The Aspired Gulf: What changes are needed to improve the political, human rights and media environment in the Gulf? Specialists at 16 November seminar explore options


The Saudi Arabia- focused ALQST and Diwan London, the Oman-centred Muwatin Media Network and the Bahrain-focused SALAM for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR), along with The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC), and Lancaster University’s Richardson Institute are staging a conference entitled The Gulf States: An Aspired Future in order to explore current barriers to development and the reforms that should be considered in order to advance the political, human rights and media environment in the sub-region.

Tara Reynor O’Grady, Advisor at SALAM stated that “We aim to identify the main challenges facing the region, from undemocratic, untransparent governance to a lack of civic space and free press, highlighting the interdependence of inside and outside levers of change. 

Media and regional specialist, Mohammad al-Fazari, Director of the co-sponsoring organisation, Muwatin Media Network, added, for the Gulf-focused organisers, “We will unpack realistic options and possible alternative solutions to build the region’s future.

Adam Hug, Director of the Foreign Policy Centre, stated that,”As the UK searches around the globe for potential trade partners and allies for a potential post-Brexit foreign and trade policy it is very important the more people understand the situation on the ground in the Gulf more clearly. This conference will seek to examine the grave human rights and governance challenges in many countries in the region and explore how their citizens can be supported to build a more positive future despite the pressures they face.

Simon Mabon, Director of the Richardson Institute, said, “In recent years, the interaction of local politics with global forces – and vice versa – has become increasingly prominent. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Gulf, where billions of people can be reached in a few short hours from the region’s airports, while ports in the Gulf play a key role in global supply chains. In spite of this prominence, the region is beset by a number of serious tensions. This seminar seeks to explore these issues in more detail, focussing on questions about politics, social issues, economics and human rights and how these issues can shape the future.

Date: Saturday 16 November, 09:30-18:00, at the YAA Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, London W9 2AN. See: 

After the opening session, panels last 80 minutes, providing for ample discussion. The panel sessions are open and will be live-streamed while those taking part in the audience will not be shown or named, in order to encourage a free and open discussion.

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