In the heart of Duhok, nestled amid the vibrant landscape of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) stands as a beacon of intellectual rigor and a platform for addressing the pressing issues of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
AUK’s commitment to fostering peace and stability in the Middle East goes beyond its educational mandate. The university has emerged as a vital venue for official and non-official initiatives, rigorous intellectual debates, and comprehensive policy analyses, all aimed at addressing the complex web of political, economic, and socio-economic challenges in Iraq and the broader Middle East.
Since its inception in 2019, the Middle East Peace and Stability (MEPS) Forum hosted by AUK has become a pivotal annual event, creating a platform for leaders, policymakers, academics, and experts from around the globe to engage in discussions on peace and security issues in the Middle East.
Annual summit for candid discussion
The MEPS Forum serves as an annual summit dedicated to candid and in-depth discussion on the most pressing issues facing the MENA region, acting as a bridge that connects senior decision-makers in Erbil, Baghdad, the broader Middle East, Europe, the United States, and China. The importance of these discussions lies in their capacity to provide fresh perspectives, promote cross-cultural understanding, and cultivate solutions to the region’s most vexing problems.
Inclusive approach to conflict resolution
The Forum operates with an inclusive approach, encouraging open dialogues and academic research that have the potential to yield effective conflict resolution strategies. By bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of expertise, it facilitates a synergy of ideas and initiatives that contribute to the goal of lasting peace and security in the Middle East.
Strong partnerships for a global impact
To bolster its mission, the MEPS Forum has established strategic partnerships with institutions of global repute, including the United States Institute of Peace, Oxford University, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Crisis Response Council, and the Middle East Institute. These partnerships amplify the forum’s influence, allowing it to harness the collective wisdom of experts and organizations with a vested interest in peace and stability in the Middle East.
A catalyst for regional stability
MEPS has emerged as a critical venue for addressing regional security challenges. With its location in the KRI, the Forum provides a unique platform for leaders and experts to discuss issues of paramount importance in the Middle East. By facilitating dialogues between key stakeholders, it also plays a crucial role in charting a course towards regional stability.
What sets MEPS apart is its ability to bring together a global community of leaders and experts. Beyond local and regional discussions, MEPS provides a space for global leaders to offer their perspectives on complex international issues. This inclusive approach promotes a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities of peace and security.
Track record of achievements
Over the years, MEPS has demonstrated its effectiveness in addressing critical security and peace challenges. By fostering dialogues that lead to actionable solutions, the Forum has played a role in shaping policies and initiatives aimed at maintaining peace in the Middle East.
Sustaining stability through dialogue
In a region that has been marred by conflict and security concerns, MEPS stands as a beacon of hope. Its ongoing commitment to dialogue and problem-solving demonstrates that peace and security can be achieved through continued cooperation and understanding.
Tyler Fisher is a Professor of anthropology and researcher at the University of Central Florida.