22 October 2011

Libya: NTC Chairman Jibril Outlines Libyan Challenges at World Economic Forum Special Meeting

press release

Dead Sea, Jordan — Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman of the National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya, outlined the challenges of building national unity in the wake of the liberation of Libya from the Ghaddafi regime. He spoke in the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World that opened today at the Dead Sea in Jordan. Libyans feel "relieved and reborn, but the mission of rebuilding will be very hard," he said.

The immediate challenges for the NTC include restoring stability, collecting vast amounts of arms and initiating the reconciliation process. "This may lead to national unity," Jibril pointed out. There are many disparate groups in Libya and it is unclear how quickly they will surrender their arms. It will depend on the resolve of the NTC and the Libyan people. However, in light of the 40-year history of repression and the carnage of recent months, Jibril expressed confidence that "the people will comply."

In the longer term, Jibril argued that Libya must replace its depleting oil-reserve revenue with other income sources. There is a limited window of "opportunity to build an alternative economy," he asserted. The economic problems in the Arab world do not stem from a lack of money; they stem from poor "management of money," he argued.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, observed that many Arab leaders expected that something like the Arab Spring would eventually happen. The Arab Spring will be a good thing if Arab leaders learn the right lessons. Leaders must "understand what the people want. The people will not accept things the way they were before January 2011. Arab countries should reconsider policies to match the aspirations of their people." He urged Arab leaders to learn "not to fight your own people. If you kill your own people, you have lost. What power will you have if you kill your people?"

In terms of its recent change of government, Prime Minister-designate Awn Al-Khasawneh of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan described his vision for the new government. "Political and economic reforms go hand-in-hand. The government will seek to pass laws relating to the election process, and political and economic reforms," he said. He declined to be more specific as he has not yet had the opportunity to consult with his colleagues in the new cabinet.

The Co-Chairs of the Special Meeting are: Mohammed H. Al Mady, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), Saudi Arabia; Yasmin Galal, Global Shaper, Cairo Hub, Egypt; Habib Haddad, Chief Executive Officer, Wamda, United Arab Emirates, a Young Global Leader; Muhtar A. Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, USA; Maurice Lévy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Groupe, France, a Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; and Soraya Salti, Senior Vice-President, Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al Arab – JA Worldwide, Jordan, a Social Entrepreneur

Jordanian Radio and Television (JRTV) is the Host Broadcaster of this Meeting.

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