The Iman Foundation

Ribal Al-Assad attends the World Policy Conference in Montreux, Switzerland

Sunday, 22 November 2015 8 more images

Chairman of the IMAN Foundation, Ribal Al-Assad, recently attended the 2015 World Policy Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, which was opened by Didier Burkhalter, Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland.

The World Policy Conference was founded by Mr. Thierry de Montbrial in 2008 and is an independent organisation which aims to contribute to improving all aspects of governance, with a view to promoting a world that is more open, more prosperous, fairer and more respectful of the diversity of States and nations.

Its annual meeting, which is on a human scale, brings together leading figures from all five continents – political and business leaders, representatives of civil society, academics and journalists – in a climate of trust and a spirit of tolerance to examine, discuss and suggest constructive solutions to major regional and international challenges.

Ribal's speech covered the topics of Islamic extremism and the ongoing crises in Syria and the Middle East. After speaking, Ribal made the following statement:

"I would like to express my regret that His Excellency the Qatari Foreign Minister was not in the room for the final session as I would have liked him to hear what I have to say but apparently he refuses to be in the same room as me ! And this is Qatar's top diplomat!

This is despite the fact that I was exiled from my country as a child and have been a vocal critic of the regime all my adult life.

I'm afraid this kind of narrow-mindedness must cast doubt on Qatar's claims to be committed to democracy in Syria and to inclusive dialogue rather than sectarian division and conflict.

It's true that I have been critical of Qatar precisely because of its support for extremist groups like al-Nusra, the Muslim Brotherhood and others in my country.

I believe it shows that they are not interested in democracy at all.

On the contrary, they are afraid of a domino effect bringing democracy home to Qatar so they prefer to stoke sectarian conflict in Syria and the region.

So while I regret the absence of His Excellency, these are things that have to be said as I hope all true pluralists and democrats will agree."

The World Policy Conference is always attended by prominent politicians, diplomats and leaders. Those who attended this year included:

Soumeya Abdelatif: First Vice President of North/South dialogue for Arab countries and the Mediterranean at the Robert Schuman Institute for Europe.

Jean Abiteboul: President of Cheniere Marketing Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Cheniere Energy, Inc., a Houston based company specializing in liquefied natural gas importation and exportation.

Masood Ahmed: Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department since November 2008.

Shameem Ahsan: Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Swiss Confederation and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.

Saliou Akadiri: Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration, Francophonie and Beninese Diaspora.

Abdulmajeed Al-Shatti: Member of the Supreme Petroleum Council in Kuwait.

Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani: Ambassador of the State of Qatar to France since 2013.

Mariam Aladji Boni Diallo: Diplomat, Special Advisor, Diplomatic Affairs, to the President of the Republic of Benin since 2007.

Manaf Alhajeri: Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Financial Center, better known as Markaz since March 2004, one of the leading asset management and investment banking entities in the Middle East with a strategic focus to achieve regional leadership.

Patrick Allard: Consultant on international economic issues to the Policy Planning Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France.

Hossein Amirabdollahian: Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Countries, Islamic Republic of Iran, since 2011.

Youssef Amrani: Chargé de mission, Royal Cabinet, Morocco.

Simeon Anguelov: Advisor to the President of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Marie-Claire Aoun: Director of the Center for Energy at the French Institute for International Relations (Ifri) and lecturer at Paris Dauphine University.

Olivier Appert: Chairman of the Conseil Français de l’Energie and the French committee of the World Energy Council.

Bertrand Badré: Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer.

Thomas Bagger: Head of Policy Planning at the German Federal Foreign Office.

Taeho Bark: Professor and former Dean at the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) of Seoul National University.

François Barrault: Chairman and founder of FDB Partners SPRL an investment and advisory firm in TMT and publishing.

Nicolas Barré: Managing Editor of Les Echos. He served as Deputy Managing Editor at Le Figaro (2005-2008).

Marek Belka: President, Narodowy Bank Polski and Professor of Economics.

Arié Bensemhoun: Executive Director, ELNET, since 2011.

Marie-Roger Biloa: CEO, The Africa International Media Group, Media Consultant and Adviser on African Affairs.

Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar since 2013.

Georgi Bliznashki: Former Prime Minister of Bulgaria (2014).

Prince Boadu: CEO and co-founder of MapTech Logistics Limited, a company that uses the power of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to solve business problems by developing and deploying GIS based applications.

Matthias Bonning: Chief Operating Officer and Head of Research, oekom research AG.

Othman Bouabid: Interior Ministry of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Charles-Edouard Bouée: CEO of Roland Berger.

François-Xavier Bouis: Founder and President of Compagnie Financière Jacques Cœur – CFJC.

Christian Bréchot: President of the Institut Pasteur.

Boro Bronza: Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Switzerland since 2013.

Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart: Ambassador, Head Middle East and North Africa Division, Swiss Foreign Ministry since 2012.

François Bujon de l'Estang: President, FBE International Consultants.

Jean Burelle: Chairman & CEO of Burelle and Honorary Chairman of Plastic Omnium.

Didier Burkhalter: Federal Councillor, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland, since 2012.

André Caillé: Director of several corporations, including Junex Inc., an oil and gas exploration corporation, for which he is a Senior Strategic Advisor.

Jean-Yves Carfantan: Senior Consultant, he runs AgroBrasConsult, a Brazilian consulting company specializes in agricultural markets and investments and based in São Paulo.

Yigal B. Caspi: Ambassador of Israel to Switzerland and Liechtenstein since 2012.

François Chabannes: Co-President of the Fondation Alcen pour la Connaissance des Energies (raising awareness and knowledge of energies).

Philippe Chalmin: Professor of Economic History and Director of the Master of International Affairs at Paris-Dauphine University, Founder of the Cercle Cyclope, main european research institute on raw materials markets.

Korn Chatikavanij: Former Finance Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand (2008-2011).

Mohamed Cherkaoui: Emeritus University Professor and Emeritus Research Director, National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris.

Seán Cleary: Executive Vice-Chairman of the FutureWorld Foundation and Chairman of Strategic Concepts (Pty) Ltd.

Laurent Cohen-Tanugi: Founder and managing partner, Laurent Cohen-Tanugi Avocats.

Corinne Colloc'h: Head of Corporate Development, Airbus Group.

Bertrand Collomb, Honorary Chairman of Lafarge, who has just merged to form LafargeHolcim.

Richard Cooper: Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University since 1981.

Nelson W. Cunningham: President and Co-founder of McLarty Associates.

Daniel Dăianu: Professor of economics, The School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest and member of the Board of the Central Bank of Romania.

Pierre Dassas: Chairman of The House of the Rising Stars Foundation (Geneva, Switzerland), Chairman of the European Leadership Network (Diplomacy & Defense issues, USA – Europe – Middle East).

Dominique David: Advisor to the Executive Chairman, Ifri, and Editor of Politique étrangère. Former Executive Vice-President of Ifri.

Alain Dejammet: Ambassador of France. He began to work at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Head of the Press and Information Department (1981-1985) and then became Head of the North Africa and Middle-East Department (1985-1989).

Kemal Dervis: Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution and Senior Advisor at Sabanci University.

Jean Desazars de Montgailhard: Special Adviser of LafargeHolcim General Manager.

Christine Desouches: Honorary lecturer at the Université de Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and expert-consultant to international organisations.

Marième Diop: Desk Manager, President’s Delivery Unit, Senegal.

Božidar Djelić: Managing Director at Lazard Sovereign Group since 2014.

François Drouin: Chairman of the Board for the Autoroutes et Tunnel du Mont Blanc and of Société Française du Tunnel Routier du Fréjus, Vice President of the French Public Investment Bank (BPI), President of ETI FINANCE. Former CEO of OSEO (the French Agency for Innovation and SMEs financing).

Sandrine Duchêne: Group Head of Public Affairs, Axa Group.

Karim El Aynaoui: Managing Director of OCP Policy Center and advisor to the CEO and Chairman of OCP.

Andrea Elscheková Matisová: Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein since 2014.

Emmanuelle Fauchart: Professor in entrepreneurship and innovation management at the University of Strasbourg.

Dominique Flavio: CEO & Founding Partner of DynaGrow Fair Trade, DynaGrow (SL) and DynaCorp Investment, an agribusiness group specializing in fair trade and sustainable agriculture in countries with low development index and focused on producing and trading cocoa, coffee & rice in West Africa.

Eve Fofana: Deputy Country Manager, General Electric, Côte d’Ivoire.

Michel Foucher: Chair of applied Geopolitics at College of World Studies (FMSH-ENS) since 2013.

