Lakhdar Brahimi urges Arab Governments to find quick, durable solutions to region’s security crisis

SHARJAH, 23rd February, 2015 (WAM)– Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Aiser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (2004-2005), has urged governments in the Arab region to find prompt and durable solutions to the growing security crisis in the region.

Addressing the opening session of day two of the fourth International Government Communication Forum (IGFC 2015), Brahimi outlined the crucial role that regional governments can play in curbing the situation in Syria. “The chaos in the region has led to the emergence of the Daesh (ISIL) as a prominent player in the region’s political scene. I urge governments to find quick and decisive solutions to the deteriorating security situation.” He added, “The international disagreements have led to a slowdown in the process of reaching a common ground to end the suffering of the Syrian people. The outcome is the disastrous consequences we are witnessing now.” During an interview-style session with Raghida Dergham, New York Bureau Chief for Al Hayat newspaper, the prominent Algerian diplomat complimented South Africa’s transition to democracy as “one of the richest contemporary political experiences in the world.” He also drew upon the Lebanese civil war, and his own experience in brokering Al Taef Agreement, which ended the 15-year-plus conflict between different parties.

Brahimi said, “I admire the achievements of Lebanon and the efforts of President Michel Sleiman during his tenure. With all the complexities inherent in the Lebanese political scene, the Lebanese were able to preserve the spirit of Al Taef Agreement. Lebanon is affected by regional and international events and today, this small country is hosting two million Syrian refugees, a huge number equivalent to half the Lebanese population. Despite differences and divides in Lebanon, the country has successfully moved forward in a bid to find solutions that guarantee stability and this initiative deserves to be commended.” Discussing challenges that hinder communication between governments and audiences, Brahimi said that one of the core challenges is developing capacities and tools that allow governments to deal with crises. Highlighting the example of increasing international support for the right of the Palestinian people, Brahimi said Arab governments need to engage proactively with civil society and independent influential individuals to form informal associations capable of monitoring changes. Such moves will benefit governments and develop them further.

Speaking on the government-people communication and the role of government communication system in maintaining stability, he added, “The Arab governments’ potential to communicate effectively with their peoples does not presently meet the expectations of the people. In this context, I would like to commend the efforts of the governments of Sharjah and the wider UAE in enhancing government communication mechanisms. This forum is the only model for dialogue on government communication regionally and internationally, and I hope that other Arab governments follow the example of Sharjah and the UAE in adopting policies of openness and constructive communication towards people and the media.” The session was attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and a number of political figures, media representatives, academicians, thought leaders, and professionals from government communication departments in the UAE and across the globe.

Lakhdar Brahimi has a long and rich experience in global diplomacy, as he spent more than 40 years attempting to spread peace and security in different parts of the world, besides his vision of international relations and conflict resolution. Ambassador Brahimi first made history in 1989, when, as the Special Envoy of the Arab League Tripartite Committee, he brokered Al Taef Agreement that ended the 17-year civil war in Lebanon. He has served as Algeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rapporteur to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit), and Under-Secretary-General of the Arab League. Brahimi has also worked as Diplomatic Aiser to the President of Algeria and as Ambassador to the UK, Egypt and Sudan. Furthermore, Lakhdar Brahimi has completed a term as permanent representative to the Arab League in Cairo.