The Emir was particularly interested in what research and analysis could be undertaken by UNCTAD to support the change taking place in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, meets with UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
Noting that the President of Tunisia will be attending UNCTAD XIII
, the Emir outlined some of the endowments from Qatar already in place on the ground in Tunisia to assist with rehabilitation and said a large assistance fund has already been earmarked.
The Emir stressed that internal unity, social cohesion and enlightened political leadership were necessary if such outside assistance were to be properly disbursed and effectively used in the countries emerging from change.
The UNCTAD Secretary-General informed the Emir that at the request of the Government of Tunisia, UNCTAD will be working with Tunisian authorities in drawing up sectoral policies in such areas as investment, services, information technology, innovation and tourism with the aim of enhancing productive capacities, skills training, and jobs creation. It was noted that President Marzouki of Tunisia will also be attending the World Investment Forum
which is being held in conjunction with UNCTAD XIII and will be making a special presentation to international investors and business corporations.
In welcoming UNCTAD XIII to Qatar, the Emir stressed that Qatar looks forward to a long association and will actively assume its responsibilities as president of the conference for the next four years. He emphasized that youth, women, and education need to be given special attention in the process of development. He was confident that the Sheikha of Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, will be actively involved in guiding the special Women in Development event
at UNCTAD XIII.
On the same day, the UNCTAD Secretary-General also called on His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar to brief him on preparations for the conference. Secretary-General Supachai once again thanked the Government and people of Qatar for generously hosting UNCTAD XIII in Doha.
The Prime Minister hoped that any differences in the wordings of the outcome document for Doha can soon be resolved and consensus achieved so that not only will delegates be able to enjoy the full hospitality of Doha when they come but that some time can also be spent in discussion and dialogue with them on other wider concerns. These are exhausting times for Qatar, the Prime Minister said, due to the many sensitive developments taking place in the region. He looked forward to the conference providing a hopeful and positive message, particularly on trade and developmental prospects for the region.
The Prime Minister confirmed that he will be inaugurating the third World Investment Forum on 20 April 2012 prior to the official opening of UNCTAD XIII.
Present at the meetings was His Excellency Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage and Chairman of the Qatar National Preparatory Committee for UNCTAD XIII.