Panel Discussions - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Rød-Larsen: Collapse of the Middle East Tent?
In a briefing at IPI's Vienna office, IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen warned that the situation in Egypt could have historic ramifications.
"The political landscape of the Middle East is changing, with consequences as dramatic as the revolutions in Europe of 1848 and 1989," he said.
"All countries of the region are different, but they are all being impacted," he said. "The world will also be affected; look at the jump in oil prices, the impact of shipping through the Suez Canal, and the political ripple effects."
Mr. Rød-Larsen, who has years of experience as a trouble-shooter in the Middle East, identified four epicenters of the conflagration in the Middle East: Iraq; Iran; Syria-Lebanon; and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
He also underlined vulnerabilities in Jordan, Libya and Yemen, and the crisis in Tunisia, and described how international relations in the region are based on perceptions as much as facts, and that the perceptions of states to each other and to the West are in a potentially dangerous state of flux.
Quoting a senior official from the Gulf, Mr. Rød-Larsen said that the Middle East is like a tent supported by two poles: Egypt and Saudi Arabia. "If one of the poles breaks, the whole tent will collapse."
Mr. Rød-Larsen urged the international community to take an active role in seeking a peaceful end to the current crisis in Egypt. He noted that the opposition is heterogeneous and lacks leadership. He underlined the need for solving issues through dialogue rather than on the streets.
Participants in the briefing discussed the impact of changes in Egypt on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Mr. Rød-Larsen pointed out that Egypt, under President Mubarak, had been a source of stability in the region for more than three decades. He described his recent contacts with the Egyptian elite and explained their perception of the situation. The timeliness of his remarks was underscored by demonstrations in Tahrir Square.
While in Vienna, Mr. Rød-Larsen held a number of meetings to launch projects that will be carried out by the IPI Vienna office over the next two years, particularly in areas of conflict prevention and transnational threats. IPI’s Vienna office opened in September 2010, and is IPI’s first office outside of New York.
The Global Observatory
Year in Review: Top 10 Peace and Security Reads
The International Peace Institute and its Global Observatory offered research and analysis on a range of topics in peace and security in 2014.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.
December 12, 2014
Effective Governance Key to Africa’s Rise
Good governance is the key to Africa’s rise, but structural challenges are pulling the continent back, according to a new report launched at a December 12th IPI policy forum entitled “Effective Governance in Challenging Environments.”
December 09, 2014
Small States in a Multilateral World
Despite their size and limited resources, small states have an important and crucial role to play in the multilateral system and can leverage their power through cooperation.
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt