On 2nd December 2020, the MENASP Network launched our new programme: Strengthening social welfare and security in the MENA region. The virtual event saw over 100 participants from across the globe gather to hear a welcome from the University of Bath’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Ian White who noted:
‘This [project] is particularly important given the longer-term implications of COVID-19. Not only because of the risk in those areas already facing conflict, possibly in part due to growing inequality, but also the risk of the geographical spread to other areas of social disruption. Having spent my childhood in an area of conflict, I am acutely aware of the personal impact that your work will have.’
This was followed by a fascinating keynote from Jonathan Powell, CEO and Founder of Inter-Mediate, formerly UK’s chief peace negotiator (Northern Ireland) and Special Envoy (Libya), who noted:
‘I think this project you’ve embarked on is really valuable and will make a real difference to practitioners, like me, who are trying to work on these conflicts, including the MENA region, and I wish you every success in it and look forward to seeing the results as you proceed.’
The project team then introduced the key components of the project through a dynamic presentation, completing the event with a Question and Answer session.
You can watch the recording below: