True to its original full title, the Forum will offer a sweeping overview of issues regarding Democracy, Development and Free Trade in the Middle-East, the Arab countries and the world. More broadly, this international meeting will discuss critical political, economic, social, financial, strategic and human matters of pressing concern for a region witnessing some of the most substantial changes in its very long History.


The international guests of honor this year will include some current Heads of State and Government. The Forum will also feature other distinguished opinion leaders, eminent political thinkers, decision – makers and members of parliament, renowned businessmen, academics, media figures and international organizations. These participants will contribute to a free, learned and stimulating debate on each of the many topics on the Forum's agenda, with a focus on the Arab Spring, the global financial and economic crisis, International Cooperation, Global Economy, Development, Human Rights and Digital Media.


The 13th Doha Forum will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the State of Qatar from 20-22 May, 2013. It will be attended by more than 600 participants representing over 80 countries and organizations.

13th Doha Forum to feature heads of state and leading policy experts




Doha, 13th May 2013: The Minister's Assistant for International Cooperation Affairs and Chairman of Qatar's Permanent Committee for Organising Conferences, H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Jabr Al Thani, today announced details of speakers and themes for the upcoming Doha Forum, the 13th to be hosted by the State of Qatar.


The Doha Forum, to be held from 20th to 22nd May, will be held under the patronage of His Highness the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Proceedings will open with a welcome address by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani who will give insight into the State of Qatar's perspective on current challenges in international relations, the country's active foreign policy and the aims of the event.


Speaking at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha, site of the Doha Forum 2013, Sheikh Ahmed said: "This year's Doha Forum will feature an impressive group of world leaders, academics, experts and leading figures from the foreign policy community coming together to discuss some of the most pressing issues in international current affairs.


"I am pleased to announce that, alongside His Excellency the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, we will be welcoming a vast array of influential figures to speak at the event. Heads of state attending include President Piñera of Chile, President Sall of Senegal, alongside deputy head of state of Argentina, Vice President Amado Boudou. Heads of Government attending include Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of Portugal, Prime Minister Nermin Nikšić of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prime Minister Winston Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda, and Ali Larayed of Tunisia.


"We will also be welcoming Dr John Ashe, President-elect of the UN General Assembly as well as several former leaders, including former Prime Minister of the UK, Gordon Brown and Former Prime Minister of France, Francois Fillon, - both of whom stewarded their countries through the onset of the global economic crisis.


"The themes the forum will cover include the impact of the emerging world order on the Arab world and challenges facing the new democracies in the Middle East. From an economic perspective, the forum will look at the current status for development amidst the ongoing economic crisis, and also the impact on human rights. Importantly, the forum will examine the prospects for greater international co-operation and the requirement for success in this area. It will also look at the impact of the digital era on foreign affairs, looking at both the challenges for national security, but also the opportunities for digital diplomacy.


"We are encouraged by both the line up of speakers we have assembled and the timely themes they will examine that will help contribute to the international policy landscape, with details available at the forum's new website."


In conjunction with the Permanent Organising Committee for Organising Conferences, the Forum will also feature contributions from external organisations including the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who will be organising a series of workshops supporting the plenary session and, for the first time, the Brookings Doha Center, who are sponsoring a plenary session.


Salman Shaikh, Director of the Brookings Doha Center said: "It is a great honour and opportunity for us to have been invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contribute directly to this year's Doha Forum.


"Our session will look directly at, perhaps, the major challenge following the Arab Spring; that of institutional reform. Sound institutions are the building blocks of a democratic society. Creating a strong, reformed state is the key to the success of transitions we see across the Middle East.


"The session we're organising will bring together a wide range of contributors, including Egypt's former Ambassador to the US, Nabil Fahmy, Tunisia's former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Rafik Abdessalam, head of the Yemeni Socialist Party and former Prime Minister of South Yemen, Yasin Said Nuaman; EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Bernardino Leon; former Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov; and former US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Michael Posner. Together they will discuss how newly democratic countries of the Arab Spring, including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, are now working to reform and reshape their states."


Dr Mohamed bin Saif Al Kuwari, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar, which is hosting the forum's session on the impact of the global economic crisis on human rights said: "The session will address the pressing issues of private sector social responsibility in human rights, protection of migrant workers and the role of international organisations in addressing the results of the economic crisis on laborers."


"To shed light on these important issues we will have Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Azfar Fasih Khan, Senior Migration Specialist, from the ILO's Regional Office for the Arab States, Dr. Khaled Al Qadi, President of the Arab Center for Law Awareness in Cairo and Jean Ziegler, Vice Chairman of the United Nations Advisory Committee for Human Rights joining us to share their insights."


Alongside Doha Forum 2013, UCLA's Center for Middle East Development will offer additional opportunities for engagement with key global influencers on major issues of international interest, including Najib Ghadbian, Representative of the Syrian Opposition Coalition in the US; former White House Middle East adviser, Steve Simon; and Mike Yaffe, Senior Advisor to the US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.


Doha Forum 2013 will take place at the Ritz Carlton in Doha, Qatar from the 20th to the 22nd of May 2013.



For information on the Doha Forum go to:


Follow the Doha Forum 2013 on Twitter: @DohaForum and #DohaForum


To view highlights of past Doha Forum events and watch the sessions live on YouTube: