Remarks by Hon. Essam Abdelaziz Ahmed Sharaf, Former Egyptian Prime Minister


Honorable guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me at the outset, to extend my deepest gratitude for inviting me to address this distinguished gathering. I also, wish to thank our Chinese host for their excellent organization, warm reception and generous hospitality.


I selected a title for my brief speech “the road to a new form of civilization through Belt and Road Initiative and the vital Role of NGOs”. 


Ladies and Gentlemen,


When the great Greek philosopher Aristotle expressed his philosophy on how things are formed (Formation philosophy), he identified three phases.A goal or dream, an action or interaction between humankind and nature (material), and the outcome or the form (product or result).


Similarly, the quality of our civilization (or the outcome) depends on the degree of faithfulness of our dreams and the seriousness and honesty of the interactions between humans and between humanity and nature.


Following this concept, my talk consists of three elements: A dream, an action and the outcome. More specifically,

1-    The first element: adream of a global harmony.

2-    The second element: an action of establishing commonalities through “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” and active role of NGOs.

3-    The Third element: the outcome; a new form of civilization, namely an ecological civilization.


Starting with The Firstelement: The dream of a global harmony is becoming a universal and popular dream,derived from the fact that the world is now at crossroads, and has to select one of two alternatives. The first is to continue the same way (business as usual)or the second;  to make a radical change in the world order and global governance, towards the establishment of  a new form of civilization.


In fact, the destruction to humanity (moral values) and to nature (environment) under the current civilization should be the legitimate reason to have a more harmonious civilization, namely ecological civilization.


In addition, the current globalization, if compared to older forms if civilizations, we find that the degree of interdependency is much higher and more complicated, which means that a partial failure can put the human civilization at tremendous risk and may lead to a complete dissolution.


Therefore, a dream of a new world (or modified globalization) has become a global desire everywhere; a globalization that is:

· Cultural-based

· Maximizes the quality of life for all.

· Forgiving not hostile

· Recognizes the concept of one humanity – different cultures.

· Recognizes the concept of common destiny – common interests.

· Maximizes the harmony between people and between people and nature.

· Based on sustainable development

· Interdependency based


Ladies and Gentlemen,

One may ask, is it possible to have such modified globalization? The simple answer is YES. One should remember that the formation of the current globalization is a result of the domination ideology, and the modified globalization, on the contrary,should be a result of a sharing and cooperation ideology. That is the form of globalization is a result of the predominant ideology.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


Let me move to the Secondelement: the action (or the process of establishing commonalities).

To achieve a significant change in the world order (or global governance), massive people support is necessary. Therefore, it is important to establish some vital commonalities, namely common trust and common security leading to a common development.


However, before proceeding, I would like to point out that I, intentionally, omitted the term “common culture”. In fact, culture diversity is a precious component of development and is not a hurdle to harmony.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Those commonalities (trust, security and development) are in the heart of the “Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)”, as it represents an umbrella for a massive assemblage of countries (more than two thirds of the world population).


When talking about the BRI, I prefer to differentiate between two sides.The first is the soft (or conceptual)side;which should be led by the NGOs.The second is the hard (or the projects) sideled by professional institutions and companies.


Let me start by the conceptual side. To me, BRI is a concept leading to Common or Synergy or Harmonious Development. The NGOs role is to promote this concept to the public, through some basic messages, including but not limited to:

· BRI is a concept not a project

· BRI is a cultural-based concept.

· BRI is a Chinese initiative but is a global multi-sector set of projects (industries), by all for all.

· BRI is to create an umbrella for One Network Environment.

· BRI is a development network not just a transportation network.

· BRI is a new universal bridge, bridging the development gaps and connecting cultures.

· BRI focuses on the concept of togetherness: think together, work together and gain together.


Moving to the other side;projects (or industries) side. These projects are the translation of concepts to reality, to achieve common development. Also, NGOs can play a vital role in the selection of the appropriate decisions on the type and extent of these projects to fulfill the sustainable development principles.Typical industries include:

·        Infrastructure

·        Energy

·        Information

·        Manufacturing

·        Economic zones

·        Residential environment, and

·        Cultural


The BRI suggested development corridors (six main land corridors and the suggested Maritime Silk Road) should receive a higher priority in the NGOs promotion and selection procedure. The selection procedure should adhere to the principles of sustainable development, which require the integration of economic, environmental and social objectives, across sectors, territories and generations.


Now let me move to the Third elementand final remarks: the outcome, ecological civilization


In this regard, I would like to mention three remarks:


· Ecological civilization should be preceded by a serious promotion of ecological culture. This is a vital role for the NGOs. It is the process of establishing the dream of a necessary change.

· The public support requires a feeling of belonging. This the basic feature of BRI and common development. The role of NGOs in this regard is crucial.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

· I want to take this chance to acknowledge the Chinese efforts in this regard. President Xi in his address indicated the necessity of establishing institutional frameworks appropriate for the ecological civilization.


Finally, I would like to say that fulfilling the dream of a global harmony and ecological civilization is an extremely difficult task. However, I stress on the fact that important and honest goals are usually difficult.


In this regard, I want to recall the say of the great musician “Beethoven”, when his orchestra maestro argued him about the difficulty of his music. Beethoven said


Difficult is Beautiful


Thank you very much