As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded in the MENA region, its consequences have exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities such as economic inequalities, fragile societies, demographic imbalances, struggling political transitions, ongoing conflicts, and more. COVID has also signaled the beginning of a new era in which global and regional problems will intersect, such as the increasing toll of climate change, pandemics, and fresh waves of migration. In the face of all these challenges, the United States has turned inward, failing to lead international strategy. The United States’ neglect of the MENA region has emboldened powerful actors, from regimes to strongmen to foreign interventionists, to use the COVID-19 crisis to their advantage by pursuing power grabs or other aggressive actions. The webinar will gather experts from MENA countries, Europe, and the United States to discuss the current challenges and changes besetting the region, the future shocks that are anticipated in MENA countries and their ripple effects far beyond, and how international engagement has changed over the past decade and may change again in the very near future.
Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council
Giampiero Massolo, President, Italian Institute for International Political Studies
Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States
Fireside Chat: The future of US policy in the MENA Region
Kirsten Fontenrose, Director, Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, Atlantic Council
Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Fellow, Future of Diplomacy Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School; and Vice Chair, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
General James L. Jones, Founder, Jones Group International; Chairman, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Panel: Policy Priorities in a Post-COVID MENA Region
Moderator: Karim Mezran, Resident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council
Rosa Balfour, Director, Carnegie Europe
Jeffrey Feltman, John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy, Brookings Institution
Jomana Qaddour, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, Atlantic Council
The video of this Med2020 Virtual Regional Meeting is available at this link.
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