Panel members reflected on the theme of this year’s Doha Forum, which was “building shared futures”.
Doha Forum came to a close on Monday following two days packed with high-profile guests and policymakers tackling the most pressing issues faced globally today.
Speakers at ‘Closing Panel’ included Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Bronwen Maddox, Chatham House’s Director and CEO, Mabel Lu Miao, Co-founder and Secretary General of Center for China and Globalization. and Omar Suleiman, Founder and President of the Yaqeen Institute.
The pursuit of peace, across regions, was a recurring theme throughout the penultimate panel session.
“China would like to have a peaceful rise,” said Miao. However, for panel host Ravi Agrawal, Foreign Policy Magazine’s editor-in-chief, China’s rise hasn’t been “peaceful”.
“There are a lot of countries that will say it hasn’t been too peaceful, and that it’s been coercive,” he said to Miao. “There are many neighbours of China that will despite the peaceful rise thesis,” he added.
China’s repression of ethnic Uighurs under the explanation of necessary counter-terror policy was the topic of an August 2023 Human Rights Watch article, highlighting the Muslim ethnic minority’s plight.
Their report detailed China’s systematic targeting of Uighurs, and Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. This included, “mass arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearances, mass surveillance, cultural and religious persecution, separation of families, forced labour,” among other atrocities.
Violations to the rights of Palestinians amid Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip were also addressed by the panel.
Speaking about America’s decision to veto and ceasefire resolution in Gaza, Palestinian American Suleiman said that “the image of the United States vetoing the ceasefire will forever go down as a moment in history in which we failed every single moral claim that we have made about where we stand in the world.”
Following the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, invoking Article 99 of the founding UN Charter on December 6 to urgently call for a ceasefire in Gaza, America vetoed the resolution and the United Kingdom abstained.
According to a December 6 UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs press release, Gaza has suffered a death toll of 21,731 people, with 8,697 being children and a further 4,410 being women.
For Moratinos, because the subject at hand is about creating a shared future, “if we want to be successful […] let’s politically recuperate one word, one concept, one action that is shared by everybody, but is not implemented, and that’s peace.”
In a December 9 Reuters report, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he was supportive of “peaceful resistance”.
“I am for negotiations based on an international peace conference and under international auspices that would lead to a solution that will be protected by world powers to establish a sovereign Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”