Qatar ‘values South-South ties’

February 19, 2014 - 5:00:48 am

The Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani (centre) with other officials at the opening of the expo yesterday.

BY MOHAMMAD SHOEB

DOHA: The Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah yesterday affirmed that Qatar is committed to the South-South Development Expo as a main hub to strengthen ties with southern-hemisphere countries, and will always be at the forefront in addressing the region’s “formidable challenges”, including youth unemployment, gender equality, food and water security and energy efficiency.

This came in the Minister’s keynote address at the Arab States Regional South-South Development Expo yesterday. 

The speech was read out by the Assistant Foreign Minister for International Cooperation Affairs H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in the presence of the Minister of Development Planning and Statistics H E Dr Saleh bin Mohammed Al Nabit.

“Qatar is committed to cooperating and establishing partnership with countries to address formidable challenges the region is facing today,” said Dr Al Attiyah. 

“Hosting the event is an evidence of our high level of commitment to overcome issues related to gender equality, women empowerment, youth unemployment, food and water security and energy efficiency.” 

He said Qatar, over the years, has achieved significant progress in terms of human development and ready to share its experience with member states. He said the United Nation’s developmental programme was another channel Qatar relies on to strengthen ties. 

Dr Al Attiyah said exchanging expertise between southern countries will benefit developed and developing countries, particularly in multi-party initiatives related to investment and diplomacy.

He said Qatar hosted the ‘High Level Meeting on Oil and Gas’ to maintain strong regional and international cooperation. 

The Minister said there were a large number of developmental and financial projects in the Arab world that deserved praise, and added that this year’s expo highlights these projects, which focussed on boosting the status of women and youth in society, food security, water, power and renewable energy. 

He said there was a shift in cooperation between countries in the southern hemisphere. “The focus is on multi-party cooperation unlike in the past when it was strictly bilateral. He stressed that the expo will be a crucial opportunity to boost regional cooperation. 

Held under the theme ‘Solutions to Action’, the expo has brought together more than 400 delegates from 45 countries to document and present evidence-based development solutions. “This regional event provides an excellent opportunity to initiate a strategic dialogue among all supporters of South-South cooperation and their Arab counterparts,” the Assistant Foreign Minister added.

Zsolt Hetesy, Vice-President of the UN General Assembly High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation, said: “South-South cooperation has become an essential bottom-up approach to building a strong global partnership for development.” 

Sacha Sergio Llorentty Soliz, Chair of the Group of 77; Mourad Wahba, Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at UNDP; Yiping Zhou, Director of the UN Office for South-South Cooperation; Dr Mukhisa Kituyi Secretary-General of UNCTAD were also present along with other guests and speakers. The Peninsula

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