His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has affirmed that 2022 edition of the World Cup in Qatar will be a special one.
“This edition of the World Cup will be a special one. We believe that sport is a tool for positive change, promotes tolerance and respect, empowers youth, and inspires unity. We stand by that belief, and I hope you will join us to discover the beautiful game, as it is played in our county,” HH the Amir said during the opening session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) being held in Davos under the theme “History at a Turning Point” on Monday.
HH the Amir said, “For the first time in the Middle East, Qatar will be hosting the FIFA World Cup later this year. We are working hard, so this major sport event can allow our entire region the chance to host the world. For decades now, the Middle East has suffered from discrimination, and I have found out that such discrimination, is largely based on people not knowing us, and in some cases, refusing to get to know us.”
“Even today, there are still people who cannot accept the idea, that an Arab Muslim country would host a tournament like the World Cup. These individuals, including many in positions of influence, have launched attacks, at a pace never seen before, when a mega-sporting event was hosted by other countries on different continents, despite the fact that each of those countries has its own particular problems and challenges. Qatar is just like your own country – not perfect, constantly trying to improve, and full of hope for a brighter future,” HH the Amir pointed out.
“We are so proud of the development, reform, and progress we have made, and we are grateful for the spotlight that the World Cup provided, which inspired us, to make these changes at a lightening-speed.”
HH the Amir said the current session of the World Economic Forum is of exceptional importance, for it is happening in the midst of economic challenges and geopolitical turmoil.
“Before we can hope for economic prosperity, we must first examine, repair, and enforce our framework for peace. And we need to send, a re-assuring message to people around the world: Only through unity we can overcome the conflict that divides us,” HH the Amir said, adding that “I can tell you that after years of peace-facilitation, through mediation, that we can never give up hope. We should never give up, trying to bring parties together. As long as we believe, our efforts, could save, even a single life, our attempts to mediate will be worth it. Our united efforts need to be based on the principles already agreed-on: in the Charter of the United Nations, international law, and respecting each others sovereignty.”
HH the Amir said, “In recent decades, we have witnessed the marginalization of the role of the United Nations, the transgression of the rule of law in international relations, and the breakdown of basic respect for one another’s independence. Solving dispute through aggression is on the rise, and it has reached one of its worst peaks, in the war here in Europe. We are in touch with all parties concerned in the Ukrainian crisis, and I am ready to contribute to every international and regional effort, to find an immediate, peaceful solution to the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.”
HH the Amir reiterated that Qatar firmly rejects the aggression on the sovereignty of states, and any act that would constitute a violation of international law.
“We stand in solidarity with the millions of innocent refugees who are victims of this European war, and with the victims, of all the other wars taking place, right now. Victims of every race, nationality, and religion. I want us to help all of them,” HH the Amir said.
“As we rightly apply laser-focus to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, I hope we can equally give as much attention and effort to resolving, all those forgotten or ignored conflicts. They all deserve peace, security, and dignity.”
HH the Amir pointed out that the most glaring example is in Palestine, which has been an open wound, since the establishment of the United Nations. Those families have been occupied for decades, with no relief in sight. The escalation, in illegal settlement aggression, has been relentless, and the same goes for the continual attacks against the Palestinian people. I keep praying that the world wakes up, to the injustice, and violence, and finally acts.
HH the Amir said, “Shireen Abu Akleh, a Christian, Palestinian-American journalist, was killed 2-weeks ago in Palestine, and then robbed, of a dignified-burial. Shireen was covering the suffering of the Palestinian people for decades, and our hearts, are broken.”
“Her death was just as horrific as the seven journalists killed in Ukraine since March of this year, …and the 18 other journalists killed in Palestine since 2000, and the many other journalists killed in the line of duty in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen”
HH the Amir said, “In the 21st Century, we should not tolerate these aggressions. And we should not accept a world, where governments have double standards about the value of people, based on their religion, region, or race. We consider the value, of each European life, to be just as precious, as someone from our region.”
HH the Amir continued, “As a small state, maintaining regional and international peace and security constitutes a special priority for Qatar. We work tirelessly to help manage, solve, and mitigate conflicts, including our ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.”
HH the Amir added, “We were honoured to be able to help with the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan. And it was only possible, thanks to the years spent investing in peace-keeping, expert mediation, state-of-the-art military and special forces, search-and-rescue teams, ranked, as some of the best in the world, and the countless hours of sweat and tears, from so many. All those years of investment, training, and building strategic partnerships, paid off. …At a time, when we were needed to step-in, and rescue people. I am so grateful for all your sacrifices.”
HH the Amir said, “I also consider protecting the environment to be a responsibility for all of us. Qatar has placed sustainability at the front and center and focused our resources to develop emission-reduction technologies, and cleaner energy. We intend to play an active role in encouraging, regional and international policy-development, surrounding both energy, and the environment. We have all seen over the past months, what happens, when we don’t work together. At this critical moment in time, we must wisely balance the need to take care of the environment, and simultaneously, provide energy security for the world.”
“This will take coordination and intense collaboration, between all governments, companies, stakeholders, and every one of us. Because every single one of us needs energy, and right now, almost one billion people are still without a reliable energy source.”
HH the Amir pointed out, “As one of the largest producers of liquified natural gas in the world, Qatar invested in LNG expansion-efforts for years, understanding that LNG is a critical base-load energy-source, needed during the transition, which is already taking place. Increased LNG-production can provide the world, with a cleaner, safer, more reliable, and flexible energy. Achieving global energy-security will lead to market stability, and reduce the economic effects of the current energy crisis.