Qatar is a very important partner of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), a senior official has said.

“The UNDP regards Qatar as a strategic partner of many of our activities. Though Qatar is not a programme country of the UNDP, we have a very important partnership for some of our programmes in the region and beyond,” said Charles Chauvel, team leader, Inclusive Political Processes, Governance and Peacebuilding, UNDP.

Chauvel was speaking on the sidelines of the 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly being held in Doha. Chauvel also took part in the standing committee discussion on Sustainable Development Goals.

“The UNDP is looking increasingly to work with Qatar in several areas. We are confident that the partnership will benefit both Qatar and the UNDP. Some of these projects are aimed at empowering the youth in the region,” he said.

Chauvel who highlighted a research that had taken place in the last several years, said that people are losing faith in democracy due to various reasons.

“People still believe that democracy is the best form of government but many are losing faith in it because they are concerned about what is happening in their own countries and they want improvement in many aspects of their lives,” said the official.

“People are losing faith in the practice of democracy because they feel that several things in their countries are mismanaged or not implemented properly. This leads to disappointments and frustrations among the population towards their leadership,” he added.

According to the UNDP official, parliaments have a great opportunity to regain faith in democracy.

“Parliaments need to work together with the people to make sure that governments are accessible to the people. Leaderships should be made accountable to their actions. Similarly, parliaments also should be accessible and approachable to people and should hold governments accountable for their promises,” he noted.

Chauvel also highlighted that parliaments need to represent a right mix of the population to meet the aspirations of the population, including gender parity that can help make the people believe that parliaments stand for the people.

The UNDP official also pointed out that many people are concerned about the fact that the emergence of robots and automation will decrease their jobs.

“Many people feel that automation is going to affect them in a negative way. It is a challenge that needs to be debated. They feel that their lives are headed for troublesome times. Therefore, they want that their representatives understand the issue and take actions appropriately,” he added.

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