His Highness the Amir Inaugurates Doha Forum’s 2023 Edition

10 December 2023

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inaugurated this morning the 2023 edition of the Doha Forum under the theme: “Building Shared Futures”. The inaugural event was attended by several heads of state and government, along with leaders from regional and international organisations with the aim of exchanging ideas and visions aimed at addressing current global challenges.

The inauguration was also attended by several ministers, heads of diplomatic missions in Qatar and senior policy makers, parliamentarians, intellectuals, academics, business leaders, media personnel and representatives of regional and international NGOs.

His Highness the Amir handed out the award to Mr Philippe Lazzarini, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General and UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, in recognition of his efforts to alleviate the catastrophic humanitarian conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza Strip. The award was also given in honour of the sacrifices made by UNRWA’s personnel to provide relief to Gaza’s population.

His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech during the Forum’s opening ceremony, in which he said: “When we chose the slogan of the Doha Forum this year, ‘Building Shared Futures,’ we hoped that the Forum would be held under conditions that would allow us to engage in positive dialogue around our common future, in a way that reflects the dreams and aspirations of the people of the world. However, with much sadness and pain, we meet today while the world is suffering under the shadow of successive and relentless crises.”

“The unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe that is happening in Gaza is prompting free peoples around the world to ask legitimate questions about the nature of the international system, the effectiveness of its legal tools and the sincerity of its principles. These questions are becoming more urgent as we increasingly witness painful scenes. We may turn away from these horrors, but they are undeniable realities that 2.3 million people have been enduring every day, for more than 60 days,” His Excellency added.

His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs continued: “This crisis has clearly demonstrated the size of the gap between the East and the West, the gap between successive generations and the double standards adopted by the international community.” He added that, we must “begin today to ‘Build the Future’ with a comprehensive review of our international and humanitarian systems. This review needs to establish a global order based on systems, rules, and institutions that respect equality among people.”

His Excellency the Prime Minister stressed that “the diverse presence in this hall today… represents an opportunity for in-depth discussions, taking into account all the complexities of the present, and looking… for a glimmer of hope and a future of peace, prosperity and cooperation.” His Excellency also stressed that dialogue is the best way to confront the most complex conflicts, if there is good will and wise political leadership, which echoes the State of Qatar’s belief in the importance of mediation in resolving disputes.

His Excellency said: “If we are truly sincere in our desire to work towards ‘Building Shared Futures,’ then the first step should be the painful recognition of the flawed reality of the world system – a flaw that allows members to accept the continuity of the conflict and the prevention of the adoption of a solution – a solution that will be sustainable only if it is fair and comprehensive.”

“Despite the accumulated pain caused by conflicts and disputes in our world today, we must cling to the hope of a bright tomorrow and building a shared future. At this crucial moment, we are all facing a challenge that tests our humanity, and to keep alive the flame of hope among our peoples, and the belief that humanity can confront war with peace, conflict with dialogue and destruction with construction,” His Excellency concluded as he wished the audience a successful Forum and a pleasant experience.

The 21st edition of the Doha Forum continues over two days, at the Sheraton Doha Hotel. The Forum is a global platform for diplomacy, dialogue and diversity. It brings together decision-makers to discuss pressing global challenges, develop policies and provide applicable recommendations.