Almost exactly two years ago, the 2011 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos was living and breathing the events in Tunisia and Egypt, which eventually led to the emergence of new regimes in some countries of the Middle East and North Africa. There was a palpable feeling of history in the making and an immense sense of both opportunity and uncertainty related to the largely uncharted territory these events have ushered in regarding security, the economy and governance.
Despite this unique moment of 2011, the 2013 Annual Meeting, which opened yesterday, is arguably even more important for the future of the region.
While two years ago the number of questions about the short-term outlook was as overwhelming as the excitement stemming from the revolutions, we are now in a position to take stock of successes and failures and advance understanding of how the international community can support regional and national stakeholders in producing positive outcomes for individual citizens. At the same time, the on-going conflict in Syria, the unresolved issue around Iran and the terrorism threat in the Sahel, are all reminders of the acute risks that could affect constructive efforts.
Given this context, the Middle East and North Africa agenda in Davos this year will revolve around three main axes.
The World Economic Forum takes extremely seriously both the opportunities and risks associated with the ongoing transformation in the Middle East and North Africa.Miroslav Dusek