Promoting Peace and Innovation through sustainable development (IX)

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Geschreven door Akli Hadid   
Thursday 01 March 2007
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ImageIX: A solution to the Arab-Israeli Conflict

The Middle East has been the stage of a violent conflict that has gone on in the open for nearly six decades. Though there have been several political approaches to solve the conflict in the Middle East, the World Innovation Foundation considers that it has come up with an original plan to put an end to the conflict.

The State of Israel has more scientists, engineers and doctors per capita than any other country in the world. That is a great asset that would contribute to solving the conflicts it endures with its neighboring countries. Up until now, all approaches to solve the conflicts were diplomatic, military, administrative and political. Moreover all the attempts to solve the ongoing conflicts were preceded with religious and ethnic rhetoric that has biased the conflict and made it look unsolvable. However, from an economic perspective, there may be a need for Israel's neighbors to catch up in terms of innovation and economic growth when compared to the rest of the emerging and developed world. The two factors are intimately connected: the wealth of nations is created through innovation. That is what made the United States become an economic superpower, with the Silicon Valley becoming the wealthiest regions in the world, and if California were to be ranked as a nation it would be the world's eigth largest economy. China is following the same path as the United States while analysts are arguing that it will become the world's wealthiest nation in about twenty years.

Now back to the Middle East. Leaders from around the world grant the Palestinian Authority aid which is however short term, usually 7 to 24 years, and is often humanitarian rather than development aid. That way the PA has little if any innovation policy, therefore no creation of wealth. Only innovation can provide the region with durable peace and stability. Good examples are countries like Singapore and South Korea that relied little on foreign aid and where they are still developing industrialized countries, rising as innovation hubs in the world. The reason Singapore and South Korea, who forty years ago were countries living in abject poverty, made it to where they are in terms of innovation thanks to an internally designed plan to reach self-sufficiency and economic growth. The Palestinian Authority and other Middle Eastern countries, whose everlasting wars in the region are caused more  by the poverty factor and economic reasons than by religious ideologies and beliefs, should therefore implement measures to innovate. All they need is innovation direction. Therefore the objective would be to reach in the long run, perhaps forty years, a decent economic level through innovation that would guarantee peace and stability in the region.

Scientists Panel Discussions

The World Innovation Foundation(WIF) is represented by scientists, engineers, technologists and economists from every corner of the world, including the Middle East. What the WIF encourages is that scientists from the different countries making up the Middle East would meet and debate about an integrated innovation strategy for the region, putting aside their religious beliefs and dogma. In a region where religious and ethnic prejudice has been a major barrier to peace negotiations, having people from that particular region discuss science and innovation application would be a turning point in its history. Discussing science for the benefit of its people would mean discussing what is based on empirical proof and physical knowledge, or seeing what is possible together. Unfortunately, politicians do not see that kind of opportunity and keep postponing talks, as the conflicts goes on. Scientific discussion and innovative discourse could lead to a genuine breakthrough in the region's peace process.

New Process of Conflict Resolution through Innovation: Four Steps  

The World Innovation Foundation would initiate a plan in four steps with the main objective of bringing together people involved with the innovation sectors in the countries involved in the Middle Eastern conflict.

The first step would be to hold a conference in a neutral country such as Tanzania say, a country that has no political or economic ties with the countries that are part of the conflict and where this would be chaired by the WIF. The conference should include scientists, engineers, technologists and economists from the nations party to the conflict, and should try to find solutions to the conflict and come up with a roadmap and application plan for the solutions found that would put an end to the conflict. The UN or any other agency will not be a party to the conference, as the aim is to hold talks that would be independent of outside agencies.

The second step would then lie in presenting the results of the conference to the United Nations. What would follow would be a submission of the solutions for approval and support by the United Nations member states.

The third step would consist of applying the plan for peace and stability in the Middle East. Once the plan received UN approval, the WIF would help through a newly created Middle East Council support the process through independent advice. WIF members would help all Middle Eastern countries find solutions to eradicate poverty and help those nations become self sufficient, through counseling in the fields of applied technology, economics, international finance, sustainability, education and peace building.

The fourth and final step would comprise the post-application stage, or the WIF along with the newly created Middle East Council, supervising and advising countries from the region in applying innovation to their economies. To reach economic growth and creation of wealth on a peaceful basis, the Middle East would need continuous advice from experts in the different sectors involving innovation.

These four steps are somehow an original way to solve the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. Indeed, never before has any institution offered to solve the problem that way. Politicians have offered short-term solutions to the problem, and often political ones. However, by choosing an approach that would solve the conflict through innovation, what would be tackled here is the core of the conflict, or the economic causes. This way, thanks to innovation and economic development on the basis of scientific and technological partnership, the Middle East could be pacified.

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Akli Hadid - Written in collaboration with Dr. David Hill, CEO, the WIF
Seoul (South Korea)

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In memoriam
In memoriam
After a long battle against the disease Franck Biancheri passed away 30th of October 2012, at the age of 51. A great European, a militant democrat, a wonderful person.
Franck Biancheri was founder of AEGEE and founding fathers of the ERASMUS programme. He also was research director of the European thinktank LEAP 2020. In 2005, following the no of the Dutch and French to the Constitutional Treaty, Franck Biancheri founded the European citizens movement Newropeans.