The Doha Call to Action paper, developed and announced by the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) following an important conference held in Doha earlier this year, has been distributed at a high-level ministerial review by the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations in New York in six different languages – Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian.
In line with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’s efforts to enhance human and social development, DIFI’s Doha Call to Action was announced at the Doha International conference ‘Empowering Families: A Pathway to Development’. Held in April, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, the international conference also commemorated the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family.
Since the institution of the International Year of the Family in 1994, Qatar has led most initiatives in favour of the family within the United Nations system. The Doha Call to Action is the most important document adopted for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family and will continue to influence the development of family policies at all levels.
DIFI’s Doha Call to Action calls on governments to empower and enable families to contribute to development by taking concrete actions and policies concerning families. It also addresses the immediate social needs in the community, is considered by academia and policy makers to be an important document, and one that is a great source for civil society organisations to refer to for their programmes and policies concerning families. The Doha Call to action places special emphasis on the achievement of development goals, and stresses the importance of designing, implementing and monitoring family-oriented policies, especially in the areas of poverty eradication.
It also looks at full employment and decent work, work family balance and social integration and intergenerational solidarity. The Doha Call to Action further emphasises that strategic focus on families offers a comprehensive approach to solving some of the persistent development challenges facing modern society such as inequality and social exclusion.
DIFI’s two-day international conference stressed the importance of family unity to enable and empower them to carry out its functions and enhance their contribution to development. It also covers details about strengthening the connection between social science researches, academics, and policy makers in order to create better family policies and work together to bring the desired change for the good of families around the world.
The conference focused on many family topics such as confronting family poverty and social exclusion; ensuring work-family balance and promoting intergenerational solidarity. It also highlighted issues of importance to effective family policy design and implementation, including the role of national machineries for the family and the involvement of civil society, gender equality and the role of men in the family.