Social Peace in Countries in Transition


An expert panel of leaders from the government, financial sector, and civil society came together at IPI’s Middle East Office (IPI-MENA) for a discussion of “Social Peace in Countries in Transition.” The participants agreed that solving the global pension issues will be a prerequisite to acheving peace for these countries, and beyond.

Lundeg Purevsuren, former Foreign Minister and Senior Adviser to the President of Mongolia and Samer Khanachet, Chairman of TAKAUD Savings & Pensions, announced their partnership with IPI on a new project to be based in Manama. The program will be a regional and global effort to tackle the challenges facing pension schemes in the economies of countries in transition.

The project was lauded by Naser Al Belooshi, advisor to the Minister for Political and Economic Affairs, who emphasized the need to take action in a concrete and result-oriented approach.

A number of factors are exacerbating the pensions crisis: people are living and working longer, and family sizes are smaller than in the past. “This sets a platform for generational tensions over limited public resources, in turn putting social peace in jeopardy in the long-term,”,Edward Whitehouse, manager of the World Bank Pension Reform Primer, said. “Pensions are part of a relationship between generations.”

It is IPI’s mission to manage risk and build resilience, so it is only appropriate that our think tank should host a discussion on how to achieve social peace, participants said. Mr. Lundeg, called for the international community to secure social peace by thinking “today about tomorrow.”

In response to a question from the Indonesian Ambassador, Chilman Arisman, on Mongolia’s transition process and its impact on inter-state relations in Asia. Mr. Lundeg highlighted the need for countries like his to adhere to democracy, neighborliness, and social peace.

Daw Nwe Nwe Win, representing Myanmar’s Ministry of Finance, urged TAKAUD, IPI and other international bodies to assist her country in its transitional challenges.

Nejib Friji, Director of IPI-MENA, highlighted the necessity “to cement a trilateral partnership between the government, the private sector, and trade unions” to achieve social peace while tackling the pension challenges. In that vein, Dr. Khanachet called for “wise and proper rules, regulations and laws” to adapt to the dynamic economic context. These regulations should be regularly revisited, he said.

Mr. Friji  referenced the final report of the Independent Commision on Multilateralism, which offers actionable items which can be adopted to remold the the multilateral system  to better address the challenges of the global era. “Pension solutions should be among the multilateral system’s new endeavors,” he said.

This discussion was held on the sidelines of TAKAUD’s “Middle East & North Africa Pensions Conference”  on  October 18th, under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The event was held as part of IPI’s Global Leaders’ Series.

Nejib Friji, moderated the conversation.

Related Coverage:
Strong pension schemes key for a stable nation” (DT News, October 20, 2016)
IPI MENA Hosts Panel on ‘Social Peace in Countries in Transition‘” (IPI MENA Press release, October 19, 2016)

In Arabic:
Al Bilad Newspaper, October 20, 2016
Al Wasat Newspaper, October 20, 2016