Prepared and Presented By
Jordanian-Chinese Friendship Association
Good afternoon distinguished members of the Panel, and all of the concerned professionals from civil society organizations, academia and government delegates.
I am Fares Quba’a, a member of the Jordanian - Chinese Friendship Association from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Thank you for inviting me to this conference and for giving me the opportunity to talk about the Mechanism of SIRONET.
I would also like to highlight the importance of this initiative for the prosperity and development of our economies and the world.
Allow me to start by quotingWilliam James,an American philosopher who lived between 1842 and 1910, to help me portray how I see today the status of our 65 nations in the Eurasia continent:
Quoting “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
I do hope that the New Silk Road initiative will bring this deep historical connection back to surface and solidify it in the coming years for the better of the people and our upcoming generations.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. We need to see the New Silk Road initiative accordingly in light with the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution. We need to brainstorm about the 21st century Silk Road;the potential, the challenge, the promise and the mechanisms.
Again, allow me here to quoteJohn Lennon,the famous English singer and songwriter:
“A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”
Today SIRONET is not a dream any longer;it is already a reality thanks to the ongoing efforts, success and acceptance the Silk Road initiative is harvesting since year 2013.
In the coming 5 minutes, I will discuss general thoughts on building the momentum inside of SIRONETthrough proposing further development of certain ideas in its Constitution.By tackling 5 main structural points:
Aiming to reach:
1. A transparent, pragmatic, evolving and effective organizational structure; and
2. A mechanism that ensures responsiveness and integration between the network’s nations thatencompass 4.4 billion people accounting for 63% of the world’s total population.
First the Membership Criteria
SIRONETis to be opened to civil society members and NGOs in the Eurasia continentwho meet the following:
o Demonstrate commitment to the values of the Network, and
o Advocate for SIRONETand promote its development.
Accordingly, membership is not to be restricted to organizations. This Network may also include eminent citizens, community leaders,prominent artists, and journalists. It might even include “governmentally related”members such as pro-government parliamentarians.
Accepting individual membership into the networkwill be a good idea where no member NGOs are present. This will facilitate establishing NGOs in the country concerned at a latter point and ensure their alignment.
Second the'Board of Directors’or 'Steering Committee' Structure
The International Steering Committee shall be composed of twelve members in addition to its President:
o 8 of which to be elected from organizations with strong regional representation and international influence.
o While the remaining 4 members to be elected or determined by consensuseach by its Region to ensure full representation. It is preferred that those 4 members be from the young growing NGOs in their respective regions, or from their prominent citizens.
Third the Strategy for Building and Sustaining the Network
To promote the required joint commitment, networking and partnership are needed. It involves, but not limited to, the following steps - matched by actions to be taken by SIRONETSecretariat to demonstrate itsdetermination:
1. Taking stock from the existing dynamics and the cumulative success so far of the Belt and Road Initiative - as a starting point.
2. The need to give the belt its meaning in the 21st century. One that transcends the old economy into the knowledge economies and the focus on the youth as the driving force behind the initiative, and its promise to the peoples.
3. Promote cooperation among SIRONET members through information sharing, knowledge exchange and capacity building.
4. Provide an electronic platform or web portal to:
o share experience and dialogue, and
o facilitate access to global resources such as knowledge, skills, networks, partnerships, funding, education, and health.
The Secretariat shall establish mini-grants to reward community-based organizations that have done an excellent job in its local community development and promoted the values of the Network.
Fourth the Proposed Mechanisms
The web portal should be available in several main languages and overseenby SIRONETSecretariat. It should facilitate and allow for the following three features:
o Membership Registration and Renewal:
Where Profiles to be reviewed before being acceptedor renewed.
o Electronic Nomination and Voting:
All accepted members should have the right to vote electronically.
Members who wants to nominate themselves for any required position should fit set criteria.
o and lastFormal Communication Platform:
TheSecretariat should utilize the web portal as a communication tool.
Fifth the Proposed Structure
The proposed governance structure of SIRONETshall be based on the members continued autonomy, and shall consist of the following components: (1) the International Steering Committee; (2) the Secretariat;and (3) the Regional Advisory orSpeciality Committees.
1. The International Steering Committee:
o To set policies and strategies for the Network, in line with the agreed purposes, principles and scope of SIRONET.
2. The Secretariat:
Shall be the focal point to support the development of the Network and facilitate information sharing and knowledge exchange among the members.
3. as to The Regional Advisory orSpeciality Committees:
To be determined by consensus and online consultations.
Presentation Ending Statement
Last, before I leave the floor,let’s all turn from spectators into participantsand look to a future where we in Eurasia can access and exchange knowledge, assist in economic development and learn more about each other cultures.
As I started by quoting from philosophers and social icons from the west due to their formerinfluence over West Asia globalized network and education, I do wish our future generations will be influenced and aware as much about our Continent’s great ancient scholars, philosophers and the leaders.