Beirut roundtable discussion on laying foundations of the developmental state in the Arab region

11 May 2012

  In coordination and co-sponsorship with the United  Nations Development Programme’s Regional Center in Cairo  (UNDP-RCC), the Carnegie Middle East Center will host the presentation and discussion of UNDP’s Arab Development Challenges Report 2011: Towards the Developmental State in the Arab Region. The discussion will take place at the Carnegie’s premises in Downtown (Bashir Street, Lazarieh bldg., Bloc A) on Friday 11th of May 2012 at 9am. In order to respond to the demand for dignity, social justice and freedom that reverberated across Arab streets since late 2010, the Report argues that Arab states need to adopt a “Developmental state” model based on a new social contract of mutual accountability and shed the rentier-based political economy model. This would allow states to become more responsive and accountable to citizens, and allow citizens to take a more proactive role in societal affairs while breaking the vicious pattern of dependence on the state that has been the hallmark of the Arab social contract. Adopting a political economy analytical framework and going beyond numbers, the report examines the interrelationship between the political and socio-economic factors that underlie policy choices and the development results they produce for the ordinary citizen. The Report warns that current Arab progress towards democracy is contingent upon success in dealing with economic challenges, especially social justice The report aims to answer: • What is the state of human development and progress towards reduction of money metric poverty and human deprivation relative to other developing regions? • What are the main features of long-term Arab economic growth and what are its main drivers? • How do Arab governance systems and institutional structures impede Arab human and economic development? • What are the main features of a new Arab social contract and a new development model? What are the most pressing issues to respond to now? Program 8:30 – 9:00 Registration 9:00 – 9:15 Opening Speeches • Paolo Lembo, UNDP-RCC, Director • Paul Salem, Director, Carnegie Middle East Center 9:15 – 10:30 Presentation and Discussion of the report • Abdullah Dardari, UN-ESCWA, Director Economic Development and Globalization Division • Mohammad Pournik, UNDP-RCC, Poverty Practice Leader • Noha El-Mikawy, Ford Foundatoin, Regional Director, Middle East • Ibrahim Saif, Senior Associate, Carnegie Middle East Center • Hussam Itani, AlHayat Newspaper 10:30 – 11:30 Open Discussion