2018 Doha Forum: Diplomacy, Dialogue, Diversity

17 December 2018

Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of Qatar, Qatar’s annual Doha Forum took place on 15 and 16 December 2018 under the theme “Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World”.

This year’s Forum brought together over 1,800 participants from across the world, including Heads of State, policymakers, business leaders, academics, media and representatives of civil society groups. Panel sessions encouraged constructive dialogue on diverse topics including the changing global order, new media and misinformation, peace in the Middle East, food security and water sustainability, countering extremism and the geopolitics around natural resources.

During the opening remarks, His Highness the Amir affirmed Qatar’s commitment to constructive dialogue, stating: “Out of our belief in the importance of views, the necessity of dialogue and the inevitability of diversity, we have been keen to keep the dialogue forums and networking platforms active and open to exchange views in a free environment for all”.

One of the Forum’s highlights was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Qatar and the UN, endorsing cooperation between both parties. The agreement includes a multi-year contribution of $500 million by Qatar to fund UN agencies, as well as the establishment of four new UN offices in the country, for UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The State of Qatar also signed agreements with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Office for Counter-Terrorism.

Among the notable list of Qatari attendees were His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; His Excellency Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance, His Excellency His Excellency Mr Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Mr Saad Sherida Al-Kaab, Minister of State for Energy Affairs.

International representatives included Her Excellency María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the United Nations General Assembly; His Excellency Teodor-Viorel Meleşcanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania; Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference; Christian Sewing, CEO of Deutsche Bank, and His Excellency Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, amongst many others.