The 2023 Global Security Forum will revolve around the central theme of Reshaping the Global Order.
The fifth edition of the Global Security Forum has kicked off in Doha, Qatar, with an opening speech from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Naureen C Fink, Executive Director of The Soufan Center, welcomed Sheikh Mohammed to the stage as the official inaugurated the event discussing Qatar’s role in mediation and conflict resolution in resolving pressing global issues over the last decade.
The country’s prime minister noted that Doha’s hosting of the conference “comes as a result of the great interest we attach to global dialogue and understanding, especially with regards to national, regional and global security.”
Sheikh Mohammed further went on to address various topics related to Qatar, focusing primarily on Qatar’s domestic and foreign policies, wherein he stated: “Qatar’s domestic policy is based on focusing on national and human development internally, whilst the foreign policy is based on balancing interests and principles, and mediation in resolving disputes through peaceful means.”
The Gulf state has expended mediation efforts over the last years, aiming to defuse crises and settle disputes between various actors most notably in Darfur, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad and Ghana.
The prime minister further added that Qatar’s foreign policy is based on the principle of cooperation and solidarity in the face of severe challenges.
“The promotion of international cooperation is an integral part of the national development process. This approach was evident in our response to mitigate the effects of the earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria recently, with the Qatar Fund for Development contributing 112.7 million Qatari Riyals,” he said.
Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, also offered insight into his country’s experiences in post-conflict reconciliation and development. The official stated that considerable progress has been made in the past decade, with much more being expected to be done.
During an interview with Steve Clemons, Founding Editor-at-Large at Semafor, Rwanda’s President proposed a potential path forward for the release of the activist Paul Rusesabagina, who gained global recognition through his portrayal in the Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda”.
A few months prior, at the Semafor Africa Summit in Washington DC, Kagame strongly refuted accusations of “bullying” by US authorities and other human rights organisations who expressed concerns about Rusesabagina’s 25-year prison sentence on eight terrorism charges linked to an organisation that opposes Kagame’s rule.
He reiterated the same points in the opening of the Global Security Forum, noting that his country will not be bullied or pressured by other countries into doing something that could reflect negatively on the country’s progress.
“We’re not people who want to get stuck in one place and not make any movement forward. Even in our history, when we wanted to move on and make progress, we came to the point where we forgave the unforgivable,” said Kagame.
“There is work going on” to resolve the issue with Rusesabagina, he added during his speech on Monday.
“There is a discussion looking at all possible ways of resolving that issue without compromising the most fundamental aspects of that case and I think there’s always going to be a way forward,” said Kagame.
This year, the forum is held under the theme of ‘Reshaping the Global Order: Conflict, Crises, and Co-operation and features heads of government, ministerial leaders, policymakers and security agency chefs from across the US, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India and the East Asia— all of whom are gathered under one roof to address pressing issues facing global security today.
Several panels and discussions will take place from March 13-15 at Sheraton Grand Hotel.
Since its inception in 2018, the Global Security Forum (GSF) has been an annual international meeting that The Soufan Center hosts.
Over the years, the GSF has brought together a diverse international network of participants from government, law enforcement, academia, media, and the private sector to discuss complex global security challenges. This exclusive event provides an unparalleled platform for international stakeholders to come together and address the most pressing security challenges facing the global community.
This year’s conference will delve into international approaches to conflict, crises, and cooperation, with discussions focusing on various topics including the global energy crisis and strategies for strengthening sustainable economies.
For those unable to attend in person, the forum will offer virtual participation through the f0rum’s official website.