At the same time, we believe that the economic openness, encouragement of the private sector and investments, updating the educational systems as well as strengthening the bonds of cultural and civilization exchange and interaction between peoples and nations, constitute, on their part, necessary foundations for the realization of the objectives of the development, modernization and progress we aspire. Political democracy and economic and social democracy are, in our view, inseparable twins. Indeed, they are the indispensable means for the process of development and prosperity we seek, and work for…
The problems our region is suffering from are not limited to political and security aspects; but there are other challenges and difficulties, which we have to tackle in the economic, social and environmental fields.
These are of no less significance and impact than regional conflicts in terms of their negative repercussions. Indeed, poverty, unemployment, social and cultural backwardness, decline of standards of education and vocational training, mismanagement, poor economic performance, lack and disparity of job opportunities, all of which form sources of threat that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, they represent major obstacles which impede the attainment of progress and development. It is no longer possible to put aside these difficult economic and social conditions without according due attention to them, but it has rather become urgent and imperative to find out plans and programs that guarantee reaching effective and quick solutions to them….).
His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, the First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister addressed the forum. H.E said (The third in the series of conferences organized by Qatar on democracy and free trade is rather special. It was held at a determining moment and at an exciting stage in the history of the Arab region, I would not be exaggerating if I were to say in the history of the world system: the events of the Iraqi war had reached their peak and all were waiting to see how things would go. When the conference was convened under the aegis of his Highness Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the land, in the presence of such a great group of intellectuals and politicians from different countries and of different orientations, I was certain it would be indeed a very special conference. Looking at this elite gathering, I expected the debate would be at the highest level and in keeping with the importance of the moment and the seriousness of its events. This also makes me more convinced than ever of the importance for Qatar's political and economic orientations to continue towards democracy and free trade, so that it can play its role at both regional and global levels).
Throughout its sessions, the Conference discussed the two issues of democracy and free trade as a general starting point from which stemmed several closely related topics. The angle from which democracy was approached was widened so as to include religion, education, institutions, human rights and information. As for the issue of free trade, it encompassed open markets, sustainable development and economic institutions. All the debates took into consideration the regional and international conditions,
concentrating first and foremost on the present and future concerns of the Arab region, particularly the events in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the stand against terrorism in the light of the ongoing changes in the international order and the aims of world strategies in the region. The preparatory working paper for the Conference greatly contributed to drawing the main lines of approach to the issues and problems to be discussed.
The presentations of the main speakers during the sessions were of a high level in terms of the information, ideas and views on the subjects.
The discussions of the participants played a positive role in enriching the dialogue with their depth and courage.
His Highness Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar inaugurated the conference. H.H. said addressing the forum: (The convening of this conference under the critical circumstances, through which our region is passing, is clear evidence of the importance we attach to the vital issues that will be discussed in its sessions.