The United Nations presented the 2020 Best Negotiator Award to HE Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Counterterrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Dr Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, in recognition of his role and efforts in settling disputes and establishing peace in the region and the world.
Speaking on the occasion, HE Dr Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani extended thanks to the organizers of this important event and expressed delight and pride in receiving this prestigious award.
He thanked the jury and the Qatari and non-Qatari colleagues for their support, and extended the sincerest thanks to the wise leadership of the State of Qatar and the working group, stressing that he would not have received this award without their support.
He considered the award a kind of appreciation and a new addition to the successes achieved by Qatar in the field of mediation and conflict resolution.
HE Dr al-Qahtani shed light on some of his personal and professional experience in the issue of cultural sensitivity in the field of mediation and negotiation, which he consider to be an interesting topic that deserves to be discussed. He noted that the concept of culture is one of the difficult concepts, as there are many cultural rules that are not written, which may make them difficult to understand, study or analyze.
He noted the difference in perceptions and understanding of the disagreement, as well as the difference in values, standards and principles, and stressed the importance of understanding what the acceptable behaviours are and what are not.
HE Dr al-Qahtani explained that mediators and negotiators have been trained on negotiation methods based on the Western approach which may not take into account the diverse cultural concepts in most cases.
He noted the importance of continuous learning and training in the cultural features, and the readiness for change, adaptation and flexibility in light of new developments.
HE al-Qahtani called for adopting methods and skills in mediation , advising those who want to be culturally competent mediators or negotiators not to panic, to be patient, enjoy self-awareness, vigilance, openness in thinking, curiosity and flexibility.
He noted that resolving conflicts between cultures is not easy, rather risky, and in most cases it may take a long time. He added that cultural differences may not be the actual source of conflict, however they may play a decisive role in the outcome of mediation and negotiation.