One thousand participants—65 percent from business, 35 percent from government, NGOs and academia—are expected at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, which will take place in Jordan on May 18-20, 2007. "We need all hands on deck. The international community, especially the U.S., must be engaged in moving the process forward," said King Abdullah II of Jordan in his speech to the U.S. Congress, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East has a strong record as a neutral platform for dialogue between countries, regions and religions. Under the theme Putting Diversity to Work, this year’s meeting will focus the world’s attention on the urgent steps required for peace and stability in the region, highlighting the following issues: Israel-Palestine; Iran and the Region; Iraq; Islam and the West; International Aid; Trade.
Putting Diversity to Work is not only the central theme of the meeting; it is also key to the future of the region. Through the meeting and its outcomes, the Forum intends to be a catalyst for positive change for societies in the Middle East—to help them in their aspirations for a more stable, vibrant and prosperous life. Global leaders from all walks of life, in particular from the Middle East, will return to the Dead Sea to work together to capitalize on the inherent diversity of the region. Diversity has a broader meaning in the Middle East drawing in business diversifications, political pluralism and social richness in terms of gender, faith, ethnicity, and age. “Diversity carries the power for indigenous renewal in the Middle East, “ said Sherif El Diwany, director, middle east & North Africa, World Economic Forum.
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