The Middle East Peace and Security (MEPS) Forum is set to mark its fourth annual gathering at the esteemed American University of Kurdistan (AUK). This forum serves as a dedicated platform for fostering constructive discourse on the key issues affecting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It brings together influential stakeholders from Erbil, Baghdad, the broader region, and the international community, creating a dynamic environment for addressing critical challenges and shaping the future of the region. Building on the resounding success of last year’s event, which saw the participation of over 400 delegates and representatives from more than 80 countries, this year’s forum is poised to delve into several pivotal areas of focus.
Regional peace and security
Central to the mission of the MEPS Forum is the promotion of discussions surrounding regional peace and security. In a region marked by a history of conflict and a complex geopolitical landscape, the imperative to establish stable and secure conditions cannot be overstated. The presence of esteemed scholars and influential leaders allows for active participation in shaping regional security strategies and advancing cooperation with neighboring countries. This cooperation is indispensable for addressing shared security threats and ensuring the stability of the region.
Another pressing issue that the MEPS Forum addresses is climate change. Climate change is not merely a global concern; it has wide-ranging implications for the MENA, including potential environmental and security challenges. Participation in the forum signifies a commitment to addressing climate change and an acknowledgment of the intrinsic connection between environmental concerns and regional stability.
Good governance and federalism
The importance of good governance and effective federalism cannot be understated in the context of Iraq’s political stability and economic development. The MEPS Forum provides a valuable platform for exchanging insights, learning from international best practices, and sharing Iraq’s experiences in implementing federalism and improving governance. These discussions contribute to the development of sound governance structures and promote political stability in the region.
Economic development is paramount to the prosperity and security of MENA. The MEPS Forum offers a unique opportunity to explore investment prospects, encourage economic partnerships, and showcase Iraq’s vast economic potential. The participation of influential leaders and scholars at the forum can help attract international investment, demonstrating Iraq’s commitment to economic growth and contributing to the overall peace and stability of the region.
International and local dignitaries
The MEPS Forum serves as a magnet for a distinguished assembly of international and local dignitaries. The presence of prominent figures, including leaders Iraq and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), and leaders from European and regional countries such as United Kingdom, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates fosters diplomatic discussions, strengthens relations with key international partners, and creates an invaluable opportunity for dialogue with regional leaders. These interactions are essential in shaping the future of the region and encouraging international cooperation.
Promotion of the KRI’s interests
Additionally, the MEPS Forum serves as a platform to articulate the KRI’s interests and concerns on these critical issues directly to a global audience. It provides a voice to advocate for the KRI’s position on regional peace, climate change, governance, and economic development, thus contributing to its pivotal role in shaping regional policies.
The 4th Annual Middle East Peace and Security Forum at AUK promises to be a momentous event in the ongoing efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity in MENA. By convening influential stakeholders, promoting dialogue on crucial issues, and advocating for regional cooperation, the forum is a beacon of hope in a region where concerns about stability and security remain paramount. With its diverse range of topics, distinguished attendees, and commitment to positive change, the MEPS Forum is a testament to the potential for peace and progress in this dynamic and crucial part of the world.
Huner Issa is Secretary of the Board of Trustees at the American University of Kurdistan (AUK).