Doha forum end with clear focus on democracy and development issues
Doha, April 26 (NNN-KUNA) The Doha 7th Democracy, Development and Free Trade Forum concluded here on Wednesday, ending three days of discussions that focused on democracy and developments issues.
Issues like challenges to democracy-building on a global and regional perspective, political reforms, the gap between the north and south, the role of services sector, negative aspects of free trade agreements, media freedom, the impact of super powers policies and other issues, were discussed over the three days of meetings.
Addressing the closing session, H.E. Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumeihi, assistant foreign minister for follow-up affairs and chairman of the conferences standing committee said Doha forum had earned, after sevens editions, its international status to draw participation of politicians, academics, businessmen, media experts, parliamentarians, civil society organizations and researchers from more than 70 countries.
He underlined that the forum offered an opportunity for freedom of expression, freely tackling issues in the region and familiarizing with experts views on issues taken up. He stressed that Doha forum derived importance form having the region's issues be discussed within the region itself not from outside it. Initiatives used to come from abroad, but Doha forum offered the opportunity for hearing the views of those from the region and those from outside it, he said.
Participants in the forum praised Doha's hosting of such an important gathering, thanking H.H. the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for allowing such a democratic atmosphere in Qatar to enable discussing issues relevant to political reforms and trade in various parts of the world. Meanwhile, Baroness Symons, member of the House of Lords in Britain and chair of Qatar all party group, highly valued holding such conferees in Doha and expressed her pleasure about the serious manner in which debates had been conducted.
She said the forum was considered an example of real practising of freedom of expression and strengthening of freedoms and democratic institutions. She also praised Qatar's democratization process and women's participation in political life. Wednesday's discussion sessions mainly tackled development and human rights issues.
Among the speakers were Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, chairman of Qatar Human Rights National Committee and Mrs. Mariam al-Maliki, national coordinator, national bureau for lodging and human care, Qatar.