Posted on September 29, 2015

The State of Qatar has made great strides in the process of sustainable development, said HE Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah (pictured). Addressing the United Nations General Assembly Summit to Adopt the Post-2015 Development Agenda, His Excellency Al Attiyah said: "We are relieved that the Post-2015 Development Agenda is in line with the economic, social and environmental dimensions of our National Vision 2030, which includes the basic pillars of sustainable development, particularly security, health, education, culture, and sports. 

"I would like to note here that since the nineties of the last century, the State of Qatar took the initiative to invest in Qatari citizens. It was a forerunner in setting policies that ensure sustainable development for Qatari citizens; we have developed a comprehensive national strategy for development, which is aimed at transforming our country into a state capable of maintaining sustainable development and providing a high standard of living for both the present and future generations." 

His Excellency added that the world has undergone profound changes since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in 2005. While many goals have been achieved, many others have stalled. "Therefore, the international community is committing today once again to launch the new Post- 2015 Development Agenda, in order to achieve security, stability, well-being and sustainable development for our countries and peoples, guided by lessons learned from our past experiences, forward-looking and ready to address current and potential challenges in shared responsibility while taking into account the differentiated burdens.

"Ensuring success and achievement of the envisaged objectives of the Post-2015 Development Agenda make it imperative for the international community to tackle and find effective solutions to the obstacles that hinder the sustainable development process, be they political, structural or capacity-related, based on a practical and realistic perspective, that takes into account the priorities and needs of the developing and least developed countries in particularly, by providing all possible support to help these countries cope with the increasing marginalization in the global economy and benefit from the scientific, economic and human potential available in our present day.

"In this regard, we would like to stress the importance that national policies reflect the human and social side of development, by putting at the top of their priorities the development of strategies that meet the necessary needs of peoples and for the promotion of democracy and human rights, along with the realization of transparency rules in addressing and fighting corruption in all its manifestations to achieve good governance, since the commitment to the principles of the rule of law and accountability is considered imperative for any development strategy. This approach was confirmed by the Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Doha in April.

HE Al Attiyah added partnership and international cooperation remain the most important factor to ensure sustainable development, through the promotion of effective partnerships and cooperation between the countries, as well as between the public and private sectors, and by giving civil society organizations and all groups of the society their envisaged roles in this area. 

"In this context, the development assistance provided by developed countries to developing or least-developed countries should be free from restrictions and separate from politicization. Donor countries should enable these countries to achieve development, through the elaboration of policies that support their ability to produce all the basic needs for their people so as not to be haunted by poverty and dependence on others. Such policies must encourage the spirit of partnership and investment to raise the level of human development and support their ability to market their products to achieve sustainable development." His Excellency noted that the State of Qatar over the past years has provided much development aid to many countries facing economic, humanitarian and natural disasters. This aid amounted in 2014 to approximately five billion nine hundred million Qatari riyals, which represents 0.76% of the GDP of the State of Qatar. 

This is in addition to technical assistance in the fields of education, health and other areas that correspond with the decisions of the Millennium Summit, he said "In this context and stemming from the State of Qatar's keen and well-known interest in improving the quality of education and giving the opportunity to everyone to receive good-quality education and gain experience, we have sought to transfer this successful experience through development assistance and international cooperation in order to reduce the number of children deprived of basic education in various parts of the world, especially children living in conflict zones. The number of children benefiting from the Qatari initiative Educate A Child, which was launched in 2012 in conjunction with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has reached nearly six million children, including six hundred children from the brotherly Syrian people." 

HE the Foreign Minister affirmed that the achievement of sustainable development at the various national, regional and international levels requires political will and sincerity of intentions with a true spirit of cooperation between states, adding that the State of Qatar has been keen to assume its regional and international responsibilities towards achieving the MDGs and addressing positive cases, citing that the State of Qatar hosted the eighteenth Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2012. 

He expressed his hope that the international community will succeed at the Paris Conference in reaching the new agreements being negotiated and that the agreement will reflect burden variation between developed and developing countries and will strengthen the capacity of developing countries to adapt to climate change. "To reaffirm our conviction that sustainable development cannot be achieved without achieving food security, HH the Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani announced his initiative to establish the Global Alliance for Drylands to combat desertification and drought in all parts of the world, which will have a positive impact in achieving development beyond 2015," HE the Minister stressed. 

HE the Foreign Minister explained that the desired development cannot be achieved in the absence of peace, security and stability or in a land subject to occupation, while emphasizing that the State of Qatar spares no effort to provide the right climate for shouldering the burdens of achieving peace at the regional and international levels in order to advance the development process in all fields. HE Al Attiyah expressed Qatar's firm belief of the importance of the role of all segments of society in the achievement of development, saying the State of Qatar has given special attention to youth. "Qatar makes unremitting efforts for their advancement, making their role effective, and encouraging their initiative, and providing an appropriate enabling environment for them," he added. 

From this perspective and in order to engage young people in making decisions and policies that are of global interest to the world, the State of Qatar took the initiative to hold the Youth Forum on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which was held in Doha in April 2015, he said. HE the Minister underlined the State of Qatar's keen interest in the role of sport as a tool to promote social cohesion and solidarity, instill the values of equality and tolerance in the young generation, promote development, and achieve peace. This is because sport has positive effects on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, as well as contribution to the empowerment of young people. 

His Excellency added that the State of Qatar also considers culture a key element for development, an important factor in social cohesion and integration, economic growth, the eradication of poverty and a contribution to the achievement of peace, security and the promotion of human rights. "Therefore, we have made great efforts to link cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and development programs in the belief that culture is of great importance in the overall development policies, whether in connection to education or the environment. "Finally, we emphasize that the State of Qatar will continue to meet its obligations to the international community to achieve sustainable development by providing all the material or technical support it can."