Another World Economic Forum has come and gone.
Participants can pat themselves on the back that they, once again, discussed many pressing, strategic and above all - long term - economic and political issues. The end result was the same: nothing was accomplished.
The contrast between the world as seen through the eyes of WEF participants and the reality on the ground was appalling. Egypt’s economy is still going nowhere, but the focus in Amman was on whether Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi was to blame. A sectarian war is brewing in Iraq but government leaders instead spoke about how well the economy was doing.
The Palestinian people have few jobs, poor prospects for a future and no state. World leaders, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, showed the best they could offer was a vague promise of economic support for the Palestinian economy. In short, they gave the oldest lie in the book: the cheque is in the mail.
The World Economic Forum is supposed to allow for the discussion of urgent economic issues with an overview of political hotspots. Instead it promotes empty gestures and allows regional bickering to spill onto the global stage.
There is enough of that already in this part of the world. If the WEF can’t provide insight and solutions, then its participants should stay home.