United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Doha, Qatar, early on Saturday, 10 December, to participate in the Fourth Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
That day, he attended a lunch hosted by Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, President of the General Assembly.
Later, the Secretary-General met with Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned, a Millennium Development Goal Advocate, President of the Qatar Foundation and UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. He then had an exchange with young people from all over the world participating in the Alliance of Civilizations. He told them: “You are young and now it is your turn. It is your turn to do all you can to care for our planet. You understand that, with just one Earth, we cannot afford to fight over religion, race or any of the other categories that separate us.” He called on them to unite with the United Nations and join its campaign for peace, human rights and environmental sustainability. (See Press Release SG/SM/14011)
The Secretary-General then had a working dinner with Jorge Sampaio, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and other senior members of the Alliance.
He then met with Beşir Atalay, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and Manuel Chavez González, Third Vice-President of the Government of Spain. They discussed how to further the work of the Alliance, including by enhancing its funding.
The Secretary-General then had tête-à-tête with Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the former Foreign Minister of Spain.
The next day, the Secretary-General participated in the opening of the Fourth Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations. He said that the Alliance participants were a wide range of partners coming together to break down walls. He urged them, when they left Doha, to do their utmost to involve people in their churches, mosques and synagogues, to engage students, families and activists, and to ensure that it leads to action. (See Press Release SG/SM/14014)
The Secretary-General then met with the Foreign Minister of Lebanon, Adnan Mansoor. They both condemned in strong terms the recent attack on peacekeepers from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Secretary-General thanked the Government for fulfilling its obligations regarding the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He also met briefly with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil el-Araby.
After inaugurating the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre in Doha, the Secretary-General joined the lunch for Heads of State and Government hosted by the Qatari authorities. (See Press Release SG/SM/14015)
He then met with Elbegdorj Tsakhia, President of Mongolia, and discussed issues to which Mongolia attaches great importance. Later, he held discussions with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Amir of Qatar. They exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including the situations in the Middle East and North Africa in general, and Syria and Yemen in particular.
The Secretary-General ended his day by attending the inauguration of the Doha Roman Theatre, as well as a reception hosted by the Amir of Qatar.
The Secretary-General left Doha early on Monday, 12 December, to return to New York.