Doha / Information Office / February 28
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani underlined that the State of Qatar has followed with great concern the military escalation in Ukraine, adding that it is critical at this stage to engage in constructive dialogue within diplomatic means to resolve this crisis. He stressed that the State of Qatar assures its respect for Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
In a recorded speech before the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, His Excellency said, "We stress the need to commit to the Charter of the United Nations and the established principles of international law, including obligations under the Charter to settle international disputes by peaceful means, to refrain from the threat or use of force, and to adhere to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of States.
"Guaranteeing the safety of civilians should be at the utmost priority in these circumstances. What is most concerning, above all, is the difficult humanitarian situation millions of refugees will face should this conflict continue. This urgent situation requires the solidarity of the international community to develop emergency plans to address the refugees' needs, in parallel with efforts to resolve the crisis by peaceful means," HE the Foreign Minister added.
"The COVID-19 pandemic remains one of the most critical challenges facing us. While we see positive signs on the horizon indicating its end, there are yet many lessons for us to learn from as we move forward. We must continue to collectively work together with a sense of shared responsibility to face this challenge and the similar challenges that will follow," he added.
"The State of Qatar has taken a balanced approach since the beginning of the pandemic, putting the protection of individuals' human rights at the heart of its COVID response when enacting national measures and policies.
"Qatar also continued its role in supporting international efforts to address the pandemic by providing logistic and material supports to the affected countries and to the WHO to enable them to fulfill their commitments. It has maintained its position in support of equitable distribution of vaccines and ensuring access to all countries in an accessible manner."
HE the Foreign Minister said, "The past period has witnessed constant efforts by the State of Qatar to move forward in the promotion and protection of human rights in Qatar, based on the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022. Thus, Qatar has achieved many important national achievements, and has taken firm steps to implement the sustainable development goals, as well as maintaining its leading position in many international indicators."
"In the context of completing the building of institutions in the State and enhancing popular participation in the legislative process in accordance with the provisions of the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar, the first legislative elections were held in October 2021 to elect the members of the Shura Council. Since last November, members of the Council have begun to assume their responsibilities, and to discuss draft laws in various economic, social and cultural fields."
His Excellency pointed out, "At the end of this year, Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as the first environmentally friendly and 'carbon neutral' tournament, an event that will positively reflect on many aspects related to the promotion of human rights and the consolidation of the values of respect, awareness and understanding. It will also constitute an opportunity to spread and consolidate the values of solidarity and peace."
Concerning the situation in Afghanistan, HE the Foreign Minister said, "The State of Qatar is committed to mediation and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, and to harnessing humanitarian and development assistance to support peace and the protection of human rights. In this context, the State of Qatar has made constant and sincere efforts to end the conflict in Afghanistan by sponsoring direct dialogue between the parties to the conflict to end the war and begin the process of building peace and development."
"Despite these efforts, various factors prevented the full achievement of the desired goals, which led to the deterioration of the humanitarian and economic conditions in Afghanistan. Accordingly, we directed our efforts towards playing the role of facilitator for friendly countries and humanitarian organizations."
His Excellency add, "The State of Qatar also facilitated the evacuation of tens of thousands of foreign and Afghan nationals, and provided them temporary housing, health care and COVID-19 vaccines. It also provided technical supports for reopening Kabul Airport to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian supports and facilitate the movement of people, in addition to launching an air bridge between Doha and Kabul to deliver humanitarian aids."
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said, "From this platform, I call upon the international community to continue cooperating to enhance the capabilities of the Afghan people, and enable them to avoid internal crises, move forward in building peace and respecting human rights, especially womens rights, provide education for women and girls, and achieve development for all segments of Afghans society, thus contributing to strengthening security in Afghanistan and stability in the region."
Regarding the Palestinian issue, His Excellency stated, "The Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands still represents a model of colonial occupation that has been transcended by history, and one of the worst ongoing humanitarian crises, in view of the extent of violations and crimes committed against the Palestinians, including confiscating their lands and rights, violating holy religious sites, and continuing systematic construction of illegal settlements. Thus, destroying the chances of achieving a comprehensive and just peace in the region."
"The international community must assume its humanitarian, moral and legal responsibilities, and take appropriate measures for the Palestinians to obtain all their legitimate rights, foremost of which is their right to self-determination, return, and the establishment of their state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We also stress the need to end the state of impunity and hold all those responsible for the violations and crimes that have been and are still being committed against the Palestinian people."
About the Syrian issue, HE the Foreign Minister said, "The whole world should deal seriously with the violations and crimes that have been going on against the Syrian people for more than a decade because of their demands for freedom, dignity and justice. To succeed in ending the Syrian crisis and its humanitarian repercussions, serious work must be done to pressure the Syrian regime to reach a political solution in accordance with the Geneva 1 statement and Security Council Resolution No 2,254, as well as ensuring justice, accountability and redress the victims of violations and crimes committed."
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs concluded, "I would like to assure the State of Qatar's full support for this council to play an active role in promoting universal respect for human rights values and principles, and facing the challenges the world is witnessing, which require more cooperation and hard joint work among all."