“International and Regional Shifts: Meeting the Challenges in the Arab World”

At this critical juncture in international relations, the lecture addresses some of the most significant developments that herald change and challenges for all regions, particularly the Arab world. The most impactful shifts will likely have lasting consequences for the global order, which is no longer compatible with unfolding events. Established practices that relied on the balance of power and various areas of influence are proving ineffective in ensuring security and stability, amid the globalization of markets and information, and the regionalization of conflicts. This raises a number of questions about the transition from a unipolar to multipolar global order, and from a balance of power to balance of interests system. In response to these developments, countries in the Arab world and wider Middle East are focused on crucial issues, including the stability of national identity and loyalty, restoring regional balance, and strengthening the Arab position regionally and globally. This is particularly important at a time when external factors are impacting developments throughout the Middle East.

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Bangabandhu’s Vision for World Peace and Security: Its Enduring Relevance Today

Growing division, polarization, inequality, and a sense of economic and social insecurity on a global scale characterize the modern world, affecting developed and developing nations alike. Realistic and pragmatic strategies are required for leaders to achieve the long-sought goal of peace and security on an international scale. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Father of the Nation and the first President of an independent Bangladesh, was a firm advocate of humanitarianism, peace and social justice, and his vision for international peace and security is more relevant than ever.
Throughout his political career, Rahman supported peace, justice, human rights and democratic values. His visionary leadership established and consolidated human rights and justice for the people of Bangladesh, and set out clear guidelines for peace, tolerance, equity and justice for other nations in the region and beyond. As a result of his unique legacy, Rahman is popularly known as ‘Bangabandhu’ (Friend of Bangladesh). He introduced a constitution that established the principles of Bangladesh’s foreign policy; based on the promotion of international peace, security and solidarity, as well as mutual respect for national sovereignty and equality, non interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and respect for international law.
At the UN General Assembly in 1974, Bangabandhu outlined his vision for building peaceful, just and inclusive societies around the world, emphasizing that inequity and injustice are the real threats to international peace. In recognition of Bangabandhu’s contribution to establishing peace, the World Peace Council awarded him the Julio-Curie Peace Prize in 1973, and his foreign policy legacy has earned him the affectionate title ‘Bishawbandhu’, or Friend of the World.
By examining Bangabandhu’s ideas, vision and policies in the pursuit of international peace and security, we can gain further insight into the challenges facing the modern world. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman articulated principles that are comprehensive, realistic and achievable. His leadership remains as relevant as ever to the pursuit of peace and security in contemporary politics.

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The Russian Perspective on Middle East Issues

The Russian role in international politics continues to grow in importance. Russia has become one of the three key global powers and a major international player in the Middle East, specifically through its active involvement in many of the complex issues in the region. Therefore, it is vital to examine the Russian perspective towards these issues and explore the future of the Russian role in the Middle East.

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Latin America: Political Challenges and Economic Opportunities

In Latin America, political dynamics are characterized by threats posed by authoritarian and statist populist projects, institutional weakening, and the permanence of anti-democratic regimes that seek to reach out to other countries in the region. This creates an environment of uncertainty, particularly considering that electoral processes taking place in the coming months could lead to regime changes in several countries in the region. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures adopted by governments to confront it, generated negative impacts for the economy. This means that countries in the region will have to decide whether they want to advance on the path of economic liberalization, international trade and cooperation, or if they want to keep economies closed, through protectionist, interventionist, and redistributive measures. If Latin American countries want to reactivate their economies, they need to create opportunities for investment and conditions to encourage and facilitate entrepreneurship in strategic sectors, which can lead to productivity, economic growth and overcoming poverty. To identify these opportunities, it is important to consider the results of international indicators on economic freedom, protection of property rights and legal security.

