The Doha Declaration issued by the 16th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), which concluded in Doha Wednesday, welcomed the proposal submitted by the State of Qatar to host the Third Summit of Asia Cooperation Dialogue in 2020, and its initiatives to teach the Arabic language to non-Arabic speakers in the ACD Member States.
The Doha Declaration also praised Qatar's hosting of the 16th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue, which was held over two days under the theme "Partners in Progress".
The meeting noted that communication and cooperation with other countries as well as international organizations will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing the status of the Asian countries and enable them to benefit from the global experience in various fields so that the ACD member countries can make the most of these experiences.
The Declaration said that the Asian region has achieved stability over the last few years, and Asia is on the way to becoming a major driving force for global economic growth and a key partner in achieving global partnership in development for adopting the policies of good-neighborliness, friendship, dialogue, cooperation and common development.
The Declaration noted the importance of balance and its contribution to economic sustainability and overall development in promoting dialogue, mutual respect, understanding and harmony.
It stressed the importance of regional cooperation as a key mechanism for accelerating the achievement of the three pillars of sustainable development, which include social and economic development and environmental protection, as well as the stability of the Asian region with its vast and varied natural and human resources, rich and historical heritage and economic and social potential.
The meeting referred to the six agreed common pillars of ACD cooperation areas among the member states, stressing the commitment of countries to translate the ACD vision into concrete actions through the six agreed pillars. The meeting welcomed the report submitted by all major drivers and other members on the planned activities and their expected results.
The meeting also called for strengthening regional cooperation, including all programs and initiatives aimed at facilitating and expanding regional trade, transit, increasing investment and promoting infrastructure development.
The participating countries underlined keenness on continuing dialogue to promote cooperation in Asia, in the light of the maintenance of peace, prosperity, solidarity, mutual respect and tolerance, and the support of dialogue among the Member States in order to reach understandings and achieve aspirations.
The Declaration also emphasized the important and constructive role of the ACD for Asia to create synergies and encourage the Secretary-General to promote dialogue among other subregional organizations.
It stressed the commitment to the ACD and its original guidelines as a top-down forum, constantly evolving so that its leaders and ministers could meet informally to share ideas, insights and experiences on cooperation among the Asian countries, in the light of mutual respect among members.
The participants also expressed their commitment to the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organization, which is the engine of economic growth aimed at providing employment and reducing poverty in the developing world.
The Declaration reaffirmed the need to strengthen unity, expand cultural exchanges and deepen practical cooperation to promote sustainable development and prosperity and contribute further to peace, stability and development in the world.
The countries participating in the meeting expressed strong rejection of all forms of racial and religious racism, discrimination, extremism and terrorism, stressing the importance of communication in taking the necessary measures to combat terrorism and extremism through regional and international cooperation to take the necessary measures to meet these challenges.
The Declaration called upon all Member States to work together to prevent and suppress terrorist acts and to take effective steps to promote tolerance, mutual respect and understanding, in particular through education, media and civil society, to protect all individuals and communities from hatred and violence through the effective implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in order to maintain international peace and security.
The Declaration welcomed the adoption of the Code of Conduct for the Achievement of a Terrorism Free World in the General Debate held on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on 28 September 2018 and is open to voluntary accession. The Declaration stressed the importance of strengthening cybersecurity, combating organized crime and human trafficking, and promoting and protecting human rights.
Countries participating in the meeting expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the ACD to reach cooperation, harmony and hoped complementarity to complete what was achieved through the appeal to build on these achievements and work to redouble efforts to consolidate relations among Member States and open new horizons, to move towards a higher level of partnerships over the coming years, which will benefit the countries and peoples of the Asian continent.
The ACD countries emphasized the important role of small and medium enterprises as the engine for generating growth and prosperity throughout Asia in a sustainable way, and welcomed Qatar's initiative to host the ACD Business Forum to create a private sector business platform to promote small and medium enterprises across Asia.
Participating countries recognized that strengthening partnerships and developing innovative sources of finance could play a role in complementing financing for sustainable development.
In this context, the Meeting noted that the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) member States needed substantial mobilization of resources from a variety of sources and effective use of funding in their efforts to promote sustainable development.
The Doha Declaration referred to the importance of promoting free trade and investment between Asian countries and removing the obstacles to this objective, as well as the need to work together to develop strong mechanisms for the promotion and protection of mutual investments within ACD, stressing the importance of continuing close cooperation on these issues in order to promote Asian economic integration and promote Asian common investment.
The Declaration stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation to address the effects of climate change and natural disasters and stressed that all steps and actions should be taken to address the water and food shortage in order to remove obstacles to achieving food security and self-sufficiency and support research and development activities in the areas of green energy and agricultural technology to mitigate price volatility in food markets.
