On Sunday, September 22, 2019, IPI held its fourteenth 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 Olivier Maes, Political Director, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
In a roundtable conversation, conducted under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution, participants exchanged views on recent developments and long term trends in the Middle East and North Africa, with a particular focus on Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. Central to the discussion was concern about rising tensions in the Gulf region after the recent attack on Saudi oil fields and the possible paths to de-escalation through diplomacy.
Attendees included the foreign ministers of Algeria, Cyprus, Finland, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Tunisia, and Yemen; 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; Rosemary A. DiCarlo, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the OSCE; Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq and Head of UNAMI; Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon; Robert Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group; Peter Maurer, President of the ICRC; Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the 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; Ghassan Salamé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSMIL.