Conference on Climate Change and the Future of Water

The Conference on "Climate Change and the Future of Water", co-organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research and the University of Maine, addressed one of the most urgent issues facing the region and the world. As a result of global demographic growth, demand for fresh water for agriculture and human consumption is growing whilst water quality is declining. Climate change adds additional uncertainty that may severely curtail water supply, especially in areas that are already water-stressed.
Conference participants offered multiple perspectives for understanding and solving the impending water crisis. Keynote speakers discussed the current situation, policy, and planning in the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Paul Mayewski, one of the world's leading climate scientists, talked about how climate change in the region is affecting water supply today and in the near future.
A panel on "Sustainable Water Politics and Climate Change" covered policy and engineering approaches to solving the water crisis and provided a regional perspective on maintaining a sustainable water supply in Abu Dhabi. An innovative panel on "Water and Education" detailed the work undertaken with students at high school, university, and post-graduate levels to provide innovative solutions to the water crisis.
Another panel addressed the "Future of Water in the Gulf" in the face of climate change, and how to ensure the sustainability of water supplies in this regions. As water supply and quality are increasingly imperiled, water security may become the next significant threat to survival. The Final panel discussed "Water Security in a Changing World", both from local and global perspectives.


Fourth-generation Warfare Conference

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) has organized a conference entitled Fourth-generation Warfare to be held May 16–17. The conference, which includes the participation of a select group of experts and specialists in the fields of security and strategic and military issues, will take place in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan Hall at the ECSSR, Abu Dhabi.

In a bid to address the various dimensions of fourth-generation warfare, the conference is comprised of the following four sessions: “Fourth-generation Warfare: Exploring the Changing Face of War”; “Strategic Considerations of Fourth-generation Warfare”; “Possible Threats of Fourth-generation Warfare”; and “Paths and Future of Fourth-generation Warfare”.

 Welcoming Remarks        Program


The Challenges of Nation-Building in Arab Countries that have Recently Witnessed Change

The Conference on “The Challenges of Nation-Building in Arab Countries that have Recently Witnessed Change,” co-organized by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research and the School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine, addresses one of the most urgent issues facing both the region and the world.  As a result of changes in the Middle East and North Africa, several countries have experienced or are experiencing turmoil and find themselves facing the task of reconstruction and geo-political realignment.

The conference brings together experts and scholars from around the world to discuss the issues of nation-building in Arab countries. In this regard, conference participants will offer multiple perspectives on contemporary regional developments; in addition to proposing solutions to certain countries most strongly affected by the significant changes that have occurred both at home and abroad.  Keynote speakers will set the stage on the significant impact of recent change, the reconstruction issues that need to be addressed and the importance of the GCC countries being part of the solution.  

A panel on “The Arab World in Transition” will cover ongoing internal conflicts in the Arab region, the political economy of Arab Nation-building, the realignment of international relations in the Arab world, and the rise of the GCC countries.

Additional panels will cover: “Arab Nation Building Projects: The Role of Citizenship, Social Justice, and the Rule of Law;” “New Directions in State-building in the Middle East and the Role of External Powers;” and “Mechanisms of Political-Economic Stabilization.”  The final panel shall discuss “The Role of the GCC States in Economic Recovery and Relief Efforts.”

Welcoming Remarks
His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi
Director General, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,

In the beginning, I have the honor to convey to you the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Chairman of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, may God protect him, and his wishes of success to you and to the Conference. And I would like to express the pride of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in organizing and hosting this important and vital conference in collaboration with the ancient American "University of Maine".

I am sure that the works of the Conference, and its research papers, discussions and comments throughout the two days will have a positive effect in developing a clear vision and a comprehensive strategy that describes the present and future dimensions of this important topic "The Challenges of Nation-Building in Arab Countries that have Recently Witnessed Change", and how to deal with it during the next stage.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,

Since the end of 2010, the Middle East has seen significant shifts in the political, security, economic, societal and cultural structures of the Arab countries that have recently witnessed change. And from the beginning of that year, these countries have seen internal wars and conflicts resulted in the flux of millions of refugees and displaced people, internally and externally. Every Day, we hear the news that numbers of them are flowing to almost all countries of the world, by sea and land ports available to them; bringing with them the hope of a secure and stable life for themselves and their children. So, this is what makes us feel the importance and vitality of the theme of this conference on how to build post-conflict nations.

The concept of post-conflict "nation-building" means to build a lasting peace, and to lay its required foundations by taking an integrated and coordinated actions aimed at addressing the underlying causes of violence, whether they are political, legal, institutional, military, humanitarian, related to human rights, or any other environmental, and economic, social, cultural, and demographic causes.

Post-conflict peace building can be considered as a long-term strategy for conflict prevention. Because conflicts have different reasons, procedures and policies should be commensurate with the nature of the countries in the region that have witnessed great changes in order to achieve stability in the region, and not to allow return to the midst of conflicts and turmoil again. As confirmed by the UN reports in this area, there is no standard form of peace-building in post-conflict countries as each region features certain characteristics that are different from others.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,

State-building after the end of the internal conflicts is subject to a set of guidelines and standards as follows:

  • To promote social stability by working on the return of refugees and displaced people to their homes.

  • To work on restoring the State institutions' capacity to maintain public order and establish security.

  • To strengthen the rule of law, and respect of human rights.

  • To support the return of the legitimate political institutions of the state.

  • To lay the required foundations for the launch of the development process, such as promoting economic growth, and re-creating markets, and sustainable development.
  • Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

    While considering this important subject, we should not forget to take advantage of the previous lessons and human experiences in order to build on. For example, the eastern part of the European continent experienced change in the early 1990s which required dealing with a series of concepts relating to the achievement international peace, in theoretically and practically, such as the imposition of, and keeping peace, ending conflicts, preventive diplomacy, and the rehabilitation of communities, and other concepts.

    Those previous experiences demonstrated the importance of cooperation of all local, regional and international parties for the success of nation-building plans in the wake of internal conflicts, which we look forward to happen in the case of Arab countries change that have recently witnessed change.

    Believing in its role in alleviating sufferings of refugees and displaced people in the Arab countries change that have recently witnessed change, and in order to be a part of the solution, not the problem, the United Arab Emirates, with other members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf states, has contributed in providing all various forms of assistance, financial, in-kind, medical and others, to those refugees and displaced people, whether in their own countries or abroad.

    Your Excellencies

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    We look forward to hear your views and contributions, and the discussions of the experts and professors participating in the conference; in order to conclude the best results and recommendations on this important topic.

    In conclusion, I welcome you again, wishing you success in the conference sessions and proceedings.

    Peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you.


Concluding Remarks, His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman,

At the end of our Conference – The Challenges of Nation-building in Arab Countries that have Recently Witnessed Change – I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to you, researchers, participants and interlocutors; for your outstanding efforts, for the research papers you have presented and the serious discussions you have taken part in over the two past days. These papers and discussions highlighted many dimensions of this issue, which is one of the top priorities to which we, in the United Arab Emirates, and the GCC, pay special attention.

I would also like to thank the School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine for its sincere efforts through its constructive cooperation with us in organizing this important Conference. I especially thank the professors participating from the university, for their research papers and insightful opinion that demonstrate the various dimensions and problems of nation-building and how to apply them in some Arab countries that face post-conflict challenges. These papers were characterized by seriousness, creativity and innovation.

We look forward to continuing this constructive cooperation in times to come in order to address the strategic, economic and security issues of interest to the region and the whole world, and to apply these results in supporting the efforts aimed at achieving security, development and peace, regionally and internationally.

Dear Participants,

The important recommendations that you have bought to this Conference have a great deal of significance, and we will work to make them find their way to decision-makers, in order to be translated into practical policies on the ground; to achieve stability in the Arab region. These recommendations are the outcome of long experiences, profound views and multiple scientific insights targeted at reaching the best ways to deal with the challenges of nation-building in the wake of internal conflicts, and the challenges they raise at various levels.

May God guide your steps on the path of goodness,

Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you.


Specialized Conference 16

Under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), the ECSSR organized The First Arabian Gulf Public Health Research Conference – Interventions for a Healthier Future – jointly with RTI International. The conference was held on January 21–22, 2014 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Over 300 regional and global leaders, scientists, experts, and public sector health practitioners from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United States focused on major health problems facing the region, including obesity, tobacco use, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The aim of the conference was to present:

  • facts about how the above-mentioned health issues have affected the Arabian Gulf;
  • promising and cutting-edge health interventions that have been conducted around the world; and
  • how those interventions might be tailored to benefit the Arabian Gulf.

Program    Closing Remarks and Final Recommendations

First Day Video



Specialized Conference 15

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) organized a two-day conference titled ‘The Future of Arab-Islamic Culture’ on 27-28 May, 2013, at the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall, ECSSR Office Complex in Abu Dhabi.

The Conference opened with Welcoming Remarks by Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR). The subject for Panel I of the conference was ‘Analytical View of the General Currents in Islamic Thought,’ while Panel II delved into the topic ‘Islamic Thought and the Arab Renaissance Movement.’

On Day 2, Panel III deliberated on ‘Movements in Contemporary Islamic Political Thought: The Muslim Brotherhood’. The Closing Discussion Panel tackled ‘Experiences of Political Islam in Power: Visions and Ideas.’



Specialized Conference 14

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) hosted an international conference on ‘Labor Mobility-Enabler for Sustainable Development,’ on May 14-15, 2013 at the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall in the ECSSR headquarters, Abu Dhabi. About 150 experts, government officials and international researchers and executives, on the subject of cross-border movement of labor and its impact on development participated.

The conference was organized by the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ECSSR and the National Authority for Qualifications, in partnership with the Executive Office of the Council of Ministers of Labor in GCC, the Government of Sweden which holds the chairmanship of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Bank. The UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Migration and Development also participated in the conference.

This conference brought together governments, experts and practitioners in labor mobility from Asia and other parts of the world, to stimulate greater regional interest and engagement in the global dialog on migration and development.



Specialized Conference 13

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), in collaboration with the University of Maine, organized a conference entitled: ‘The Global Financial Crisis and Future Outlook,’ which was held on November 26-27, 2012, at the Sheikh Zayid bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall, in the office complex of the ECSSR in Abu Dhabi.

The conference, which was attended by a distinguished group of experts and specialists, both from the UAE and the US, commenced with Welcoming Remarks by His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director-General of the ECSSR. The Keynote Address was delivered by US Ambassador to the UAE, Michael H. Corbin. On Day Two, the Keynote Address was delivered by His Excellency Khalid Al-Boustani, Assistant Undersecretary for International Financial Relations, Ministry of Finance, UAE.

The two-day conference deliberated on a number of critical issues and subjects. Panel I discussed the economic and institutional impact of the financial crisis, while Panel II delved into the political and social consequences of the financial meltdown, in terms of the shift in global centers of power, the ensuing political and social unrest and the impact of the crisis on the education process. Day Two opened Panel III of the Conference entitled: ‘The Future of World Economy After The Crisis’ that covered the political, economic and social dimensions of the subject. The discussion panel concluded with the role of the GCC in the new world economy and the affect of the shift in power centers on GCC countries.



Specialized Conference 12

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) and the Lancaster University co-organized a conference entitled: “Overseas Postgraduate Studies Scholarships: Towards a Strategy to Enhance National Achievement,” on Monday, October 8, 2012.

The conference discussed policies and strategies for sending postgraduate students on scholarships abroad and the way the UAE can benefit from their expertise in the field of academic and scientific research upon their return. The conference adopted a holistic approach on the subject. It discussed the strategies, policies and standards of local institutions and their goals in sending students on scholarships abroad and also shed light on the strategies of a number of foreign educational institutions to which UAE students are sent in terms of how they receive students on scholarships; the policies they pursue for their development in academic and scientific research; and the perceptions and best practices they propose to enhance benefit from academic output.

The conference was characterized by another important aspect in that it allowed students who had previously been sent abroad, and who occupy leading administrative and academic positions in the UAE, to participate by presenting their views, suggestions and observations by taking part in the themes on the strategies of national and foreign institutions.

The ultimate objective of the conference was to ascertain ways through which the UAE can attain maximum benefit from postgraduate students sent on scholarships abroad and utilize their academic capabilities in academic development and scientific research in the UAE.

This conference served several academic segments and sectors and contributed to achieving greater engagement and harmony between various local institutions responsible for overseas scholarships of UAE postgraduate students.

In addition, it sought to strengthen cooperation with foreign educational institutions in order to achieve maximum benefit from academic and scientific research through the pursuance of best practices in this area.



Specialized Conference 11


Specialized Conference 10