Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani outlined the critical challenges hampering progress on Sustainable Development Goals, including the illegal occupation of Palestine, at the pivotal 2023 SDG Summit.
Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani emphasised the need to resolve the Palestinian issue as part of a broader strategy to achieve global development objectives.
“We must give priority to the implementation of effective procedures and measures as per the international law to remove the difficulties, hindering the right of self-determination for those living under foreign occupation, including the Palestinian people,” said Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani.
This came during his landmark inaugural speech at the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, held between 18-29 September on the margins of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
With just seven years left to meet the ambitious 2030 targets, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani’s speech underlined the pressing need for immediate and coordinated action.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the dire state of climate change, indicating its correlation with sustainable development.
“Qatar has made climate change a top priority and has taken important measures to develop the relevant techniques,” he said.
Investing in youth and women
The PM also underscored the necessity of empowering the younger generation and women, saying:”Investment in the future of our youth falls to all of us. And by appreciating the opinions of youth, empowering women and girls, and involving them in decision-making, we can build more inclusive and sustainable communities,” he elaborated.
Coercive measures and international law
He also touched upon the importance of adhering to international law, particularly criticising coercive measures that hinder sustainable development in developing countries.
“It is also crucial to avoid any steps that would undermine the ability of developing countries to implement sustainable development goals, including imposing coercive measures in a manner contrary to the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law,” he cautioned.
In addition to addressing international issues, Sheikh Mohammed spoke about Qatar’s role in global development and its commitment to aligning its national policies with the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The vital role played by the state of Qatar in development worldwide, especially in education, enhances the vision of the state in human development. We are committed to supporting the implementation of the Doha program of action for the least developing countries,” he affirmed.
The PM concluded by calling for global solidarity.
“Let us remember that the pathway to build a new world that is safer, more equitable, and free is through achieving international human solidarity. Together, we can turn our commitments to action and turn the 2030 agenda into reality,” Al-Thani said.
The 2023 SDG Summit
The 2023 SDG Summit convened halfway towards the 2030 deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The summit aimed to rejuvenate global commitment to the 2030 Agenda’s transformative promise of leaving no one behind.
The current trajectory is alarming—only 12% of about 140 SDG targets are on track, with nearly half moderately or severely off track.
Challenges like climate change, gender inequality, and lack of progress in education and poverty alleviation have intensified, making the Summit a vital platform for concerted global action.