Qatar has officially taken over the presidency of UNCTAD for the next four years, becoming the first country in the Arab region to preside over the organization since its inception in 1964. During a high-level meeting at UNCTAD XIII on Saturday 21 April, 2012, HE Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari was elected President of the Conference of UNCTAD XIII. HE the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage in a speech after his election said assuming the presidency of the conference is a recognition of the pioneering role played by the State of Qatar, under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the service of humanity . This leading role, he said, is evident as the State of Qatar has been hosting large UN events, a matter that made Doha a destination for successful conferences, and opened the horizons of knowledge and experience for the Qatari youth. Al Kuwari said he was pleased to take over the responsibilities of the presidency, in order to achieve the goals of UNCTAD XIII and address the current realities experienced by the world and tackle its unprecedented economic, financial and social challenges. He expressed his commitment to facilitate the mission assigned to him during the presidency of the Conference.