*16th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Co-operation Dialogue ends in Doha
The Doha Declaration issued by the 16th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Co-operation Dialogue (ACD), which concluded Wednesday, welcomed the proposal submitted by Qatar to host the third ACD summit in 2020, and its initiatives to teach the Arabic language to non-Arabic speakers in the member-states.
The declaration also praised Qatar's hosting of the 16th ACD meeting, which was held over two days in Doha under the theme "Partners in Progress".
Asia is on the way to becoming a major driving force for global economic growth and a key partner in achieving global partnership in development for adopting the policies of good-neighbourliness, friendship, dialogue, co-operation and common development, the declaration said.
It stressed the importance of regional co-operation as a key mechanism for achieving the three pillars of sustainable development, which include social and economic development and environmental protection, as well as the stability of the Asian region.
The meeting referred to the six agreed common pillars of ACD co-operation areas among the member states, stressing the commitment of countries to translate the ACD vision into concrete actions through these pillars. The meeting welcomed the report submitted by all major drivers and other members on the planned activities and their expected results.
The meeting called for strengthening co-operation for expanding regional trade, transit, increasing investment and promoting infrastructure development.
Dialogue as a means for achieving peace, prosperity, solidarity, mutual respect and tolerance was highlighted at the meeting.
Informal meetings between Asian leaders would help share ideas and experiences, the conference said. The participants also expressed their commitment to the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
The declaration reaffirmed the need to strengthen unity, expand cultural exchanges and deepen practical co-operation to promote sustainable development and prosperity and contribute further to peace, stability and development in the world.
Countries participating in the meeting expressed strong rejection of all forms of racism, discrimination, extremism and terrorism, stressing the importance of communication in taking the necessary measures to combat extremism.
The declaration called upon all member-states to work together to prevent and suppress terrorist acts and to take effective steps to promote tolerance, mutual respect and understanding, in particular through education, media and civil society, to protect all individuals and communities from hatred and violence through the effective implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
It stressed the importance of strengthening cybersecurity, combating organised crime and human trafficking, and promoting and protecting human rights.
Countries participating in the meeting expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the ACD and vowed to redouble efforts to consolidate relations among member-states and move towards higher levels of partnerships.
Emphasising the important role of small and medium enterprises as the engine for prosperity , they welcomed Qatar's initiative to host the ACD Business Forum to create a private sector business platform to promote small and medium enterprises across Asia.
The Doha Declaration referred to the importance of promoting free trade and investment between Asian countries and removing the obstacles to this objective, as well as the need to work together to develop strong mechanisms for the promotion and protection of mutual investments.
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