Hassan Al Thawadi's Interpol speech in full
The Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, addressed over 350 delegates from more than 60 countries on Tuesday, 7 November, at the 1st Major Event Safety and Security Conference. Read full transcript of the speech below.
Secretary General of Interpol, Mr. Jurgen Stock;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning and welcome to Qatar, on the occasion of this 1st Major Event Safety and Security Conference.
The relationship between the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Interpol was formally established at the 81st Interpol General Assembly in Rome almost five years ago today.
Establishing that agreement with Interpol demonstrated our commitment to securing the Middle East's first World Cup and was a recognition of the importance of coordination and collaboration between international law enforcement agencies in order to ensure a safe and successful event.
The 2012 agreement included a commitment to host conferences such as this week's event, which is an important gathering of experts from within the security field. The agenda comprises a diverse list of individuals with vital experience in security relating to major events, encompassing government officials, law enforcement officers, academics, private sector representatives and cyber security experts.
In a world that is growing more connected with every second that passes, the importance of international cooperation across security agencies only increases. Events such as the World Cup or the Olympics will not be safe and secure without an integrated, international network of law enforcement bodies working seamlessly together.
My hope is that you leave this conference this week with an enhanced understanding of how our authorities and organizations are working to ensure Qatar's national security, how major events have been secured in the past and how they will be secured in the future – of course with a special focus on 2022.
And finally, I hope that every individual and Organisation here leaves with an enhanced international network of the very best minds in the world of security and law enforcement.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Qatar continually works ensure a safe and secure environment for its people. A stable and secure environment has served as the foundation for our country's rapid development over the last two decades.
Qatar is renowned on the international stage for its security. In June the Global Peace Index report – compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace - ranked Qatar as the most peaceful nation in the Middle East and North Africa for the ninth year running.
This record of security extends beyond our region: the World Economic Forum's Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report includes a safety and security rating with Qatar featuring in the top ten nations alongside the likes of Switzerland and Singapore.
Our vision is to mirror Qatar's successful track record, we will host a World Cup in 2022 that is robustly safe and secure, based on shared best practice between national and international partners through organization and administration, data sharing, knowledge exchange and effective law enforcement.
This must be combined with preservation of the environment that we enjoy in Qatar – low-key security that is not oppressive.
To achieve this, the Security Committee established in 2012 has been involved with the planning of local and international events since its inception. Members of the committee have participated in and observed security operations at events such as the 2016 European Championships in France, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and at individual English, Spanish and French league matches.
The committee has also played an important role in consulting with our stadium designers and our stakeholders to make sure that security requirements are captured in the design of our competition venues.
Sitting at the heart of our approach to handling security for 2022 in a preemptive manner is the partnership with Interpol and Project Stadia.
Beyond contributing to the security of 2022, the aim of this partnership is to create a Centre of Excellence to assist Interpol member states in planning and executing policing and security operations for major sporting events. We hope that this partnership leaves a lasting legacy for the international law enforcement community and its approach to planning for events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.
The ICSS has played an important role in positioning Qatar at the forefront of efforts to secure sport and our collaboration focuses on event safety and security, security design review, training, and the master schedule for the event.
Our international partnerships also includes an agreement with the Council of Europe and on a government-to-government level with numerous nations, including the United Kingdom, to establish a national police unit for the security of stadiums – the first of its kind in Qatar and the Middle East.
Ladies and Gentlemen: when we discuss the short-term security needs for major events like the World Cup, we must cultivate a long-term plan to ensure a safe region and world.
As the international community works together to combat transnational terrorism, it is vital that individuals, organizations and nations mitigate against the factors that drive vulnerable people down the wrong path.
Qatar has assumed a leading role on this front. Our nation is committed to contributing toward global efforts to maintain and enhance international peace and security. Resolving conflict by peaceful means is a key pillar of our foreign policy – as referenced by His Highness the Emir in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Qatar recognizes that the global fight against terrorism must be fought feverishly on many fronts: through military and intelligence forces and in ending terrorism financing and cyber warfare.
However, we consider the elimination of hopelessness, which drives desperate people toward such ideologies as the ultimate solution to curbing terrorism.
And on this front, our nation is committed to mediation through dialogue, fighting poverty through development and humanitarian assistance and to investing in education as the ultimate tool to provide a better future – for people in Qatar, the Middle East and throughout the world.
There is one event above all others with the power to unite people from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures – the World Cup. And we have always viewed the World Cup in 2022 – the first to be held in our region - as a unique platform for bringing people together and enhancing understanding between East and West.
For us, this is not merely about 64 football matches in 2022. We see 2022 as a platform for helping our region in the long run. We have created programs that aim to engage the youth of our region and to ensure that they benefit from Qatar 2022.
We provide a platform for innovators and aim to capitalize upon the potential to expand our region's sporting industry in order to contribute toward the job creation that the Middle East's young population needs to sustain its future.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope this conference serves to further our common goals and I wish all of you visiting a very pleasant stay here in Doha.
Thank you, and good morning.