Doha, Qatar, (14 April 2012)
The flag-raising ceremony held on 15 April at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar, marked the symbolic moment when the UNCTAD XIII conference site officially became United Nations grounds for the duration of the Conference. Conducting the ceremony were high level representatives of Qatar and UNCTAD in the presence of invited guests from the diplomatic corps and international organizations.
Speaking at the ceremony, H.E. Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Qatar, and Chairman of the National Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XIII, expressed his belief that during the Conference “great thoughts” would be shared, and “profound words” spoken so that “great deeds” can result, leading to prosperity for all peoples. The raising of the United Nations flag alongside the Qatari flag is “a symbol of the confidence of the international community in our country” and its leading role, he said.
UNCTAD XIII is an opportunity to make development a “real, tangible priority”, said H.E. Ambassador M. Anthony Maruping, Ambassador of Lesotho and President of UNCTAD's Trade and Development Board. He expressed the firm belief that participants would be up to their task and the “moral obligation”.
Mr. Kobsak Chutikul, Interregional Adviser at UNCTAD, said that the Conference would be a true “Olympics of development”, bringing together participants from all continents and many walks of life, from heads of state to representatives of the world’s poor, “under one big tent of humanity”. As such, the Conference is a “golden opportunity” he said. “Hopes and expectations raised here must be fulfilled”, and there is a need "to continue to work with determination and dedication for justice and fairness, for decent opportunities, for a brighter future for all peoples -- indeed, for inclusive and sustainable growth and development”, Mr. Kobsak concluded.
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