address to Chatham House, Ms. Khalaf set out her broad vision of what she described as an emerging, “Newer Middle East.” The speech gives a detailed analysis of the new realities taking shape in the region, the short and medium term challenges emanating from these changes and the role that the rest of the world can play in helping Arabs fulfill their aspirations.

Ms Khalaf says profound and irreversible changes are taking place, but also cautions that: “In countries that have crossed the first threshold, new mini uprisings may occur, either to correct a path or to protect the new order against the old guard. With time, the nascent forces of positive change will organize politically and gain a solid footing…….It is not inconceivable that, five years from now, a vibrant democratic culture, and fully-functioning democratic institutions, will be firmly established, at least in Egypt and Tunisia.”

She says managing public expectations will be a major challenge for these countries as their economies are likely to perform badly in the short term, and then asks a question: “Do outside powers, the West in particular, have an interest in seeing a real transition towards democracy in Arab States?”

Click here for a fascinating read