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The Dividends of Peace in Afghanistan for Pakistan and the Middle East

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Middle East nations are bound by geography, history and religion. Developments in any of these countries impact the others. Landlocked Afghanistan shares a 2,600-kilometer border with Pakistan, at the intersection of common tribal ties. Trade and communications routes between the Middle East and Central Asia are also linked through Pakistan and Afghanistan. Forty years of war has allowed extremism, terrorism and the drugs trade to find safe haven in Afghanistan, directly affecting Pakistan, and having broader implications for the Middle East. For Pakistan and the Middle East, the most important outcome of peace in Afghanistan would be progress and prosperity for its people, freed from extremism, terrorism and drugs. In terms of socio-economic development, opportunities for connectivity between the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and China would also be extremely positive. This type of integration could also help the region resist interference from outside powers, who use conflict as a justification for intervening in other regions.

 

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Future Battlefields: Evolving Challenges for Humanitarian Action

The nature of armed conflict over the past century and a half has undergone profound change, both in the way wars are fought and the impact they have on people. While International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has proven to be an adaptable legal framework for the protection of victims of armed conflict, it faces daunting challenges.
Modern conflicts are characterized by the convergence of complex and interlinked factors: from the fragmentation and proliferation of actors, to the privatization of warfare, the widespread availability of weapons, and high levels of criminal violence on top of armed conflict.
These dynamics have concerning humanitarian consequences and demand the attention of the international community. Urbanized conflict, with multiple support relationships between states and armed groups, is a key feature. The International Committee of the Red Cross has strived to keep watch over the challenges of tomorrow, but the global pandemic has brought a further layer of complexity to humanitarian action amid armed conflict.

 

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Building on Centennial Glories and Beginning a New Chapter at the Golden Jubilee

The speech by H.E. Ni Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, consists of three parts. Part one discusses the history and achievements of China and the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China during the last 100 years. Part two examines the accomplishments of the United Arab Emirates under its wise leadership over the past 50 years. Part three looks ahead to further development of relations, and the exchange of knowledge, between the two countries, which are both at a point of historical significance.

 

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Innovation in Higher Education

The lecture begins with an explanation of the concept of innovation from the perspective of several researchers and experts, before moving on to analyze innovation itself and its main components. The lecture will examine how innovation can be encouraged within higher education institutions, as well as the impact it might have on these institutions. The lecture will also focus on the experience of Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) in fostering innovation and the most important lessons learnt from this experience. The lecture will end by explaining the Al Awar Index for Innovation in Higher Education, which determines and ranks the attitudes of higher education institutions toward innovation.

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US Elections and their Implications for the Middle East

The deep-rooted institutional system in the US generally means that when policies are drafted, they remain in place for decades to come, regardless of the political background of the president. However, a strong president can change a particular policy, as long as that change does not deviate from the framework of institutional policy. In other words, the policy is fixed, and the only variable is the nature of the strategies employed to deliver policy. A classic example is how both presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, handled the issue of Iran.

There is no doubt that there may be some change in US policy toward Iran, the Gulf countries and Turkey if the Democrats win the US Presidential elections. However, there will not be radical change; the US will continue its strategic relationships with Gulf countries. Obama’s soft policy toward Iran, which saw many concessions made, might see a comeback, albeit to a lesser degree than during the Obama presidency. As for tackling the Muslim Brotherhood group, Trump has not done much in this regard, and this trajectory will likely remain.

It is difficult to anticipate who will win the US Presidential elections, as the country is experiencing a sharp bipartisan and ideological divide. The Democrats’ problem is not Trump, but their own weak candidate. The winning presidential candidate will be determined by the swing states, which number no more than seven. Events could change the balance at any time. What is sure, when looking at elections historically, is that the outcome of the vote will be contested regardless of who wins, whether Trump or Biden.
 

 

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Sources of International Law: Scope and Application

The speaker said that the sources of international law, according to the traditional understanding, are limited to the list contained in the Statute of the International Court of Justice. However, rapid international developments, over the last few decades, required adding the resolutions of international organizations to this list. He added that the actual practice, at the level of international relations, experienced overlapping sources of international law. Thus, resolving many issues requires referring to most, if not all, of these sources. In addition, there are new cases that entail international organizations to issue resolutions rather than being restricted to the provisions of the international norms; they can be integrated into multilateral treaties, a process known as codification. The speaker also pointed out that developing an international law usually requires relying on the cooperation of a group of countries due to the absence of an effective central legislature. In the same context, the speaker added that developing the international law and drafting new sources for its system will continue to be a major challenge posed on the international community.

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