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					         Dialogue with the Muslim world
         What is the future for “The Arab
                    Initiative”?

   Mogens Blom,
   Senior Technical
   Adviser, Ministry of
   Foreign Affairs

   TAS seminar
   28 February 2006



February 2006             Danida seminar    1
     Summing up from Monday

   We are in the middle of the mist of the
   cartoon-issue. Don‟t know the full implications
   before later.
   However, we acknowledge that the issue will
   effect all areas of Danish Foreign Policy,
   including Development Assistance.
   The intention is to continue and strengthen
   Dialogue and cooperation with the Middle
   East.

February 2006        Danida seminar              2
                Where to go?
   Acknowleding that it is a long term task to
   rebuild the image of Denmark and
   relationship with the ME and Muslim world.
   Need for broad based efforts within:
     Public Diplomacy

     Dialogue

     Cooperation




February 2006        Danida seminar              3
                Many Target Groups
   Governments
   Moderate/democratic Islamists
   Secular civil society
   The broad population
   [The private sector]




February 2006         Danida seminar   4
                  Dialogue
   Government level
   Civil society
   Interreligious dialogue
   (Images of the Middle East – Festival in
   Denmark)
     Islam Festival




February 2006        Danida seminar           5
                Cooperation
   Development Assistance. 15 partnership
   Countries (Many with considerable Muslim
   communities)
   Other countries with specific programmes of
   cooperation: Sudan, PA, Afghanistan, Iraq,
   Indonesia and South Africa.
   Middle East
   Trade

February 2006       Danida seminar               6
       Arab Initiative at present
   Framework for a long term Danish
   cooperation with countries in the MENA
   region focusing on common problems and
   challenges.
   Two objectives:
     To further dialogue and mutual
      understanding
     To support specific reform processes
      initiated in the region.

February 2006      Danida seminar            7
                Aim of dialogue:

     To increase Danish dialogue with decisions
      makers in the MENA region
     To further better understanding and
      dismantling of mutual stereotypes.
     To strengthen the Danish resource base on
      the MENA region




February 2006        Danida seminar            8
                Two modalities
   Bilateral
   partnership
   programmes

   Regional thematic
   programmes


February 2006       Danida seminar   9
  Planned bilateral partnership
         programmes
   Yemen (2004)
   Jordan (2005)
   Morocco (2006)
   Algeria (2006-8)
   Lebanon (2006-8)
   Egypt (2006-8)
     Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute from
      2005

February 2006       Danida seminar              10
     Planned regional thematic
           programmes
   Free press and Media (2004)
   Youth (2005)
   Culture - Images of the Middle East (2006)
   Human Rights (2005)
   Gender Equality and Women‟s Rights (2006)
   Labour Market (2006)



February 2006       Danida seminar              11
     Consideration on planning

   Modesty
   Long term perspective
   Broad consultations in the given country
   (covering both Government, „opposition‟ and
   Civil Society)




February 2006       Danida seminar               12
                Key principles (1)
   Acknowledgement of the fact that change
   processes will have to be generate from
   within the MENA region
   Point of departure is taken in reform
   processes which are driven by local and
   national agendas
   Denmark offers to establish partnership
   with government or civil society
   (advancing with a pace considered
   appropriate to the partner)

February 2006         Danida seminar         13
                Key principles (2)
   Support for specific reform processes is
   combined with the involvement of
   Danish partners (base on the
   assumption, that dialogue is best
   enhanced if it takes the point of
   departure in common work and
   dialogue within a field of mutual
   professional interest)

February 2006         Danida seminar      14
           Main point of criticism
   Lack of understanding of ME
   Attempt to export of Democracy – double
   standards
   No Consistence in Danish ME policy
   Lack of Focus
   To little room for NGO




February 2006       Danida seminar           15
                Achivements
   More than Danish 30 NGO and institutions
   (and up to 30 youth organisations) involved
   en specific partnership programmes.
   Partners from the ME stress they wish to
   continue cooperation and dialogue.




February 2006       Danida seminar               16
     Prestent Bilateral Dialogue
             Initiatives
   Inter religious dialogue
   Co-existence of civilizations (Mandagmorgen)
   Next stop Denmark / Next stop Middle East
   Image of the Middle East




February 2006       Danida seminar            17
Arab Initiative – consideration
      on next phase (1)
   Acknowledge that the Danish government in some
   countries at present has limited legitimacy as partner
   for reform
   Denmark might, however, be considered an
   interesting partner for dialogue?
   Danish Civil Society will most likely have a broader
   space for dialogue and cooperation.
   Cooperation will have to address both government
   and civil society in the ME (incl. Islamic
   organisations)

February 2006           Danida seminar                  18
Arab Initiative – consideration
      on next phase (2)
   To be re-launched based on the 2 years pilot
   phase (and the cartoon issue)
   Increased focus on dialogue and mutual
   understanding.
   Reform issues to be addressed via dialogue
   between professionals.
   Civil society to continue to play crucial role
   Programme on inter religious dialogue to be
   launched

February 2006        Danida seminar                 19

				
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