His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inaugurated the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of Doha Forum, held under the theme “Transformation into a New Era”, at the Doha Sheraton on Saturday.
“We have chosen the path of mediation to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We have an accumulated experience in this field, which we put at the service of peace, stability and just solutions to conflicts,” HH the Amir said in a speech at the opening ceremony.
HH the Amir added, “The new age that we dream of, and that I personally work for, is the era of peace, security and coexistence for all, the era of social justice, the era in which all people can access their basic needs in education, health, water resources, and live with dignity, and where they can fulfil themselves and exercise their lifestyle and cultures.”
Addressing the gathering, HH the Amir said, “I welcome you to Qatar as we are launching the twentieth edition of the Doha Forum this morning. We founded this platform twenty-two years ago to be a venue for decision-makers, experts and the media from our region and the world at large. We are pleased that the inception of this forum had paved the way for the emergence of many forums and platforms that were subsequently launched in our region.”
“The world today has reached a pivotal stage on all political, economic, environmental, and social levels, and this stage requires radical revisions to spare the world from reaching a state of imbalance.”
HH the Amir added, “At the level of environment and climate change, we see that non-eco-friendly consumption patterns, and rates of irresponsible industrial production are been steadily increasing, which may lead to catastrophic repercussions and that will impact all of humanity, and even extend to reach future generations.”
“At the societal level and and in terms of people’s livelihood, the social and economic gap among states and within a society, is indicative of a serious shortcoming in the overall economies, especially after the rise of the technology sector and its role in the economy and the lives of individuals. This is in addition to the horrific increase in global poverty rates, the difficulty of accessing the basic necessities of life, and even deterioration into famines in some cases.”
HH the Amir said, “We believe that social justice is the real shelter for societies, and this requires fair tax policies because the majority of societies cannot dispense with state services. But we warn against the exclusionary populist voices in a time of societal tensions and economic recession. One of these exclusionary phenomena that have increased in recent years is the phenomenon of Islamophobia.”
HH the Amir added, “Regretfully, Islamophobia is not confined only to the forces of the populist right. However, it needs taking a firm and serious stand against it, such as the one witnessed by the world when it took a stand against racial discrimination and anti-Semitism. It is noteworthy here that the accusation of anti-Semitism is now used wrongly against everyone who criticises Israel’s policies, and this impinges on the struggle against racism and actual anti-Semitism.”
“On the political and security level, it is sad to see a contraction in the political and diplomatic means in favour of military expansion and armed solutions. The militarisation of solutions has begun to grow during the last four decades till it reached one of its most challenging peaks in the Ukrainian war,” HH the Amir noted.
HH the Amir added, “From here, I emphasise the firm position of Qatar on the renunciation of violence, intimidating civilians and assaulting states sovereignty and all other acts that may constitute a violation of human values and international laws. We stand in solidarity with the millions of innocent people and refugees who have been victimised by this unjust war and geopolitical calculations.”
“While stressing this solidarity, I would like in this context to remind of the millions of Palestinians who have been suffering from the Israeli occupation and international neglect for more than seven decades, similarly a lot of other peoples, such as the Syrian people and the Afghan people, for whom the international community has failed to render justice.
“This war reveals, beyond any doubt that the formulas upon which the international order was based in the aftermath of World War II – and after the end of the Cold War are changing. It’s incumbent on all of us, especially the major counties, to take a serious pause to determine the future of the international order and to ask ourselves an important question: What is the shape of the world that we want to bequeath to our children? What is the new era that the current war in Europe, and before it the Coronavirus crisis and other successive crises have proven that we must act to reshape for the benefit of all humanity? Would the major powers answer this question by fighting after competing in the development of new types of weapons? Humanity cannot accept this catastrophic scenario, and there must be other means than the war to get the answers.”
HH the Amir said, “For our part, we have chosen a path of rational dialogue that is simultaneously based on balancing common values and interests. We have chosen the path of mediation to resolve disputes by peaceful means. We have an accumulated experience in this field, which we put at the service of peace, stability and just solutions to conflicts.”
“We wish all participants in this forum fruitful and transparent discussions that may lead to viable proposals and solutions. We also value the efforts of the forum’s organisers,” HH the Amir said.
HH the Amir presented CEO of the Digital Citizen Fund Roya Mahboob from Afghanistan with the Doha Forum Award.
The opening was attended by President of the Republic of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, Prime Minister of the Lebanese Republic Najib Mikati, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine Mohammad Shtayyeh, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, World Economic Forum President Borge Brende, and heads of delegations of friendly countries.
The opening was also attended by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, a number of ministers and heads of diplomatic missions accredited by the state, leading academics, policy makers, parliamentarians, intellectuals, businessmen, media personalities, representatives of regional and international organizations, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations.