The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani launched the four-day International Conference on Financing for Development stressing that development should encompass all aspects of human life, not just finance, and calling for shared responsibility to achieve it.
Delivering his presidential speech yesterday, the Emir said no country was immune to the ongoing global financial crisis. “There is no special privilege or exception to anyone from this crisis; because all of us are living in the same world”, he said.
There are millions who lack the means and tools to realise their aspirations. Financing is one of the most important tools to empower them to meet their basic needs. However, finance is not the only key for human development. Comprehensive development demands a multi-dimensional approach. The ongoing global crisis is a pointer to it, the Emir said.
“Comprehensive development in its true sense means striving to upgrade individuals (and their societies) in all spheres of life, covering the economic, social, intellectual and practical aspects”, he added.
On the question of global development, the Emir was highly critical of the expectations of the world’s leading powers. “The oil producing countries have a feeling that the whole burden of development is often put on their shoulders. When it comes to the global development agenda, it seems that the world is prejudiced against the oil producing countries,” he said.
Qatar is a country that has fulfilled its obligations within the context of its responsibility and capacity. “But frankly speaking, sometimes we feel that some tend to impose upon the oil producing countries what is beyond their capabilities and sometimes reaches the point of confusion”, he said.
The developed countries have no right to direct others on what to do while exempting themselves from their due contribution to the issue of development, the Emir said.
“Some developed countries should know that development is a huge umbrella that protects us all, and in many conditions of human progress it is more helpful in peace keeping than just stockpiling weapons.”
The UN meet began with the world body reaffirming its solidarity with the government and people of India in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for observance of silence to protest the attacks. “No cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians, and the perpetrators must be brought swiftly to justice”, Ban said.
More than 40 heads of state and government are attending the meeting.
The four-day event will seek ways to limit the impact of the financial crisis on developing nations.
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