Dr. Oskar Ziemelis, GRC Director of Cooperation and Ms. Kapasi, GRC Administration Manager represented the GRC Foundation at the INCONET-GCC2 project international conference entitled Collaboration for Innovation: Linking GCC and EU, which took place in Muscat, Oman on 6-8 December 2015. The overall goal of the INCONET-GCC2 project, in which the GRC Foundation is a consortium member, is to support the GCC-EU policy dialogue in Science, Technology and Innovation, and to strengthen GCC-EU cooperation among research and innovation actors, especially in the context of the Horizon 2020 program. Dr. Ziemelis and Ms. Kapasi also participated in the Project Control Board meeting which took place on 9 December 2015 at The Research Council in Muscat to finalize plans for the final year of the INCONET-GCC2 project.
Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation, spoke at a meeting organized by the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula on the topic "Regional impact of the Iran nuclear deal". When Iran and the P5+1 signed on July 14 in Vienna the joint comprehensive plan of action to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, Dr. Koch pointed out that the GCC foreign ministers welcomed the agreement stating that once implemented, the deal would contribute to the region's security. He also stressed, however, that there are some fundamental reservations in the Gulf region about the deal itself, which are related to the actual implementation that the GCC states believe will still prove to be difficult. Additional information about the presentation can be found under: http://www.gulfinthemedia.com/index.php?id=769371&news_type=Top&lang=en
Dr. Christian Koch participated in the international symposium entitled “On the Road to a Foreign Policy of Societies – the strategic dialogue between Foreign Office and foundations” held at the German Foreign Office in Berlin. German Foreign Minister Steinmeier held the opening address in which he highlighted the important role of foundations and NGOs in the overall policy process. Proper governance, an active private sector and a vibrant civil society were highlighting as the three components of a viable and sustainable society. The conference dealt with topics such as creating multi-sectoral networks, regional solutions for regional problems, culture and scientific research in a time of crisis, and foreign policy as a public good. The conference was attended by nearly 200 representatives from foundations, non-governmental organizations and think tanks.
The Gulf Research Center participated in the 6th Berlin Foreign Policy Forum organized by the Körber Foundation and held in Berlin, Germany. Discussions were held on “Crisis as a New Normal? Perspectives of German and European Foreign Policy”, the Role of Russia, Asia’s Role in Global Security Challenges, and US Foreign Policy after the Election. A debate was conducted on the question of whether the nuclear deal with Iran makes the Middle East more unstable in the long run. Dr. Christian Koch, Director of the GRC Foundation also spoke in the breakout session of Security in the Gulf region.
Dr. Christian Koch presented his GRC Policy Paper on “A Gulf Conference for Security Cooperation could bring Peace and Greater Security to the Middle East” to the Tawila Middle East Roundtable in Berlin, Germany. Tawila brings together a variety of individuals with an interest in topical Middle East issues. Following the presentation, there was an extensive discussion about the idea of collective security in the Gulf region as well as current development particularly in the relationship between Iran and the GCC states. The paper can be downloaded here:
Dr. Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Research Fellow - GRC Environment Research Program, participated in the kick-off meeting for the project "Global Cities, Local Solution" at the Barcelona Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) in Barcelona on 19 and 20 November 2015. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a global network of think tanks to study cities from different angles, including: security, transportation, energy, environment and social issues. The CIDOB will develop the project concept paper, which will assign different tasks to different think tanks and plan for the first deliverables to Habitat 3 next year.