The 16th ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) will be held in Doha from April 30-May 2.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has expressed Qatar's pride at chairing the 2019 dialogue, during the ministerial meeting of member countries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
HE Sheikh Mohamed tweeted that the country's priority during its presidency will be to reach an Asian consensus, enhance co-operation, develop mechanisms for joint work, and strengthen economic and commerce ties. He added that enhancing understanding and economic integration in all fields will help advance joint work to higher levels.
HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs said Qatar encourages the deepening of trade and economic partnerships and enhancing the economic competitiveness of Asian countries in global markets, particularly as the Asian continent has all the capabilities required to push the development of human resources and economic wealth. He also noted that all these factors will help make economic integration a success, especially that the continent's economies are witnessing rapid growth.
The Asian Co-operation Dialogue was established in 2001 and has 34 member countries. Its first meeting was held in Thailand in 2002 with the participation of 18 Asian founding countries.
In 2006, Qatar hosted the fifth meeting. The Doha Declaration included a number of decisions, such as the establishment of an Energy Forum for cooperation under the framework of the ACD, the need for Asia to make productive use of its core savings, including financial returns from the energy trade to benefit the region, and the need for the successful implementation of the e-University project as a tool for building human capacity, closing the digital divide and increasing access to higher education.
Among the main objectives of the ACD are to promote interdependence among Asian countries in all areas of co-operation by identifying Asia's common strengths and opportunities which will help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for Asian people whilst developing a knowledge-based society within Asia and enhancing community and people empowerment, expand the trade and financial market within Asia and increase the bargaining power of Asian countries.
Ultimately it aims to transform the Asian continent into an Asian Community, capable of interacting with the rest of the world on a more equal footing and contributing more positively towards mutual peace and prosperity.
The core elements of the ACD 2030 vision are promoting the organisation's core principles and values, and spirit of Pan-Asian partnership, as well as establish "our aspirations for Asia as a region of peace, progress and shared prosperity, underpinned by inclusive, balanced, people-centered and sustainable development".
Another element is strengthening ACD's economic competitiveness and resilience, as well as deepen trade and production linkages within ACD and with other regions, through viable economic integration and investment in connectivity infrastructure and technologies.
A third element is deepening collective efforts to reduce economic and social disparities while ensuring inclusive growth and sustainable development, both within and across ACD member states, in order to build a more equitable society in Asia, as well as to promote the sharing of knowledge, experiences and technology to support capacity building and human resource development in the ACD region.