The event has brought together 4,000-5,000 participants at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has slammed the politicisation of aid delivery to Syria following the deadly 6 February twin earthquakes.
The amir’s remarks came during his opening address before world leaders at the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), being held in the Qatari capital from 5-9 March.
The amir started his speech by addressing the dire humanitarian conditions in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes, the worst to strike the region in decades.
The Qatari leader stressed the need to not “exploit” such a tragedy for political purposes amid numerous obstacles of aid delivery placed by Syria’s Bashar Al Assad regime.
“I stress the necessity of giving a helping hand without hesitation to the brotherly Syrian people. As I wonder at the delay in the arrival of aid to these people, I stress that exploiting a human tragedy for political purposes is unacceptable,” Sheikh Tamim said.
The Gulf state’s leader reiterated the need for international solidarity in combating crises worldwide.
During his address, the amir also announced a $60 million contribution to the implementation of the Doha Program of Action activities for the least developed countries.
Held every 10 years, the UN event comes following numerous challenges affecting least developed countries, at the top of which is the Covid-19 outbreak.
The amir also took aim at the divided approach in addressing humanitarian situations globally, noting that there is “a structural issue” in doing so.
“There is no doubt that it is basically a structural issue related to the absence of justice in the correlation between the advanced industrial centers and the peripheries of our world, but it is also a matter of rational economic development policies in the least developed countries,” the Qatari leader said.
The amir also tapped into food challenges, climate change, energy and debt crisis, saying developed countries have the “moral obligation” in seeking solutions to them.
“There is a moral obligation incumbent upon the rich and developed countries to contribute more to assist the least developed countries to overcome the global challenges we are now dealing with,” the amir noted.
Commenting on the food security crisis, the amir stressed the need for long-term solutions for the issue.
“The food security crisis cannot be solved only by providing emergency humanitarian aid or temporary remedies, but also it is necessary to assist the countries to achieve their food security,” the Qatari leader said.
With the debt crisis being a key issue for officials to address at the LDC5, the amir called for the need to direct attention to its impact on least developed countries.
The amir said the debt crisis has “crippled the course of growth and development in these countries”, praising global initiatives placed to tackle it.
“Debt repayment exacerbates poverty and prevents development projects’ implementation,” the amir added.
Sheikh Tamim also highlighted Qatar’s efforts and strategic partnerships with the UN and the international community.
“I urge the development partners to follow the example of Qatar and take the initiative to support the implementation of the Doha Program of Action as part of our humanitarian and development duty towards the peoples of the least developed countries,” he said.
The amir concluded his speech by noting Qatar’s success in organising “the most successful World Cup” last year.
“The city that has recently witnessed the most successful World Cup tournament ever, wishing this conference to realise its desired goals and achieve the aspirations of the peoples of these countries,” he said.