Doha, 16 March 2023
The Global Security Forum (GSF) 2023 closed in Doha today after three days of powerful insights into the threats facing and prospects for securing a safer world.
During its final day, GSF 2023’s invited gathering of ministers, government officials, law enforcers, security agency heads, academia, media, and private sector leaders heard alerts and optimism impacting the post-covid world and the prospects for technology and space advancement.
Ambassador Roger Carstens, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, explained that the process of securing the release of hostages and repatriating them requires negotiation and coordination between the Hostage Affairs Office, hostages’ families and all relevant state and non-state actors.
The Ambassador urged increased public awareness to deter citizens from returning to detainer countries.
He acknowledged a concerning rise in wrongful detainment by state actors and said that the Levinson Act was a step in the right direction.
He carstens explained that his office prioritizes the needs of hostage and detainee families and strives to support and keep them informed throughout the process, allowing media engagement if preferred.
President & Founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, Diane Foley – the mother of journalist Jim Foley, who lost his life as a hostage – expressed appreciation for the Levinson Act, which defines wrongful detention criteria and the need for partnerships and cooperation with state actors, media, and other relevant parties.
“We must work together on this,” she said. “We need more research we need to really have evidence-based strategies to deal with this problem,” added.
Ms Foley concluded by expressing appreciation for Qatar and its negotiation leadership.
During a panel discussion on Afghanistan’s current challenges and future prospects, Fawzia Koofi, the Afghan Parliament’s Former Second Deputy Speaker and leading women’s rights activist, said the Taliban’s ideology is unchanged and its lack of governance still prevents Afghanis from writing their own narrative.
Koofi said that the Taliban feel threatened by Daesh and that the only way to bring change to Afghanistan is by continuing civil resistance led by women, leveraging Taliban’s fragmentation, and achieving international consensus.
Meanwhile, Hekmat Karzai, Chairman of the Center for Conflict and Peace Studies and Afghanistan’s former Deputy Foreign Minister, identified a sole focus of the international community on Ukraine, but argued it gives Afghans the opportunity to advance to a stage where they’re able to effectively interface with the Taliban and exclude third parties from the conversation.
He highlighted the need to rationalize funds entering Afghanistan and ensuring that it reaches the people, rather than funding Taliban soldiers.
Panelists agreed that women’s right to education remains a top priority and that an inclusive government is necessary for a brighter future for Afghanistan.
In a fireside chat on the role of sports in bringing people together, Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said that the tournament created unique bonding experiences and a platform for nations to celebrate their cultures together.
The output he said, spoke volumes about the power of sports in creating global unity and in breaking down stereotypes about the Arab World.
Al-Thawadi highlighted the safe and secure experience that ran parallel to the sporting event as well as the international partnerships formed to ensure visitors’ safety.
He added that the host nation also worked to anticipate events and put in place processes to prevent escalation.
In her closing remarks, Lori Wachs, Board Member of the Forum’s Organizing Team, said: “Despite the complex and multifaceted crises so many of our speakers have highlighted, it is clear that no country can address these alone; whether energy insecurity, conflict, or violent far-right movements. In this context, cooperation at multiple levels, national, regional, and international, is even more critical.”
Findings and recommendations from GSF 2023 will be presented to key stakeholders at prestigious international meetings and events, including the United Nations, European Union, Global Counterterrorism Forum and the Global Coalition Against ISIS.
The 2023 Global Security Forum hosted by the Qatar International Academy for Security Studies (QIASS) is held in cooperation with several high-level agencies and institutions, including the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); New America Foundation, Qatar’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University; Defense One, the Center on National Security at Fordham Law; Strong Cities Network; and the Airey Neave Trust.
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