DR. KHALID BIN MOHAMMED AL ATTIYAH, QATARI DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF STATE FOR DEFENSE AFFAIRS
The year 2022 was a particularly special one for the State of Qatar, as we geared up to host World Cup 2022. I echo His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad in saying that we are extremely proud of the developments made by the State of Qatar and are thankful for the spotlight provided by the World Cup that has inspired and expedited our country’s developments in many areas, chiefly in infrastructure and policy. Sports has an extraordinary effect on people; it is able to unite and excite a diversity of people. Sports in its best form exemplifies integrity and teamwork, where your best efforts are rewarded, and your limitations are supplemented by your teammates. In that sense, sports can be a true source of inspiration for global cooperation.
As we look at new forums of security cooperation, we must seek forums that unite countries through collective strength-building aimed at bettering and advancing security. It is only through a collective approach that true security is achievable. The game of one-upmanship has undoubtedly expedited innovation in the security sector but also has left many either as bystanders to innovation or isolated in their limitations.
The State of Qatar is fortunate with its abundance of resources, resilience of its people and vision of its leadership. Much of my country’s resources have been directed toward advancing our people through education, research and development, and world-class health care. In the area of security, Qatar focuses on building a well-trained and equipped force ready to protect our borders with a 360-degree focus on security. This is coupled with advancing traditional forms of security cooperation with allies and partners in intelligence-sharing, interoperability, peacekeeping initiatives, training and education.
In examining new forms of security cooperation, I took a step back to observe our current realities and extract some lessons learned from past and current world events.
We know that isolation, as demonstrated throughout history, further emboldens and reaffirms sentiments of wrongdoing rather than extinguishing the flames of aggression. After transgressions are dealt with firmly, those who find themselves defeated are assimilated back into the structures of global diplomacy, peace is built, and social and economic prosperity is ushered in.
Safeguarding the rights of states within collective frameworks, rather than maneuvering around the letter of the law to ostracize, builds the integrity of these institutions and compels members to uphold its structures.
Today, we often discuss global pivots or rebalances.
I propose our mission be expanding and fortifying global platforms that are designed to lead global economic, political and social reforms, and advancements. By consolidating and expanding membership in these members-only clubs, an inclusive and sustainable model for growth and cooperation can finally be met.
An equitable system of cooperation first must be established if there is any hope of exploring new and innovative forms to sustainable global security and other categorical forms of cooperation.
I am often asked about Qatar’s balancing game. How are we able to maintain relations, whether defense, political or commerce, with multinational partners with different interests? I want to stress that Qatar simply does not play games. We know who we are, our shortcomings and all; we know what we stand for and are following our own distinctive road map in the form of Qatar’s National Vision 2030. Our character is known to all. When you deal with the state of Qatar, you know exactly who you’re dealing with: an honest and reliable partner that will never hesitate to tell you the truth.
Qatar’s honest efforts are evident in many ongoing global issues such as the refugee crisis of Afghanistan and the rebuilding efforts in Lebanon. We do not give up in times of difficulty or punish individuals for their fickleness by withholding our best efforts from their people. Some might attempt to paint any efforts exerted by the State of Qatar as self-serving. To that I say, our global actions are led by our desire to serve the interests of global cohesion and peace. We understand fully that aggressions serve a few, but peace and its byproduct, economic prosperity, serve us all.
Historical security cooperation is often short-sighted, reactive and ultimately destructive. For security to be sustainable and resilient, it must be inclusive. Just like football, the shortcomings of one player must be covered by his teammates if there is any hope for success.