Monday April 17, Erbil (KRG) – Kurdistan Region in Iraq was for the first time represented at the Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade, held in Qatar last week.
Falah Mustafa Bakir, minister of state in the Kurdistan Regional Government, participated in discussions on democracy in the Middle East, terrorism, dialogue among civilisations, the media, and reform in the Arab world. He was the only official from a government organisation in Iraq to attend the forum and is first representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government to participate in the annual event, now in its sixth year.
Mr. Falah Mustafa Bakir, minister of state in the Kurdistan Regional Government
The Forum has become an important platform for discussion on issues that are relevant to the Middle East as a region and as part of the international community.
“There was lively discussion at many of the sessions as there were differences of views being expressed. It’s important for the Kurdistan Region to be part of these discussions and for our voice to be heard both in the Middle East and around the world,” Mr Bakir said. “I thank the state of Qatar for organising this forum, which every year helps to build bridges among the peoples of the Middle East.”
The opening address, on Tuesday April 11, was made by H. H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of the state of Qatar, and was followed by speeches by Baroness Symons, Britain’s former state minister for Foreign Affairs and Abdulaziz Abdulghani, chairman of Yemen’s consultative council.
The conference, held on April 11-13, attracted parliamentarians, diplomats, intellectuals and academicians from various international, governmental and non-governmental organisations from around the Middle East and Africa, the United States, Japan, South-East Asia, Great Britain and other European countries.
The discussions included issues such as regional institutions and future challenges, the growing role of the World Trade Organisation, the empowerment of women and gender equality, human rights and civil society.