Special to WorldTribune.com
The U.S. president, who many critics say would rather be on the golf course than dealing with his constituents, gave Arab leaders a lecture on Feb. 8 on the importance of being “responsive” to their citizens.
“As we’ve seen in the tumult across the Middle East and North Africa, when governments do not lift up their citizens, it’s a recipe for instability and strife,” Obama said in a video address shown at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
While Obama and the leaders gathered at the summit offered no immediate solutions to the myriad of problems in the Middle East, from terrorist attacks to low global oil prices, they all acknowledged the importance of keeping government “responsive to its citizens”.
Jose Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said youth unemployment remains high in the Mideast and is growing in other regions, causing many to grow suspicious of those governing them.
“It is the curse of modern times,” he said.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called on governments to remain open and transparent.
“Governments that operate in opaque, exclusive and unaccountable ways or fail to empower local authorities often plant the seeds of discontent,” he said. “When governments don’t allow the public to participate in decisions, it breeds suspicions.”