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His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, patronized the opening of the “Arab Forum on Assets Recovery” which was kicked off at St. Regis Hotel on Tuesday 11/9/2012. His Highness stressed that the issue of stolen funds has occupied a high priority on the list of issues of international concern from various countries around the world, particularly the Arab Spring countries, which diligently strive to recover their looted national assets to use them for the benefit of their people. His Highness clarified that the absence of international solidarity in pursuing those crimes intensified this phenomenon and its serious effects on the economies of various countries, leading to the spread of poverty and unemployment among the people of these countries. His Highness indicated that achieving the main objectives of the Forum requires synergy with the international efforts to carry out joint action to support the national endeavors by the concerned countries and provide the technical, legal and institutional frameworks to cope with this phenomenon. Sheikh Hamad also emphasized that the measures initiated by the international community are considered a significant step in this respect. His Highness reiterated Qatar’s readiness to support the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Centre on coordinating and following-up the decisions of the forum, as well as to fund its activities. Furthermore, the Financial Information Unit delivered in the 2nd day of the Forum a presentation on the role of the FIUs in recovering the stolen assets. The President of the Egmont Group spoke as well about the role of the Egmont Group in this regard. At the end of the Forum, the participants affirmed strong commitment to carry out the asset recovery action plan as part of the partnership with “Arab countries in transition” and stressed the necessity for the region and the international community to focus on the issue of recovering looted assets, calling for revising and amending legislations, and urging international cooperation that includes technical assistance. It was agreed that the forum should convene annually in order to help the Arab countries especially the Arab Spring Countries recover their assets.