GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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The Gulf and Latin America: Non-state Actors, the key to Unlocking Possibilities
Paper Proposal Text :
The past few decades have witnessed significant increase in the role of non-state actors in formulating cross-boarders patterns of communication, thus; proving to be a cornerstone in contemporary international relations. This evolvement in role denoted that it has become of focal importance to observe and closely examine the role played by these non-state actors in signaling the nature of relations between countries and regions internationally. The focus of this paper is the relations between the Arab Gulf States and Latin American States, thus; the role of non-state actors in fostering these relationships will be reflected upon as non-state actors have presumed a highly definitive role in establishing solid channels of interaction between the two blocs.

Non-state actors brought forth the beginning of a new era in international relations, working about altering some of the conventional conceptions in international relations in light of the fact that these actors possess sufficient power to influence and cause politics change apart from the conventional and formal institutions of the states. the fact that these actors are less connected to certain political agendas enables them to perform more efficiently in areas were regular official state politics remain tied with traditional diplomatic bonds, the things that significantly reduces its capability of responding to dynamic variables in a rapidly changing international sphere. Hence, non-state actors possess the advantage of being able to easily comply with updated datum and temporal occurrences.

Identifying non-state actors and their fields of functionality across the globe is important in order to understand their goals and aspirations. Non-state actors fall into several categories and types; the two widely acknowledged of those are non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations, both of whom have played significant roles in forging the nature of the relationship between The Arab Gulf and Latin America.

Non-state actors operate in a myriad of fields. Economic and developmental fields are the most prominent fields in which non-state actors are actively present. Being involved in these fields entails not only being able to quickly respond to occurrences; but also being proactive in terms of anticipating possibilities and hunting opportunities.

Sustainable Development is a dynamic issue for both the Gulf and Latin American State. This area is one that non-state actors can be the ambassadors of their respective states, since sustainable development incorporates several fields of social, educational, economic, and infrastructural development, the role of non-state actors becomes increasingly demanded in order to foster the relationships between the two blocs in these fields. In the case of the Gulf and Latin America, economically speaking; recent times have witnessed notably increasing interest in part of the Gulf in investing in Latin America. Since the initiation of diplomatic representation; the trade exchanges rates have significantly increased, signaling the initiation of activities of non-state actors as key players in this exchange. Steady streams of trade and commerce delegations from the Gulf have been regularly visiting Latin American countries seeking to establish close economic ties with countries of the region, and exploring new possibilities of cooperation through transnational entities, minorities, and groups of diverse interests within the two regions.

As mentioned previously, NGOs and multinational corporations are the most vital of non-state actors, therefore locating notable figures in both areas are of focal importance to the process of enhancing the relationship between the two blocs. For example, Qatar Foundation can be an extremely valuable and lively figure in this relationship. located in Doha, Qatar, Qatar Foundation is an independent, private, non-profit, chartered organization founded in 1995 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, in purpose of supporting centers of excellence which develop people's abilities through investments in human capital, innovative technology, state of the art facilities and partnerships with elite organizations, thus raising the competency of people and the quality of life. Qatar Foundation's stated mission is to prepare the people of Qatar and the region to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, and to make Qatar a leader in innovative education and research. To achieve that mission, QF supports a network of centers and partnerships with elite institutions, all committed to the principle that a nation's greatest natural resource is its people. Education City, Qatar Foundation's flagship project is envisioned as a Center of Excellence in education and research that will help transform Qatar into a knowledge-based society. The involvement in Latin America could become possible through Qatar Foundation's international front; "Qatar Foundation International (QFI)", located in Washington D.C., United States of America. QFI's stated mission is dedicated to connecting cultures and advancing global citizenship through education. QFI is a not-for-profit organization in Washington, D.C., focused on grant-giving and programmatic activities that promote education as a force that facilitates collaboration across geographical, social and cultural boundaries.

An equivalent –Corporate- non-state actor in the Gulf region is the Saudi multinational oil company "Saudi Aramco". Saudi Aramco's stated vision is their commitment to remain the world leader in the production of petroleum-based energy, which for Saudi Aramco is complemented by its commitment to help solve a host of pressing issues. Saudi Aramco believes that it is vital to make a difference wherever business is done; which for them can be achieved through investing in innovation and entrepreneurship, creating educational opportunities, powering economic progress, increasing environmental awareness, and working in partnership for energy sustainability. Beyond their core petroleum business, Saudi Aramco commits itself to a social responsibility present in its willingness to make a positive impact in society through working in partnership with local communities and government agencies, based in a strategy that aims to promote sustainable social and economic development in their areas of operation.

The two examples provided above were put forth to note the existence of such organizations in the Arab Gulf, and that this effort comes in an attempt to explore new possibilities and area of cooperation between the two blocs between similar non-state actors.