Jacob Frenkel: Chairman of JPMorgan Chase International and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty (G-30).

Louise Fresco: President of Wageningen University and Research Centre, in The Netherlands since 2014.

Jonathan T. Fried: Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Lorenzo Gascón: Academician and Vice-Chairman of the Royal Academy of Economic and Financial Sciences of Spain.

Alexandra Gatej: Executive Director of Maldon & Wat since 2011.

Jean-Louis Georgelin: Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor and Chancellor of the National Order of Merit since 2010.

Nicolas (de) Germay: Chief Operating Officer WPC.

Renaud Girard: Senior reporter and war correspondent at Le Figaro.

Thomas Gomart: Director of Ifri. Former Vice President for Strategic Development at Ifri (2010-2015).

Jean-Claude Gruffat: Managing Director Galileo Global Associates New York since 2014.

Gilles Guerin: Managing Partner, EFG Bank, Geneva.

Elisabeth Guigou: Member of the French Parliament and President of the Commission of Foreign Affairs at the Assemblée nationale.

Traian Halalai: President of Banca de Import Export a Romaniei – EximBank SA since 2012.

Kerry Halferty Hardy: Lecturer and consultant.

Jean-Pierre Hansen: Chairman of the Political and Prospective Energy Committee of ENGIE, Honorary Chairman of Electrabel, Chairman of the FOREM (Walloon Public Service for Employment and Training) and of SNCB Logistics and Director of Compagnie Maritime Belge (Anvers), Koninklijke BAM Groep (Utrecht).

Philippe Hardouin: Founder of CSPH International, a public affairs & communications consultancy company with a focus on energy, environment, industry matters and creative industries and in particular a strong involvement in digital economy.

Peter Harling: Special advisor Middle-East (based in Beirut and Riyadh), International Crisis Group since 2014.

Manuel Hassassian: Ambassador from Palestine to London.

Henri Hié: Vice President, Strategy & Parnerships in China, Air France.

Peter Hill: Director for Strategy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Akinari Horii: Special Advisor and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canon Institute for Global Studies, a research think tank in Tokyo, Japan.

SaKong Il: Chairman of the Institute for Global Economics; former Minister of Finance (1987-1988).

Yusuf Ziya Irbec: Former Member of the Turkish Parliament.

Mugur Isărescu: Governor of the National Bank of Romania since 1990.

Motoshige Itoh: Professor of international economics at the Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo.

Peter Jankowitsch: Member of the Directorate of the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe.

Sabine Jansen: Senior lecturer at Conservatoire national des arts et metiers (CNAM), Paris, and Research Fellow at Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po (CHSP), Paris.

Vuk Jeremić: President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD).

Qingguo Jia: Dean of the School of International Studies of Peking University.

Krishan Jindal: Chief Executive Officer of NABARD Consultancy Services (NABCONS).

Mohamed Kabbaj: President of Lafarge Morocco, Chancelor of Euro-Mediterranean university of Fès and member of the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology.

Karl Kaiser: Adjunct Professor at the Kennedy School and Director of the Program on Transatlantic Relations of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

Labib Kamhawi: Chairman and CEO of several firms, including CESSCO, Chemical Supplies & Services Co. and Delta Energy Services Co.

Sergei Karaganov: Honorary Chairman of the Presidium of the non-governmental Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

Bilahari Kausikan: Ambassador-at-Large and Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

Jean (de) Kerguiziau de Kervasdoué: Emeritus Professor of Economy and Health Management at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers and founder of the Pasteur/CNAM School of Public Health, member of the French Academy of Ingeneering.

Anne-Laure Kiechel: Partner, Sovereign Advisory, Rothschild & Cie.

Mari Kiviniemi: OECD Deputy Secretary-General since August 2014.

Christian Koch: Director of the Gulf Research Center Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland.

Hervé Koffi: Country Manager for Côte d’Ivoire, General Electric, since 2014.

Haïm Korsia: Chief Rabbi of France since 2014.

Pawel Kowal: Assistant professor in the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Bruno Lafont: Co-chairman of the Board of Directors, LafargeHolcim since 2015.

Mohamed Laichoubi: Former Minister of Labor and Social protection and Minister of Youths and Sports, Algeria.

Otto Lampe: Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Liliane Lebron de Wenger: Ambassador of Paraguay to Switzerland and Liechtenstein since 2014.

Hye-min Lee: G20 Sherpa and Ambassador for International Economic Affairs, Republic of Korea.

