Implementation of the Santiago Principles is highly uneven and there is still far to go if sovereign wealth funds are to be responsible members of the global economy.
Saudi Arabia's effort to reengage with the Iraqi political elite is an important step in providing Iraq with new opportunities to strengthen relations with the rest of the Arab world.
Western NGO strategies for promoting democracy and human rights in the Arab world contain serious flaws. They treat the diverse Arab world as a homogeneous entity and refrain from working with some of the local organizations that have the greatest impact on the ground in Arab societies.
Not only have Sovereign Wealth Funds become a contentious issue for Western policy makers, but their risk/return profile should also be of major concern for the Arab public, since the future economic well-being of Arab societies is at stake.
Both the Egyptian ruling class and the opposition agree that Egypt does not need a political savior to lead the nation towards social justice and democracy. Only the Egyptian people themselves can bring about economic, social, and political progress.
Although there is no precedent for a preventive UN Security Council resolution, it should be more effective in making clear to Iran the negative consequences of its actions than any post facto curative measure.
Last March, Barack Obama extended a hand to the Iranian government on the occasion of Nowruz, the country's New Year. This year, he should speak straight to the people.
If Iraq can overcome the many risks and challenges that lie ahead of it and emerge as a stable democratic nation, it could become an engine for change in the Arab and Muslim world.
Despite the new political ferment in Egypt, engendered by the return of retired IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei, major obstacles remain to the emergence of an opposition strong enough to compete seriously for parliamentary seats and for the presidency.
The announcement of new construction in East Jerusalem that interrupted U.S. Vice President Biden’s trip to Israel to reinvigorate peace negotiations reflects the strained relations between Israel and the United States and how much remains to be done before Israeli-Palestinian negotiations can lead to real progress.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the collapse of one society has immediate economic, political and security repercussions on societies around it. Preventing such collapses requires a global development strategy that reflects the key challenges of the new century, including resource scarcity.
Al-Qaeda is not the only factor threatening Yemen’s stability. Water shortages, collapsing oil supplies, war, refugees, pirates, and poverty all put the country at risk of becoming a failed state.
Iraq’s upcoming parliamentary election will not bring about any decisive changes. Elections do not cause significant power shifts; they can only reflect the power shifts that have already taken place.
Mohamed ElBaradei has an opportunity to help Egyptians achieve a more democratic government. To succeed, he must do three things: remind Egypt that democracy requires an engaged citizenry, call on the opposition to formulate well-defined political programs, and move back to Egypt so that he can engage directly with its citizens.
While officials are quietly suggesting that indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel may resume, escalating tensions between Israel, Syria, and Lebanon are sparking concerns about the possibility of a regional war.
After a year long hiatus, the rhetoric of a war on terror has returned to the fore, following the failed attack on an American plane on Christmas Day. Both the American far right and al-Qaeda have seized upon that attack to push forward their agendas, aided by the resurgence of more militant rhetoric.
While an ad hoc committee has lifted the ban barring candidates suspected of ties to Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party from participating in the Iraqi elections, it did not dismiss the charges against those candidates and is widely seen as the result of internal and external political pressures.
The Obama administration’s deadline for Iran to enter discussions on the nuclear issue has passed. In spite of claims from Washington that “all options are on the table,” the economic crisis makes a military response to Iran infeasible.
The steady rise of sectarian tensions over the past few years in Egypt is the result of an indecisive state, an incendiary media, and a failure of civil institutions to stand up for the equal rights of all Egyptians.
The Muslim Brotherhood was once the most dynamic opposition force in Egypt, but the government’s efforts to exclude it from political participation and internal conflict within the Brotherhood itself have made it practically indistinguishable from the country’s other opposition parties.