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Qatari Businessmen Association       Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies       Qatar University

Doha 6th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade winds up

The Doha 6th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade concluded its works on Thursday 13 April 2006 by holding three sessions dealing with the concept of human rights, the role of the youth and civil society organisations in political reform, in addition to the reform process in the Arab World.

Participants in these sessions, comprising scholars, scientists, academics and experts from Qatar and several countries across the world, discussed the concept of human rights under the light of current changes in the world, with a focus on the necessary steps to achieve political reform needed in the Arab World, as well as the important role of the youth and non-governmental and civil society organisations in this vital process.

His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, the First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister, stressed that fundamental basics of democracy that aim to attain social justice are achieved through building a state of institutions, human rights, effective citizen participation in management and ruling, transparency and accounting for acts, which guarantee all the respect of the people’s choices.

In a speech delivered to the Doha 6th Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade on Wednesday 12 April 2006, H E the Deputy Premier noted democracy cannot be an act of formality and that a comprehensive development plan that encompasses economic and social sectors is mandatory to succeed in implanting a democratic environment in any country.

Concerning the definition of terrorism, His Excellency explained that the most common definition used by the United Nations relates to international terrorism which puts in danger innocent lives and threatens fundamental freedoms. He went on to say that the international community has not yet reached a consensus on a unified definition of terrorism, even if there is joint concord on the fact that terrorism derives its strength from ideological thoughts and relies on inciting violence and terror among the public.

He warned that terrorism finds roots in poverty, oppression and despair, which enhances chances for sacrifice and “martyrdom” trends, making the loss of lives, including those of perpetrators, an easy and justifiable task in their eyes in order to make fundamental changes. The issue of terrorism is primarily political, psychological, moral and first of all legal, His Excellency added.

The Qatari First Deputy Premier also drew attention to the importance of implementing in the field of international relations, because the feeling of oppression and hopelessness from a just stance of powerful states and internationally-active organisations disappoints many people in the world, leading to a fertile environment for terror ideologies. Dissemination and practice of democracy is a mandatory duty to all members of society, and cannot be limited to a slogan that is raised solely in official ceremonies, lest we face international terrorism, His Excellency concluded.

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