The ACD countries expressed its keenness to support cooperation in the field of culture and tourism among member countries, in view of the beauty of the Asian continent, its ancient history and cultural diversity, as it is the cradle of human civilization, as well as its keenness to encourage exchanges and cultural dialogues because of their positive impact in promoting cultural integration.
The Declaration also stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in the health sector and the importance of future cooperation in the sport sector.
The Asian countries expressed their appreciation to HH the Amir of Kuwait for his initiative to propose the establishment of the ACD Development Fund as an innovative financing mechanism to meet the need to finance projects under the umbrella of promoting global convergence and sustainable development.
The Declaration confirmed its support for the establishment of a comprehensive Asian society by 2030 "and decided to consider the establishment of a high-level working group to examine ways and means of its implementation.
The Declaration also expressed its appreciation to the State of Kuwait for its continued support to the ACD secretariat as described in the letter of intent and expressed its appreciation to the Secretary-General and the Secretariat for continuing their duties.
The participating countries noted the efforts made by the Kingdom of Thailand to facilitate the functioning of the Secretariat, and welcomed its proposal to convene a high-level open meeting to define the functions of the Secretariat, including the Secretary-General's selection mechanism in July 2019.
ACD countries expressed appreciation to Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development for hosting an ACD workshop in March 2019 and the State of Qatar's initiative to teach Arabic to non-Arabic speakers for Member States, calling on Member States to provide similar initiatives, believing that language education is a means of bridging cultural gaps between peoples.
The Declaration praised the University of Tokyo for agreeing to host the next round table of the Asia High-level Dialogue in 2019.
The Declaration referred to the decision taken at Bangkok Summit for the establishment of the ACD communication network university, taking into account the efforts to establish the ACD Business Program with six universities, namely the University of Asia Online, Siam University, Daffodil International University in Bangladesh, Panjab University, University of Surabaya and Our Lady of Fatima University. Taking into account the establishment of a university center for communication network of Asian dialogue at the Siam University in Thailand to facilitate academic cooperation between the ACD universities.
The Declaration stressed the importance of promoting the effective practice and participation of all Governments, the educational sector, the private sector and other stakeholders involved in implementing sustainable development and taking appropriate and effective measures to enhance coordination to integrate sustainable development into public and private investment, decision-making and planning for humanitarian and development work.
The Declaration underscored the need to strengthen coordination of cooperation and partnership between ACD and other regional organizations or the Dialogue Forum in Asia.
The participating countries welcomed the proposal by the Kingdom of Bahrain to host the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) meeting with the Secretaries-General of regional organizations / forums in Asia as the first phase of cooperation between ACD and potential development partners "with the possibility of considering the report of the meeting mentioned by our ministers well in advance of its implementation".
The Declaration stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation in the areas of energy and security, access to energy, affordability and sustainability for the benefit of consumers and producers alike, in particular through the ACD Energy Action Plan, enhancing integration and energy security in Asia, and encouraging all Member States to work together in line with this plan.
The Member States expressed their appreciation to the Republic of Turkey for hosting the next version of the 17th Ministerial Meeting, and welcomed the offer by the Republic of Bangladesh to host the third meeting of the Ministers of Tourism in Dhaka in December 2019.
They also welcomed the offer of the Republic of Indonesia to host the Ministerial Meeting on Renewable Energy in the second half of 2019, and the hosting of the High Level Task Force on Financial and Banking Cooperation by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The meeting welcomed the successful formation of a joint working group by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the announcement of its first meeting in the second half of 2019, the offer by the People's Republic of China to host a symposium on the mechanism for implementation of the sixth objective of the United Nations sustainable development goals for ACD countries, and to follow-up progress and the joint research on the low-carbon road and electricity belt initiative for the Asian countries in 2019.
The Meeting urged Member States, in particular, the main drivers and other Members to host activities to reflect the results of concrete cooperation, stressing that the successful integration of ACD member countries would contribute to the achievement of the UN's seventh sustainable development goal by 2030 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).
It noted the importance of creating conditions to secure the necessary supply of energy resources to national economies, taking into account the strengthening of transport connectivity in the Asian countries, as well as their active participation in the construction of Euro-Asian transport and logistics engineering, on the basis of the "North-South" and "East-West" international transport corridors.
The meeting congratulated the Kingdom of Cambodia on the success of the Second Meeting of Tourism Minister in Siem Reap from June 10 to 16, 2017, "to strengthen our tourism cooperation in the Asian Cooperation Dialogue", and welcomed the activities, meetings, workshops and forums hosted by a number of member states within the Asian Cooperation Dialogue.
The meeting reaffirmed the decision to recognize June 18 as the day of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue, and "We encourage the Secretary-General, with the contribution of Member States, to observe the Day in order to develop friendship and harmony among our peoples."
The Doha Declaration welcomed Palestine's request to join the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs