The 16th Doha Forum (21-23 May, 2016) has wrapped up with speakers from around the world touching on issues ranging from global and regional security to conflict resolution and climate change.
The conference, organised by Qatar’s foreign ministry, was attended by heads of state from South Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritius, and Niger, along with Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general and the president of SIOI Franco Frattini.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister, delivered the country’s statement stressing the need to support human rights and bolster security for the people of the Middle East region – and around the world.
President Frattini attended the Session on “Global Security: current reality and challenges”, moderated by Joseph Mifsud (Director, London Academy of Diplomacy, UK), and with the participation of Borge Brende ( MoFA of Norway), Dominique de Villepin (former PM of France), Miguel Angel Moratinos (former MoFA of Spain), Rachida Dati (former Justice Minister of France), Mohieddine Animour (former Minister of Information, Algeria), Ramona Manescu (head of the Qatar-EU friendship group at the European parliament), Heitor Barras Romana (University of Lisbon), and Jassim Taqui (director of Al-Bab Institute for Strategic Studies, Pakistan).
Here follow some bullet points of Franco Frattini’s remarks:
The role of leaders – The Egyptian aircraft, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Baghdad. Leaders continue to address and deal with global threats depending on the circumstances of a given moment. Especially in EU, they care about migrants and refugees, but at the same time they stress the risk of terrorism groups’ infiltrations. Let’s think to the Aleppo Hospital bombings: leaders were obviously shocked, but the daily tragedy of millions of Syrians is not getting headlines. More, last November in Paris we declared war to climate change, but few weeks ago we recorded 2016 as the warmest months in the history. The sad reality is the lack of a world comprehensive vision and leadership, linking internal and external security and the global challenges.
The mankind tragedy – We are going through a kind of asymmetric world war where the mankind is the origin the responsible and also the victim of today’s global disorder. A vicious circle that has to be broken. Hundreds of millions of people live in desperate poverty and frustration, while global powers continue to spend on weapons and pollute environment, so aggravating their social condition. Are global powers talking on access to water, which in some regions can easily become reason for wars? Not enough, if not at at all.
The scenario – We see: absence of EU from international scene, U.S. disengagement from wider Middle East with little exceptions, and the BRIECS Countries’ role getting stronger. But Global governance in the U.N. system still represents a world that no longer exists, with Africa and Muslim World deeply underrepresented. More, some representatives, still think that G7 can represent a strategic meeting, while even G20 plays a scarce and purely economic-oriented role.
For these reasons: Global governance and UN system, through deep reforms should become as strong and representative as today’s chaos imposes; Multilateral cooperation cannot be just a discussion among soft powers on how to rely as the appendix of one or two security producers; and, finally, the most chaotic region today is the wider Mediterranean Middle east – Northern Africa, which is not in the transatlantic space.
What to do – The West has to strengthen partnerships where these challenges are originated, instead of leaving them to their destiny. This simply because if Mediterranean region explodes, EU as a whole will explode too. A Mediterranean comprehensive compact is badly needed, where all the global and regional players seat finally together at the same table together with financial international institutions. So, the political leadership is the precondition. As well as re-launching a new global governance is the way forward. We talk about human beings not numbers or pieces of papers, this is the key leading value that should guide us.