ECSSR Lecture No. 725 Aboul Gheit Praises the UAE’s Approach in Dealing with Challenges and Thinking Outside the Box

His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, praised the UAE’s approach in seeking leadership in science and technology, and in thinking outside the box while dealing with challenges. He said that the UAE is a unique and strong role model for thinking outside the box and for being courageous in adopting future aspirations. 

Aboul Gheit also praised the efforts of His Excellency Prof. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the ECSSR.  He commended the Center’s role in providing important messages and community services to the peoples of UAE and greater Arab world, stressing that the ECSSR has become one of the most important Arab strategic studies think tanks in the world. He added that the Center has helped meet the needs of the Arab world, especially with regard to delivering the future, by studying global developments and how they impact the future. 

This came during ECSSR lecture No. 725, entitled "The Arab World in light of Regional and Global Changes," delivered by His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on Wednesday, 25 December 2019, at the ECSSR complex in Abu Dhabi.  

In his lecture, Aboul Gheit reviewed current developments in international relations and the global system, as the world is going through profound changes driven by major transformations in areas such as economics, technology, and demography. He said that global networks are becoming more complex, and that there is a big increase in risks and threats, which make the global system – which emerged after the Second World War – subject to existential threats, negatively affecting its institutions. Aboul Gheit stressed that such changes reflect deeper changes in the international scales of power and an increase in competition among super powers. 

Aboul Gheit referred to the most important changes that have caused increased uncertainty on the international level, and that have pushed global interactions to unpredictable directions; these included financial crises, migration, technological developments, and climate change.

His Excellency said that the scientific approach in analysing these changes should be the basis upon which the Arab states must rely in their pursuit of their interests. He added that this requires greater awareness and careful monitoring of what is happening on the international level, realizing the type of changes, and then discussing them in depth in order to come up with future scenarios, all through keeping an open mind and a willingness to deal with unpredictable changes.

Aboul Gheit referred to the extreme difficulties surrounding the process of delivering the future and predicting global trends, due to the large number of variables involved. He said that there is significant ambiguity in identifying the international system in terms of whether it is a multi-polar system or a system with total chaos in its relations and alliances.

His Excellency drew attention to the fact that the rapid changes in the international arena make it more difficult to predict the future, in light of what he called “the end of American unilateralism,” which is the great decline in United States domination over the world. He said that this decline is a result of the profound changes that are taking place internally, which have driven the US to abandon world leadership, resulting in the emergence of new powers such as China, a country that possesses enormous potential. He said China is now competing with the United States at the economic and technological levels, and may surpass the States in these areas in the near future.

Aboul Gheit said that the Arab region is living in a difficult situation in light of these global changes. He added that the region’s countries should work together to restore their own collective security and to agree on their priorities. 

He pointed out that there are basic sources of danger that threaten Arab national security, namely: the hegemonic policies, behaviours, and ambitions of Iran, Turkey, and Israel. Aboul Gheit ended his lecture by calling upon Arabs to be bolder in thinking about specific solutions that could help preserve their national security.