The Middle East is in a state of flux. Popular movements are confronting establishments leading to domestic strife and violence in some countries. The political landscape of the region is in profound transition. Ideological clashes within and between States are driven by nationalism, religion, quest for reforms and democracy, and social unrest. These developments are representing challenges and new opportunities, not only for the countries and peoples involved, but also -- given the centrality of the Middle East in global politics -- for the international community at large.Drawing upon personal and professional experience from his years of work in the Middle East, Terje Rød-Larsen will offer his analysis of the recent events in the region, and outline the emerging political and security dilemmas as well as the prospects for progress.Terje Rød-Larsen is an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and President of the International Peace Institute. He serves as a Special Envoy to the Secretary-General and Senior Adviser on the Middle East. He began his career as an academic, studying history, philosophy, public administration and sociology at the Universities of Bergen and Oslo, before establishing the Fafo Institute for Applied Sciences in Oslo in 1981. Mr Larsen became the President of the International Peace Institute in 2005, a New-York based think-tank across from the United Nations Headquarters dedicated to promoting the prevention and settlement of conflicts between and within states.