A Synopsis of The Speech by|
H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al- Thani
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
6th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade
Enhancing Democracy and Combating Terrorism.
11-13 April, 2006
In The Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful|
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to be amongst you in this session which is dedicated to dialogue on the theme of " Enhancing Democracy and Combating Terrorism".
At the out-set of my intervention I would like to touch on some points relating to the issue of concepts:
What is Democracy?
- The fundamental basics of democracy, that aim at realizing justice, are materialized in building the state of institutions, human rights, effective popular participation in government and rule in accordance with the law and principles of transparency and accountability which guarantees the majority's opinion.
- Democracy is not a make-up or a formal process.
- The success of the democratic option in the political field requires the adoption and execution of a comprehensive development plan in both economic and political fields.
- The democratic option should be originated from the self-will of society.
- The application of democracy should be accompanied by a continuous process of awareness with the democratic system culture so as to avoid certain obstacles posed by the difference in social and political characteristics of societies.
- Finally we should believe in graduation since the jumping over the social realism - proofs are many - often culminates in conflicts leading to deep social and security imbalances.
- All these factors are streaming in final outcome which crystallizes in comprehensive reform policy in political, economic and social domains while giving utmost priority to the cultural underpinning which lends the required support to the reform process.
What is Terrorism?
The important issue in this respect- according to the common UN expression ? is the "international terrorism which endangers the lives of innocent people, or cause their death, or threaten the basic freedoms".
It is generally known that the international community has not yet agreed, collectively, on specific definition of terrorism. However, the general relevant aspects are the following:
- Terrorism is naturally based on ideological motives.
- Terrorism usually involves violence and causes public terror.
- Terrorist acts are generally launched from political and ideological motives on the grounds of deep beliefs characterized by extremism and self-closing that the violence is legitimate as a form of political protest aiming at forcing the ruling power to act in a specific way.
- Terrorism - in general- emerges from misery, disappointment, sense of injustice and despair which motivate some people to sacrifice human lives, including their own, in order to effect radical changes.
- The patterns of terrorism are multiple and the international common opinion tends to exempt the acts of legitimate resistance of occupation from falling under the definition of terrorism.
- The problem of terrorism is political, psychological, moral and basically legal.
Enhancing Democracy and Combating Terrorism:
The question to be posed is : can the enhancement of democracy have a role to play in combating terrorism?
I humbly believe that the building of democracy and the enhancement of its application is considered one of the most effective instruments in addressing the Phenomenon of terrorism, since the resultant gains will be benefiting everybody.
As long as the insistence to apply democracy and enhance it is a serious and transparent process, it will be able to eliminate the manifestations of misery, disappointment, sense of injustice and despair which motivate some people to commit terrorist acts.
Yet, we will still be met with some cases of ideological extremism and self-closing which contradict in essence the bases on which democracy is built. Hence, the importance of available legal means for addressing such phenomenon under Democratic rule, which center on insisting on convincing opponents instead of merely resorting to military violence, because violence generates violence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We should not overlook some of the basic points that include:
1- Application of democracy in the area of international relations since the feelings of injustice and despair will produce a fertile ground for acts of terrorism.
2- Whenever foreign intervention is stepped up with a view to imposing a certain form and nature of democratic system in a way which conforms to the interests of the intervening parties, the reluctance to apply democratization will equally increase.
3- Seeking to maintain their self-interests on the part of the foreign powers while overlooking the non-democratic practices of the allies and, in the meantime, escalating campaigns against the others under the slogan of democratization when the latter is not carried out in accordance with the required political approach, represents in fact a policy of double-standards which doesn't promote democracy application.
4- Democratization and the promotion of democratic practice is the duty of all of us, hence efforts should be exerted on all levels to prevent provocations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I conclude by stating that democracy is not a mere slogan. If we manage to provide it in a sound way we can provide adequate security against international terrorism.