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Accession Day 2003 Feature- Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research - ECSSR

posted on 02/08/2003: 1643 views

Established in March 14, 1994, as a think tank independent entity, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Researches, ECSSR, has become a distinguished knowledge based centre for the social, economic and political studies relating to the UAE and the Gulf region in particular and the Arab world in general. Despite the short span of its existence, the centre gained prominence and unequalled stature as a source of inspiration of ideas and academic excellence, given the formidable tasks and challenges faced.

As a result it is recognized as a leading research centre, on equal footing with other research centres in the advanced world. Visiting dignitaries, scholars, researchers and world figures are frequent guests, either delivering lectures or exchange views with local counterparts. Its serious analytical publications and researches made it a model far beyond the Gulf. The centre's activities cover three vital fields: researches, studies, as well as, preparing and training local cadres, with a view to encouraging and enriching scientific researches to serve the needs of the society. It adopts the latest technologies in collecting and documenting data, in collaboration with the UAE's various institutes/ bodies.

The centre devotes a prominent space to serious, comprehensive and detailed researches and studies of major concern to specialists in the field, publishing futuristic studies and specialised reports in English and Arabic language, beside major symposiums, seminars and conferences.

Among the centre's major achievements is the 'Emirates Library', which is a valuable and considerable collection of books, reports and serious researches dealing with economic, social and political issues relating to the UAE, Gulf and the Arab world. The centre's new building consists of three separate buildings:

The main building accommodates the various departments, the second one is a three-story building covering spacious area, including the Emirates Library, which is expected to hold over one million books. The third building consists of a conference hall, two huge theatres equipped with the state of the art technologies. The third building also includes 'The Training Section', which will receive shortly applicants for ' Scientific Research Diploma Programme'. The purpose of the programme is to train the local cadres to improve their skills in various scientific and administrative disciplines.

The centre has applied for the necessary accreditation to award a diploma certificate for those who would successfully complete the programme requirements which includes, among other things, scientific research in political, economic, social and military related subjects. The programme will run for 9 academic months. The first intake of the programme was in August 2002. The centre had issued up to June 2003 over 367 various publications, both in its original or translated versions, in addition to periodical publications of lectures, strategic and international studies.

Among the most important lectures was the one delivered by Gregory Goss under the title of ' The American Policy Towards Iraq'. The lecturer expounded his views on the impact of September 11 attack, and the effect it had on the US foreign policy towards the Middle East in general and the Arabian Gulf in particular, adding that the removal of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, through military intervention, became a top priority, expecting diplomatic support within the UNO, and military bases facilities from its allies.

The latest major publication issued by the centre is Mr. Ali Mahamoud Al Fakiki 'New theories on the states' relation with the industry in the Arab world and the contemporary challenges. The study shed light on economic philosophies and the different political systems in the Arab world, who had in the past embarked on industrialization and industrial growth accompanied by governmental productive projects. The study criticised certain aspects stemming from such policies, on the grounds that the industry in the Arab world failed to elevate these countries to the levels reached by certain non-Arab developing countries.

Due to this failure, the Arab world, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, IMF, had since the mid 1980s, restructured its economy with a view to adapting to the requirements of the industrialization process. Finding solution to problems faced would only be possible, once it is understood that, the industrialisation, and economy was flagging and needed stimulation.

Among the centre's major publications was Mr. Christopher Greenwood's 'The Role of International Law in combating terrorism'. The writer presented his views on the applicability of the international law to the September 11, 2001 tragic events, its interpretation of the events and whether it could be classified as crimes or a threat to the international security, or an armed attack, or declaration of war.

The book also includes a chapter on the legal justification of resorting to force by the US and Britain against Afghanistan, and the treatment of the prisoners held by the US. One of the important lectures held in the centre, was the one by Mr. John Duke on 'The UAE formation, citing that this landmark event is considered a unique political success. He said that the formation of the UAE was indeed a visionary political ambition, unlike the previously failed Arab unity attempts.

The UAE successful experiment was free from violence and coercion. The constitution and agreements of the Federation defines the mechanism and the system of the State, as well as responsibilities of each emirate. He further stated that, President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's personality, vision and wisdom was the decisive factor in the formation of the UAE. Dr. Ghazi Ismail delivered an Arabic lecture on water shortage in the Middle East. The lecturer presented his views on the challenges of the water shortage, adding that the various studies and analysis highlighted the dire consequences of this explosive situation, cautioning that the acute shortage faced by Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, could lead to wars, if countries like Ethiopia and Turkey continue building dams.

The lecturer also said that Israel is receiving an increased number of immigrants, and would require more water resources, and might be tempted to wage wars against the neighbouring Arab states in order to occupy water resources. 'The war against Iraq and its implications to the GCC countries' was a major seminar held at the centre, with participation of a number of experts from the GCC, US and Europe.

The seminar discussed the war against Iraq and its effects on the GCC countries. It was consensus among the experts of the importance of having common objectives between the GCC and the US with regard to the American policies towards Iraq. A number of workshops was also held, such as Management and settlement of international disputes, in which researchers and experts from Canada and Europe took part. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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