H. E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani,
Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the State of Qatar
the Declaration of the New Project on Global
World Economic Forum
30 January 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to take part in this session dedicated to launching the World Economic Forum's initiative on "Global Governance".
As you know, the direct factor prompting launching this initiative is the current world financial crisis, which has highlighted the dangers that threaten us all at a time when it has become clear that we are living in a state of interdependence requiring to face jointly the challenges of the 21st century since we live in a single world under an agreed upon global governance system in the broadest possible scope and based on common world interests rather than facts of singular self-power.
The problems from which the world is suffering are in numerous areas, including economy and finance, the environment, society, technology as well as political domains of international relations. To address such issues effectively cannot be undertaken within the organizational frames of international relations laid down after World War II. As a matter of fact, major changes have taken place since then in the international community in addition to the immediate and future needs which should be met so that collective peace may prevail not only in its conventional military sense.
No country in the 21st century can stand completely alone, no matter how powerful it may be. The present threats and problems transcend national borders and such threats and problems are interrelated and should be addressed at global and regional levels as well as at the national level.
Development in this respect is the indispensable basis. Development tackles numerous tasks. It is part of a long-term strategy to avoid wars breaking out and address situations where both terrorism and organized crime prosper. We should act in financial fields with a view to promoting development. If we want chaos not to prevail, we should accept the necessity of compliance with international law. The United Nations was set up in 1945 mainly "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war". However, we all know that, sixty years later, the most serious security threats which we are currently facing and which we will face in the coming decades are not only launching wars of aggressions by states. Indeed, threats include poverty, infectious diseases, deterioration of the environment, warfare and violence within countries, spread and potential use of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and transnational organized crime. Such threats are posed by parties other than states as well as by states jeopardizing human security in addition to national security.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The initiative aims at launching a new global governance system based on a set of principles, organizations and processes which assist the world in addressing issues with consequences that go beyond national borders, a group of people or a specific domain of human activities. Efforts should focus on the following major areas: failure in world markets, failure in exercising sovereignty powers to ensure order within countries and address problems which transcend their borders, and lack by competent organizations of the capability to address problems, absence of appropriate visions, lack of expertise and resources, and refusal to change by countries with vested interests. All these indicate failure to exercise powers emanating from a country's sovereignty.
Within this context, I would like to state some points which I modestly believe deserve attention.
First: It is quite understood why the world financial crisis has prompted the World Economic Forum to launch the Global Governance Proposal, which explains the focus in the agenda of this annual session on economy. Yet, the political aspect of collective security should also have equal emphasis. This may be the essential factor for success of any other domains.
The second point is related to the first point, namely that this effort by the World Economic Forum is not the first attempt to reform the world order. This point was probably present in the minds of those who thought of the initiative. In this respect, I would like to recall that the United Nations witnessed similar initiatives, especially the initiative launched by H.E. Cofi Annan, former UN Secretary General in his speech at the General Assembly in September 2003.
In this context, I would like to remind you of some of the points that I humbly believe should be attended to.
First, it is fully understood why the global financial crisis has prompted the Forum to propose the global governance enterprise which explains the focus in the agenda of this annual session on the economic aspect. However, the political aspect for overall security should be equally important as it can be crucial for the success of any reform in other aspects.
The second point which is related to the first point is that the Forum's attempt is not the first attempt aiming to reform the global system and it is very possible that the Forum initiative planners were aware of that. I would like to remind that the UN has witnessed similar initiatives in domains within the frame of this initiative, particularly, the one kindly launched by HE Kofi Anan, former UN General Secretary, in his speech at the General Assembly in September 2003 and which resulted in the issuance of a report prepared by the senior "Committee for Threats, Challenges and Change" in September 2004. The report was entitled "A more Secure World: Our Joint Responsibility" and proposed 101 recommendations most of which were not fully implemented, which prompts me to call upon the Forum to ensure paying the report's important analyses and recommendations a special attention.
The third point is that we should not fail to notice, in the efforts we pay in all domains, the vital importance of enforcing and giving priority to the force of law over the law of force with a view to realizing common interest. We should not forget that what was proved in the current financial crisis is that the first victims were the biggest financial and economical powers before others. Even in armed conflicts, it happens very often that the military winners endure massive damage after the end of the conflict and face innumerable problems in human life aspects.
The fourth point, which is an established fact, is that the structure of the international community has changed ever since the establishment of the United Nations but the vital elements in decision-making have remained captive to the early establishment structures. That explains the several ailments which the international order suffers from and their catastrophic consequences which extends to the whole international arena. Hence, this initiative will provide a chance for reviewing and mulling over what has to be done to repair the flaw and cure ailment. Yet, any change, from a realistic perspective, will be contingent on the countries collective political will regarding taking the necessary decisions and not only dependent on the actors who enjoy this prerogative for emerging victorious in Second World War.
The fifth and final point is that the outcome of the initiative as we hope for, will form at least a lobbying factor for change especially after the massive damage which ensued from the flawed prevalent system has affected all members of the international community including the influential powers.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to point out in conclusion that Qatar's conviction of the justifications and urgent need for this initiative are the reasons for accepting to sponsor it in collaboration with Switzerland and Singapore. We look forward to welcoming you at the annual session of this Forum to be held in 2010 in Doha in order to issue the final recommendations of the Initiative.