Bernardino Leon Gross: Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya since 2015.

Jean-David Levitte: Distinguished fellow, Brookings Institution and member of the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council of the United States. Former Senior Diplomatic Adviser and sherpa of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

André Lévy-Lang: Member of the board of Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri), affiliate emeritus professor in Finance at Paris-Dauphine University, non-executive Chairman of Les Echos, vice-chairman of the supervisory board ofRothschild et Cie ,chairman of Fondation du Risque and Institut Louis Bachelier.

Susan Liautaud: Founder of Susan Liautaud & Associates Limited (SLA), a consultancy in ethics matters internationally.

His Serene Highness Prince Michael of Liechtenstein: H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Information Service AG, as well as president of the think tank ECAEF (European Centre of Austrian Economics Foundation).

John Lipsky: Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Hubert Loiseleur des Longchamps: Senior Vice President Public Affairs, Total since 2010.

James Lowenstein: Co-Founder of the French American Foundation.

Fyodor Lukyanov: Founding editor of Russia in Global Affairs, journal published with participation of Foreign Affairs.

Daniela Lulache: Chief Executive Officer of Nuclearelectrica, the only nuclear energy producer in Romania, since 2013.

Mona Makram-Ebeid: Egyptian Senator and Member of the Senate Constitutional Committee since 2012.

Manu Mallikarjun: Social entrepreneur working in the fields of International Relations & Development.

Hervé Mariton: French Member of Parliament, former Minister and Mayor of Crest.

Tatsuo Masuda: Visiting professor at the NUCB Graduate School on energy-climate nexus and geopolitics, and board member of SOC Corporation in Tokyo, chairman of FairCourt Capital in London and senior advisor to Elion House in Singapore.

Jean-Claude Meyer: Vice-chairman of Rothschild Europe.

Dominique Moïsi: Special Adviser at Ifri.

Michael Moller: Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Thierry (de) Montbrial: Thierry de Montbrial is Executive Chairman of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), which he founded in 1979.

Mario Monti: Chairman of the High Level Group on Own Resources, European Commission. Former Prime Minister of Italy and President of Bocconi University, Milan.

Miguel Ángel Moratinos: Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain (2004-2010).

Pierre Morel: Director of the Pharos Observatory of cultural and religious pluralism.

Yassine Moustanjidi: Architect and Urban Planner, Klaus Müller GMBH, Germany.

Mayankote Kelath Narayanan: Former Governor of the State of West Bengal, Director of the Intelligence Bureau and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Samir Nasr: President, ECE Capital.

Vitaly Naumkin: Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) since 2009.

Patrick Nicolet: Member of the Group Management Board, Capgemini.

Yukari Niwa Yamashita: Board Member, Director, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ).

François Nordmann: Former Ambassador of Switzerland to France (2002-2007).

Dan Oiknine: Chairman, Chamber of Commerce and Industry France India, since 2009.

Yukio Okamoto: President of Okamoto Associates.

Arkebe Oqubay: Minister and special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.

Shotaro Oshima: Chairman of the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) and Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo.

Fathallah Oualalou: Economist and Moroccan politician.

In-kook Park: President of the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies.

Pericles-Paul Petalas: Chief Executive Officer, EFG Bank European Financial Group SA.

Jean-Louis Platteau: EFG Bank, Geneva.

Benoit Pleska: Seasoned Executive operating in Eastern Europe since the early ’90 (Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine & Romania).

Patrick Pouyanné: Chief Executive Officer and President of the Executive Committee, Total.

Catalin Predoiu: First Vice President National Liberal Party, member EPP.

Pierre Prieux: President of Alcen, group composed of high technology companies in the fields of defense, energy, medical machines and aeronautics.

Yide Qiao: Vice Chairman & Secretary General of Shanghai Development Research Foundation (SDRF).

Mireille Quirina: Senior Executive Coach and Business Consultant.

Itamar Rabinovich: President of the Israel Institute (Washington and Jerusalem).

Rasvan Radu: CEO, UniCredit România.

Françoise Rauser: Executive Secretary of the IEC Affiliate Country Programme, a free programme that comprises 83 developing countries – half of all countries that participate in the IEC.

Anita Ricquier: Singaporean entrepreneur.

Antoine Rostand: Senior Advisor, Schlumberger, after serving as President of Schlumberger Business Consulting, an independent business unit of Schlumberger that he founded in 2004.

Jean-Pierre Roth: Chairman of the Board of Directors, Cantonal Bank of Geneva.

René Roudaut: French Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein since 2014.

Henry Roux-Alezais: Managing director of Sogeric and honorary consul of Ecuador in Marseille.

Arthur Rutishauser: Editor in chief of SonntagsZeitung since two years (December 2013).

Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo: Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences since 1998.

Tadakatsu Sano: Attorney-at-law at Jones Day.

Louis Schweitzer: General Commissioner for Investment.

Narcís Serra: President of IBEI, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals.

Riccardo Sessa: Italian Ambassador (rtd.), former career diplomat.

Meir Sheetrit: Member of the Israeli Knesset for the Hatnua Party.

Olivier Sigg: Partner in the Geneva private client practice of Froriep, one of Switzerland’s main law firms with offices in Geneva, Zurich, Zug, Lausanne, London and Madrid.

Pierre Sigonney: Chief Economist, Corporate Strategy of Total.

Bernard Siman: Senior Fellow and Adviser to the Board of Geopolitical Information Service AG.

Eugen Simion: President of the National Science and Art Foundation.

Maya Simionescu: President of the Section of Biological Sciences of the RomanianAcademy.

Tobby Simon: Founder and President of Synergia Foundation.

Jean-Marc Simon: French Ambassador.

Jaromir Sokolowski: Ambassador of Poland to Switzerland since 2015.

Thierry Soret: Focal point and policy advisor at UNDP for all G20 related matters.

Kostas G. Stamoulis: Director, Strategic Programme Leader, Food Security and Nutrition in FAO.

Julien Steimer: Secretary-General of AXA France.

Marius Stoian: President of Club România. He started his career in journalism in 1990 as editor of the Tineretul Liber newspaper.

Riad Tabet: President of Berit International Holding SA, President of Batiliban-France, Franco-Arab Consortium for development, board member of the executive committee of the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce, Paris, board member and founding member of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce, Beyrouth.

Kelvin Tan: Deputy Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Nobuo Tanaka: President of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation since 2015.

Narendra Taneja: Chairman of Energy Security Group of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Karen Tang: Executive Director of The Better Hong Kong Foundation since 2006.

Mostafa Terrab: Chairman and CEO of OCP Group.

Agnès Touraine: CEO of Act III Consultants, a management consulting firm dedicated to digital transformation.

Jean-Claude Trichet: Former President of the European Central Bank and Honorary Governor of Banque de France.

Antonio Trombetta: Ambassador of Argentina to Switzerland since 2013.

Sophie Turrettini: General Secretary of the Fondation Dr Henri Dubois-Ferrière Dinu Lipatti and board member of several charity foundations in Geneva. Member of the board of the WPC Foundation since 2013.

Justin Vaïsse: French historian and the current Director of Policy Planning at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hubert Vedrine: Founder of Hubert Védrine Conseil, a public affairs consultancy that specializes in foreign, economic, and geopolitical affairs.

Franciscus Verellen: Member of the Institut de France, former director of the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient (2004-2014), where he holds the chair in History of Daoism and currently serves as director of the Hong Kong Centre.

Gabriela von Habsburg: Professor at VADS, Free University, Tbilisi since 2014.

François Wat: Senior Partner, Co-Head of Global Equity Advisory, Rothschild Paris since 2008.

Bruno Weymuller: Member of Total Professeurs Associés, of the French Energy Council and of the board of directors of the Economic Institute Research Coe-Rexecode.

Thomas Wilhelm: Doctor of Laws, lawyer, Founder and Partner in the law firm Wilhelm & Büchel Rechtsanwälte since 1992.

Estelle Youssouffa: Independent broadcast journalist, TV reporter and news presenter.

Igor Yurgens: Chairman of the Management Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development.

Salim Zeeni: Chairman of the American Lebanese Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Lebanon).

Yunling Zhang: Professor, Academy Member and Director of International Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS), Director of Center of Regional Security, CASS, Member of National Committee of Chinese Political Consultant Conference (since 2002), President of China Association of Asia-Pacific Studies.

Lionel Zinsou: Prime Minister in charge of economic development, evaluating public policy and promoting good governance in Benin.

Mbuih Zukane: Teacher, University of Dschang and CEO ICAD – Cameroon.

More news articles »