Doha Forum is a global platform for dialogue, bringing together leaders in policy to build innovative and action driven networks.
Established in 2000, the Doha Forum is a platform for global dialogue on critical challenges facing our world. The Doha Forum promotes the interchange of ideas, discourse, policy making, and action oriented recommendations. In a world where borders are porous, our challenges and solutions are also interlinked.
Doha Forum 2018
Advancements in every sector have reshaped the world and made it more interconnected and globalized than ever before. The butterfly effect, resulting from such unique interconnectedness, requires that we think outside the box of modern and applicable policies to deal with the growing challenges that threaten us all. We now live in a world where nation states and their domestic policies affect other nations, where seemingly unrelated foreign policy of nations affect citizens of the world. Today, states and non-state actors play an equally important role in politics and policies.
The world is living through a period of rapid changes, with potentially enormous implications globally. Great power rivalries are resurgent. Regional powers are increasingly struggling for influence in their neighborhoods and beyond. International institutions and norms are under siege. The world more interconnected than it has ever been, but is also fragmented?
This year, in its eighteenth edition, the Doha Forum will serve as a platform to discuss the “Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World” and focus on four essential themes:
- Peace and Mediation
- Economic Development
- Trends and Transitions
Shaping Policy in an Interconnected World
Different countries have had varied reactions to ongoing conflicts. Some countries have receded their international presence and started looking towards domestic concerns and some nations have created global roles for themselves. As major powers compete or look inwards, increasingly forceful regional powers jockey for geostrategic advantage. International law and customary norms have lost traction; many conflicts today see grave violations of the laws of war.
All this brings new complexity to crisis management. Indeed, warzones across the world have become a principal arena for geopolitical struggles. Most wars today are intra-state but involve outside powers – not just neighbours or major powers, as was the case in the past, but an array of others too. What does ending a war look like when those involved view it mostly through the lens of interests elsewhere?
The Doha Forum would examine what these trends mean for conflict prevention and resolution. Security; is a complex but necessary matter. We will explore traditional and non-traditional ways of security. Cybersecurity is being used by countries and non-state actors; expensive wars resource consuming cyber wars are being waged. Wars that are not tangible, have no rules and rarely have any winners. At the Doha Forum we will be discussing the cybersecurity, its future and how we work together as nations.
In terms of food security, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), more than 800 million people in today’s world are undernourished. This alarming number requires that we act fast to solve this epidemic. Food security is a growing challenge to most countries located on dryland areas. Drylands are home to nearly 2 billion people and cover 40 percent of the world’s land surface. These global challenges can only be resolved by coalitions of countries working together to provide for each other.
In the most traditional manner; defense and defense spending is always a priority for nation states; this challenge is convoluted; nations buy weapons to prevent war but also to be prepared for war; this delicate balance is tested every day. Are security coalitions still relevant? How can we work together to ensure nations are held accountable for their actions but are also able to protect themselves? This paradigm makes it so that there are nations and peoples struggling for justice while at the same time
economies of war are being stimulated. Economic sanctions are a tool for states to pressure their adversaries, but are they effective or obsolete?
The world’s shifting power dynamics indicate that we will inevitably need new policies to achieve peace and security in the international order. As evident in wars that we have witnessed the last few years, peace and mediation have become complex schemes of interests and long-term global implications. How can countries come together and build an incentive structure for long-lasting peace amongst nations? How can international law and international communities support peace and mediation?
Economic development has seen unprecedented growth. GDP of countries has increased and standards of living have improved. Countries are investing into new markets and alternative energy sources. When we talk about economic development we now need to include foreign investment funds and international coalitions as the European Union, OPEC, and new competitive
markets such as Africa.
We must not lose sight of the progress interconnectedness has brought to our world. The global crime rate, world hunger and disease related deaths are at their lowest. This is not a coincidence, world leaders have worked together to ensure a sustainable world. Leaders have enacted smart, forward-looking policies. While the improvements are great, so are the challenges. We now live in a world with changing societies and dynamics, countries are facing challenges with a seemingly eruption of ideologies from liberalism to conservatism. Interests group and ideology across nations are also more potent in a world where information or misinformation is now widespread. Does that make us interconnected or fragmented?
We must learn from the best practices of our world and scale to the next level. Education, innovation and collaboration should be at the heart of our work as we face our common challenges together. Most importantly, fair and relevant policies that guide and govern our work must be adapted and respected by all. The narrative of the modern world has proved that acting collectively is the only way we can address and solve our challenges.
The 2018 Doha Forum brings together political figures, thought leaders, governmental agencies, and civic society organizations with the aim of facilitating dialogue about how conscious policymaking can guide us to our global tomorrow. The forum addresses today’s urgent issues and ways the international community can come together to solve them. The forum also highlights the modern success models and discusses how we can expand on them and replicate them. Through active and
responsible global leadership, our possibilities are limitless.