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At Doha conference, Moreno says governments’ first priority is to take care of the poor

President Lenin Moreno said Sunday that any government’s first priority should be to take care of its poorest citizens.

President Lenin Moreno

Moreno made his comments during a speech at the opening of the Doha Forum, a conference organized by Qatar and attended by United Nations officials and representatives of two dozens nations. The president was completing an international trip that included a visit to China.

Moreno highlighted the challenges of the contemporary world and defended the need to build “harmonious” societies in which opportunities are offered to the poorest, most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

The Ecuadorian president also stressed the importance of having societies that have dialogue with each other to settle their differences in a peaceful, constructive manner.

“We have done this in Ecuador and I have always insisted on included the poorest of the population,” he said. “Even in times of hardship for national governments, we cannot put aside our most vulnerable citizens. We cannot say we will take care of you when the budget improves. They must always be at the top of the agenda.”

Moreno added that it is also important to teach societies how to be tolerant to resolve disputes through peaceful methods and with respect for different opinions. “This should be obvious but, unfortunately, it is not,” he said.

The Ecuadorian president arrived Saturday in Qatar on a two-day visit and held bilateral meetings Sunday with Qatari head of state, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The Doha Forum, organized by Qatar since 2000, brings together world leaders, such as the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, and the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad, to discuss macroeconomic and geopolitical issues.