24 Mar 2013
PRESS STATEMENT OF THE EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE IN ABU DHABI
SINGAPORE EMBASSY IN UAE TO INAUGURATE “MAJLIS SINGAPURA” SPEAKER SERIES TO SHARE DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCES BETWEEN UAE AND SINGAPORE
A practical initiative to share development experiences between Singapore and the UAE will be launched in Abu Dhabi next week. The Majlis Singapura Distinguished Speaker Series will bring to the nation’s capital high-calibre and distinguished personalities from Singapore whose work and expertise focuses on development and policy lessons in dynamic governance.
The Majlis Singapura series will be inaugurated at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal on 24 March 2013 with H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation of the UAE as Guest of Honor. The first distinguished speaker of the series is best-selling author, geopolitical writer and academic Dr Parag Khanna, Adjunct Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew of Public Policy, a school of the National University of Singapore (NUS) ranked consistently as among the world’s best universities.
The Majlis Singapura is a blending of “know-how” and “know-who” in a personalised and informal setting. The objectives of the Majlis Singapura series are first, to deepen knowledge and understanding of the development trajectories of Singapore and the UAE, and share practical policy lessons, and second, to have a forum for networking and exchanges in an informal setting among friends of Singapore and the UAE and partners in the progress of both countries.
The Majlis Singapura is aimed at a wide participation especially those interested in Singapore's development experience. It will provide ample opportunities to have an informal dialogue with governance and development experts and practitioners of policy-making from Singapore. According to Umej Bhatia, Singapore’s Ambassador to the UAE, the initiative is “inspired by the important Gulf tradition of the majlis, and meant to help build a better understanding and deeper bonds of friendship between the citizens of both sides as it brings together Singaporeans in the UAE and Emiratis.”
The Special Guest of Honor for the inaugural Majlis Singapura, H.E. Sheikha Lubna also serves on the Board of Governors of the Lee Kuan School of Public Policy, a global policy school aimed at training the next generation of Asian policy-makers and leaders.
The inaugural series speaker, Dr. Khanna holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has been a Distinguished Visitor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, and a Non-Resident Associate of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University. He is the author of the international bestsellers How to Run the World: Chartering a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011) and The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008). Resident in Singapore, Parag grew up in the United Arab Emirates, New York, and Germany, and brings a unique insight on the role of global cities in the new world order. (His full resume is attached at Annex).
Dr Khanna will speak on “Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore – Global Cities in the New World Order.
Elaborating on the concept behind the initiative, Ambassador Bhatia adds: "Singapore is the original global city and has many experiences that may be relevant to policy-makers world-wide. As the UAE is itself a remarkable success story, and a regional and global hub and is also among Singapore’s top 12 trading partners, it is indeed appropriate that we launch the series here with H.E. Sheikha Lubna as our guest of honor”.
Majlis Singapura literally means the Lion City Congregation, as Singapura means Lion City in Sanskrit. The series title is inspired by the anthem of Singapore, Majulah Singapura, or "Onward Singapore." According to Ambassador Bhatia, “putting these concepts together, the philosophy behind this majlis is to see how we can have a forum for forward looking, productive exchanges on how both countries can work together to forge ahead with our successful development models. It will also allow both sides to learn more about each others respective cultures and countries.”
“We are excited to welcome the Singapore Embassy for the inaugural Majlis Singapura event here at our hotel,” stated Pep Lozano, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal. “It is an honour to host a forum which brings together two countries known globally for their traditional values of hospitality and culture, and we are certain the initiative will be a resounding success.”
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21 March 2013