Over 70 leaders from business, government, academia and civil society met at the World Economic Forum to steward an action-oriented agenda on the Middle East and North Africa’s most pressing challenges.
Oil-price shifts have created an unprecedented opportunity for reforms in oil-importing and oil-exporting countries.
The World Economic Forum’s communities have defined seven principles for public private co-operation.
Geneva, Switzerland, 1 June 2016 – A select group of over 70 leaders from business, government, academia and civil society met at World Economic Forum headquarters in Geneva to steward an action-oriented agenda on the Middle East and North Africa’s most pressing challenges. Held under the theme “Redesigning Public-Private Cooperation for the Middle East and North Africa”, the meeting focused on two imperatives for the region: peace and prosperity.
Given the instability and geopolitical disruptions posing unprecedented challenges to prosperity in the region, participants explored the fragile security and humanitarian context. They agreed on the need for collaborative diplomatic action to help resolve conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, and for private-sector innovation in humanitarian aid delivery. “The World Economic Forum is committed to providing the international community a platform for greater public-private collaboration to respond to humanitarian and diplomatic imperatives,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
The current reform momentum created by low oil prices is seen as a key enabler for prosperity in the region. The reform needs are well recognized but, due to their complex nature, how to successfully implement them is not. In addition, the broad range of social issues in the Middle East and North Africa makes it challenging to find political consensus for undertaking successful reforms, especially for unpopular but needed ones.
Seven Principles for Public-Private Cooperation
In a pledge to make complex reforms work, representatives of the World Economic Forum’s communities, including leaders from government, business and civil society, defined the following seven principles for public-private cooperation to promote an effective and inclusive reform process:
Create a clear vision – Leadership’s vision and political commitment are the most important prerequisites for successful reforms and provide the framework for planning and implementation
Establish an environment for trust – The decision-making process needs to be transparent and provide confidence that the reforms will genuinely benefit social and economic progress
Foster inclusive collaboration – Reform implementation needs to be a collaborative process among government, policy-makers, the private sector and civil society with the objective of generating balanced benefits for all citizens
Consult public beforehand and maintain momentum through regular communication – Along with effective communication, it is important to consult the public before planning reforms, continuously communicate during the process, and inform the public about the results achieved
Enable an ecosystem for accountability – Social and economic progress requires the government to establish an ecosystem that encourages and validates citizen demand for accountability
Attract and promote talent – Considering the national interest and complexity of reforms needed, their design and implementation call for consulting the best experts available
Build foundations for stability – Greater public-private collaboration is imperative to address the humanitarian crisis and build regional cohesion because peace is fundamental to prosperity
“The principles defined by our core communities take the agenda for public-private cooperation to a new level, consistent with the needs of the region today,” said Miroslav Dusek, Head of Middle East and North Africa and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
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Extract of Forum Press Release. Courtesy & with thanks.