Queen Rania Joins Young Global Leaders Annual Summit in China

September 07, 2007

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Dalian) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah attended the opening session of the Inaugural Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2007 and joined the Young Global Leaders in a discussion session at their Annual Summit 2007.

 The Inaugural Annual Meeting is organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), in partnership with the Chinese government, with the aim of creating a powerful platform for interaction and co-operation between traditional and new actors, and between East and West. It is held in conjunction with the FYGL Annual Summit. At the Inaugural Annual Meeting opening session, which was attended by international CEOs, government leaders and members of the FYGL, speakers included the Mayor of Dalian, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Acknowledging China's role in the world economy and praising the historic relations between China and the Arab world, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid also highlighted some of the challenges in today's world, including the need for greater understanding amongst people of different cultures; the need to achieve universal access to education globally, develop the knowledge economy, and maintain sustainable economic growth. Chinese Prime Minister, Wen Jibao, for his part, spoke of China's performance, while highlighting the government's projected policies and continued commitment to reform, emphasizing that "China will stay on the path of peaceful development". Professor Schwab, on the other hand, highlighted the importance of this gathering, which not only reflects China's economic status in the world, but also reinforces the global community's projections for the future.   Later in the day, Queen Rania, who is a FYGL Foundation Board Member and the Chair of the Selection Committee, joined a group of YGLs in an informal session on leadership, as part of their Annual Summit. The 250 participating YGLs in this year’s Annual Meeting, representing 61 countries and six continents, have gathered to create a new leadership model for the future. Moderated by one of the YGLs, the session tackled the issue of what it means to be a leader and the various meanings and concepts associated with the term. Her Majesty stressed that leadership and service are synonymous, adding that the actual definition of leadership has evolved, given the changes that have occurred in our world today and the opportunities that have come with such changes. She went on to add that, given the tools that we have at our disposal, an individual does not have to be a president or a CEO to have the ability or potential to create and affect change. The Queen went on to assert that although the world has become ‘flatter’ and more connected and, as such, good ideas have more chances to succeed, not everyone has an equal chance to make it. This, Her Majesty argued, is due to the fact that people have an unequal access to life's basic necessities, such as education, health and nutrition; basics, which she refers to as "humanity's baseline". In response to a query put forth by one of the YGLs, about the situation in the Middle East and what can be done, Queen Rania insisted that the international community cannot give up on peace, "because when we give up on peace, we sign off on the futures of generations”. Queen Rania urged the YGLs to try to make a difference, noting that although the current conflicts in the region require large scale solutions, small initiatives, such as setting up a school, can have a great impact on people’s lives in these countries. Earlier in the day, Queen Rania also attended a FYGL Foundation Board meeting. The Forum of Young Global Leaders is a newly formed, unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary leaders who are 40 years old or younger and who are ready to dedicate a part of their time and energy to jointly work towards a better future. Each year, 200-300 exceptional individuals are identified, drawn from every region in the world and from a myriad of disciplines and sectors. Together, they form a powerful international community which can dramatically impact the global future.