By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged global and regional powers to prevail upon the warring parties in Syria to end the conflict in the country, while lauding the initiatives of the governments of Qatar and Kuwait in resolving the devastating crisis.
He made the observations while delivering the keynote address at the opening of the 16th Doha Forum.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was present at the opening ceremony.
Also present were HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al -Thani, several heads of states, ministers and senior officials.
The Doha Forum is being held under the title “Stability and Prosperity for All”.
Stressing the importance of peace and stability to have prosperity around the world, including in this region, Ban said that conflicts, terrorism and the absence of basic freedom for people in war-torn countries in the Middle East and its neighbourhood were causing considerable hardships and it was high time the major players used their influence to prevail upon the warring parties.
He urged the powers to play a more proactive role in establishing peace and stability in places that had been hit hard by armed conflicts and terrorism for years.
He noted that the world was passing through its most turbulent phase since World War II and more than 130mn people required some kind of life-saving medicine and other similar assistance on a regular basis for survival in view of the perils of the ongoing armed conflicts.
The continuing turbulence in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan, he said, was taking a heavy toll on their economies and causing extensive loss of lives.
Against this backdrop, every country was duty-bound to prevent warring parties in each war zone from causing further escalation in their respective territories and outside, he said.
Highlighting the need to build accountable institutions at different levels to ensure sustainable development across the world, the UN official recalled the promises made towards that end by several world leaders at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21-CMP 11, in Paris.
He sounded optimistic that a forthcoming summit in Istanbul would see many global leaders turning their aspirations to provide a better life into real action by helping revive order, peace and stability in some of the war-torn countries.
Speaking earlier, the president of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, hoped that the Doha Forum would help address some of the common global challenges, such as terrorism, poverty, unemployment and environmental degradation, effectively.
Lykketoft said that many occurrences of the past had made the UN firmly believe that no effective and practicable solution to any issue was possible without the collective efforts of different countries.
No government on its own can solve such problems, adding that only teamwork involving more than one player can help the world tide over major crises.
HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou were among the speakers at the inaugural function.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani held a meeting with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the 16th Doha Forum yesterday evening. Discussions at the meeting at Doha’s Sheraton Hotel dealt with the latest developments in Yemen and the peace talks hosted by Kuwait, particularly with regard to finding a solution for the return of Yemen’s legitimate government delegation to the talks. The Yemeni president agreed, during the meeting, for the resumption of the Yemen’s legitimate government delegation to the talks on the UN guarantee to ensure that those talks would be in accordance with the Security Council resolution No 2216. The UN secretary-general thanked the Emir for his good offices that led to persuade the Yemeni president to return the legitimate government delegation to Kuwait talks. The Emir also met with a number of participants of the Doha Forum.
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