On Sunday, September 23, 2018, IPI held its thirteenth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner drew the participation of foreign ministers, United Nations officials, special representatives of the Secretary-General to countries in the region, heads of humanitarian agencies, and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.
The event was chaired by Terje Rød-Larsen, President of IPI, and co-hosted by the United Arab Emirates and Luxembourg, represented respectively by Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. The dinner was held in partnership with the World Economic Forum.
In a roundtable conversation, conducted under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution, participants exchanged views on the changing landscape in the Arab world, including Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, and the large displacement of people in the region. Central to the discussion was the possibility of establishing a multilateral mechanism for regional cooperation for the Middle East and North Africa in coordination with European and international stakeholders.
Attendees included the foreign ministers of Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Liechtenstein, Norway, Tunisia, and Spain; as well as Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, and Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani.
Also present were Ferid Belhaj, Vice President of the World Bank; Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum; Alistair Burt, United Kingdom Minister of State for the Middle East; Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria; Rosemary A. DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs; Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada; Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe; Pierre Krahenbuhl, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA); Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of UNAMI; Robert Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group; Peter Maurer, President of the International Red Cross; David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee; Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority; Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Amr Moussa, Former Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; and Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of the IPI Board of Directors.