Sheikh Mohamed bin Ahmad
bin Jassim Al-Thani,
Minister of Economy and Commerce of the State of Qatar
(Doha, 6 December 2004)
Ladies and gentlemen,
You are by now fully aware of the pragmatic approach of Qatar. This may alleviate from the beginning your fear that there will be a long statement. It will not.
Consequently, I would simply like to stress the following points:
- We had two days of intensive but fruitful discussions. All of us contributed to a successful outcome. We all placed faith and believe in the value of the South-South cooperation.
- The though provoking-papers produced by our colleagues from UNCTAD gave us solid material for concrete results. The debate on the new geography of international economic relations was a master piece of conceptual innovation combined with a real effort to find the best modalities to translate it into practice. The workshops were precisely intended to do that. They have done a great job.
- The Forum responded to our expectations. Action-oriented proposal were developed. We have 26 proposals for action, in particular in the areas of trade and investment. All efforts should be made to bring them to life. You would recall my introductory statement in which I asked: "Are we ready to move from concepts, strategies and positive agendas to real, concrete action?" Let's make that to happen. It is now incumbent upon all of us to deliver.
- This "spirit" of Doha should dominate the preparatory process leading to the 2005 South Summit. The good ideas developed here, in particular in the areas of trade and investment, should find their natural place in the preparatory process for the Summit.
- It is our intension to distribute the report of this meeting as an official document of the General Assembly. This may assist in promoting the concept of the new geography of international economic relations in the processes taking place in New York next year. It is also essential to reiterate, as many speakers indicated, that the South-South cooperation has its own life but it is not a substitute for the North-South trade or for the commitments made by the developed countries.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me assure you of our full commitment to work with all of you as well as with the relevant UN institutions and the Executive Secretariat of the Group of 77 in order to ensure the implementation and follow up of the conclusions and recommendations of this Forum. We hope very sincerely that all member States and UN institutions will lend us all support in order to initiate the implementation on the eve of the Second South Summit. In this context, I would like to inform you that in my capacity as the Chairman of the Forum, I will conduct the necessary consultations in order to convene a consultative meeting to consider the modalities and means for the implementation of these recommendations. I will keep you updated on the outcome of these consultations through our permanent mission to the United Nations in New York.
Before concluding, I would like to express my deep appreciation and sincere thanks to Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations and Chairman of the Group of 77 for his outstanding leadership and for all his efforts in making this Forum a successful one. Let me also express my sincere thanks to Mr. Mourad Ahmia, the Executive Secretary of the Group of 77 and his competent team, in particular Dr. Awni Behnam, Mr. Dan Deac and Mrs. Mary Chehab for all the valuable support they have made in ensuring excellent arrangements for the Forum and smoothly servicing our meeting.
Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the President of the General Assembly, to the Administrator of the UNDP, to the Officer-in-Charge of UNCTAD for the high quality of their contribution to our deliberations and for their valuable support in preparation for the Forum. We count very much on them in ensuring the effective implementation and follow up of the recommendations and conclusions of this Forum. Special thanks go to the UNCTAD team who helped us in the preparations and the conduction of the two Workshops, as well as for the substantive support provided.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank very sincerely the National Organizing Committee for the excellent work achieved and for their dedication to the success of the Forum.
Our thanks go also to our local sponsors for their generosity and kind contribution, to the interpreters, to the technical staff, to all the volunteers as well as the staff of the Sheraton who helped in making this Forum a success.