The History of International Cooperation

Since its independence in 1971, the state of Qatar has given a great attention to the international cooperation, whereas the state of Qatar has joined international and regional organizations such as: the United Nations, the Arab League, the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council, the Islamic Cooperation Organization and other organizations.

This keenness on enhancing the international cooperation is visible and clear in Qatar’s national vision of 2030 which highlights the following in its second pillar related to social development:

  • Enhance the regional role of Qatar on the economic, political, and cultural levels especially within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arab League, and the Islamic Cooperation Organization.
  • Intensify and enhance cultural exchange with the Arab nations in particular and other nations in general.
  • Sponsor and support the civilization dialogue, interfaith, and co-existence between various cultures.
  • Contribute to the achievement of international security and peace via political initiatives and developmental and human aid.

Progress made by Qatar in terms of international cooperation along four decades has been clear in the development of its bilateral 

relations with countries worldwide. In fact, Qatar maintains diplomatic relations with all countries in the four continents.

At present, it has 108 diplomatic missions deployed all over Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania.

Qatar’s focus has not been limited to bilateral cooperation on the governmental level; it rather extends to include multilateral cooperation as can be seen from its membership in several international, Arab, and regional organizations and bodies counting for 328 operating in the political, economic, social, cultural, and scientific domains. Along the past four decades, the State has ratified and joined the membership of several multipurpose agreements in the commercial, legal, ecological, political, media, and other spheres.

To institutionalize the international cooperation, a ministerial position had been created for international cooperation in 2008 but was canceled in 2011 as a result of a restructuring process of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A post was created under the title: “Assistant Minister for International Cooperation Affairs” to supervise this sector at the Ministry. Several other departments and functions related to international cooperation and international relations were created in the majority of ministries and governmental organs.

Priorities of Qatar in the Field of International Cooperation

The human and developmental aid provided by Qatar goes beyond the regional Arab and Islamic neighboring borders and extends to remote and several geographic areas all over the world such as Haiti, Japan, Niger, and Comoros. Qatar continues to provide such aid while expressing many and several pledges to handle several human crises and disasters all over the world. It provided prompt human aid on several catastrophic occasions such as Tsunami in Indonesia, Pakistan earthquake, China and Haiti earthquakes. Qatar also assisted victims of floods in Pakistan and many other traumatized groups all over the world.

Countries benefiting from the Qatari assistance during the short past period counted for more than 100 countries in the world six continents. Special focus was directed to the least developed and low income countries in addition to countries in natural disasters and conflicts. When providing such assistance, Qatar is considerate with having the least developed countries achieve the millennium development goals by 2015. It is worth mentioning that the nature and type of assistance is not limited to certain domains. It is of a plethora nature including prompt relief in cases of emergency, reconstruction programs, sustainable development projects such as education and health, food security issues due to climate change, and effort mobilization to provide practical, informed, and substantial solutions.

The State of Qatar has been always keen on delivering the aid packages to the traumatized and victimized groups through bilateral and multilateral exchanges in compliance with the best practices and a high level of professionalism and specialty.

Achievements in the International Cooperation Domain

Qatar is distinguished in terms of its advanced relations with the international community. Along the past forty years, it has been able to achieve and deliver a lot to become a proactive player in accomplishing the international peace and security let alone its visible and leading role in achieving international development by virtue of its international partnership in such development.

The major deliverables of the State of Qatar in terms of the international cooperation can be summarized as follows:

I.Contribution to settlement of armed conflicts and back up of international security and peace. In this respect, the following major deliverables can be highlighted:

  • Participation in the peacekeeping forces assigned by the United Nations in several regions worldwide including Lebanon, Eretria, Bosnia…etc.
  • Settlement of conflicts and problems erupting in some Arab countries such as those of Darfur, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine…etc. 
Endorsement of the Hope 4 Initiative to enhance the effectiveness and use of the military and civil defense assets to face natural disasters. An international center was created in Doha to handle such situations in the Middle East, and South-west Asia regions with the aim of coordinating efforts and the optimal use of military and civil assets in relief efforts.

II. Effective contribution to realizing the international partnership for development and enhancement of the international developmental aid in relation with assisting the developing countries to achieve the millennium developmental goals. Following are the milestones achieved by Qatar in this respect:

  • Provision of developmental aid to more than 100 countries worldwide; most of these were directed to the sectors of health, education, water, and sanitary systems. Other human aid packages are provided in force majeure situations such as natural disasters and armed conflicts.

  • Creation of Silatech institution with a USD100 million capital to help combat unemployment among the youth all over the world by creating job opportunities for them. Special focus is directed to women and the less franchised groups. The Institution has already delivered several initiatives and projects in some Arab countries such as Yemen, Morocco, and Syria to help combat unemployment which is widely spread among the Arab youth. 
  • Creation of the “Education Above All” organization in 2008 with the aim of protecting and supporting the right to education in areas under the threat of crises, conflicts and wars. The Organization has already delivered several projects in Palestine, Iraq and other countries. 

III. Signing several bilateral agreements with the world countries to help promote and protect investments as well as avoiding tax overlap and enhance bilateral trade, economic, cultural, political, scientific and developmental relations in addition to technological cooperation and experience exchange

IV. Hosting several international conferences and forums concerned with trade, development, emerging democracies, and development finance in cooperation with the United Nations and other international organizations and bodies. Following are the major events in this respect:

  • WTO Ministerial Meeting in 2001
  • The 77G and China Summit in 2005
  • The Sixth International Conference of Emerging or Restored Democracies in 2006
  • The International Follow up Conference on Financing for Development by Presenting the Implementation of Monterrey Opinion Consensus 2008
  • The Fourth UN Forum of Alliance of Civilizations 2011
  • The Thirteenth Conference of UNCTAD (UN Conference for Trade and Development) 2012.