Geneva / Information Office / October 08
Qatar reiterated its commitment to continue to provide all necessary support to the activities and programs of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The State of Qatar expressed the hope that the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees will contribute to strengthening the global response, and that the efforts exerted to achieve the campaign to end statelessness will be successful.
This came in the statement of the State of Qatar delivered by HE the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN Office in Geneva, Ambassador Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri, at the General Debate of the 70th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioners Program, and the High-Level Segment on Statelessness, at the UNHCR headquarters.
The statement underlined that the State of Qatar has been keen on strengthening partnership and dialogue with international humanitarian organizations, and that Qatar's governmental and non-governmental contributions to the UNHCR for the period 2014-2019 amounted to more than $200 million, including assistance to refugees and displaced persons in many countries including Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Sudan, as well as refugee-hosting countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Bangladesh.
The statement noted that the efforts exerted by the State of Qatar and the Qatari institutions have made a significant difference in alleviating the suffering of the affected refugees and displaced persons, and that Qatar's humanitarian initiatives were characterized by neutrality, impartiality and diversity.
HE Ambassador Al Mansouri explained that the initiatives included several areas, most importantly the humanitarian response to disasters, fighting poverty and unemployment, providing education opportunities for children in conflict zones, providing employment opportunities for youth, supporting peaceful conflict resolution, and playing a mediating role in more than one file to establish just peace and achieve sustainable development.
The statement stressed that the State of Qatar has spared no effort to stand by the Syrian brothers with the intensification of the crisis of displaced persons and refugees, noting that the volume of humanitarian and material assistance provided since the beginning of the Syrian crisis amounted to more than $1.6 billion.
As part of the vision of the Qatari leadership in support of humanitarian and development work in the African Union countries, HH the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani directed in January 2019 the establishment of a fund under the sponsorship of the African Union to cover the evacuation costs of irregular African migrants and victims of human trafficking in Libya and reintegrating them into their communities. The State of Qatar contributed to the fund with $20 million, the statement said.
On the other hand, the statement of the State of Qatar called for a just solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions on the issue of Palestinian refugees, noting that there are more than 5.4 million Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The State of Qatar called for more support for UNRWA to fulfill its mandate, while expressing its rejection of any attempts to end or reduce its role.
In this regard, HE Ambassador Al Mansouri noted that the State of Qatar ranks eighth among UNRWA's donor countries, and reiterated its commitment to continue providing humanitarian support to all the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, he highlighted Qatar's efforts to avoid statelessness, noting that Article 41 of the Permanent Constitution of Qatar stipulates that Qatari nationality and its provisions shall be determined by law. These provisions shall have a constitutional character. Accordingly, the Qatari Nationality Law No. (38) of 2005 was issued. The Law clarifies matters relating to Qatari nationality issues. Article (2) of the said law provides for granting Qatari nationality to non-Qatari nationals if the required conditions are met.
In this context, he explained that the State of Qatar has taken several measures, including the granting of temporary residence permits to stateless persons to rectify their status, and the issuance of Law No. (10) of 2018 on permanent residence, and Law No. (11) of 2018 regulating political asylum.
He stressed that permanent residence permits guarantee a number of privileges in education, health care, job placement and the right to own property and invest.
The statement expressed Qatar's appreciation of the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the distinguished leadership of HE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, in strengthening and coordinating the international efforts to protect refugees and guarantee their rights.
The State of Qatar's statement also pointed to the refugee displacement crisis in the world and the challenges posed by it, noting that by the end of 2019, the number of forcibly displaced people reached more than 70 million people.
HE Ambassador Al Mansouri said that about 80 percent of the displaced are living in developing countries that are already experiencing economic challenges, which exacerbates the repercussions on these countries and their host communities.
In conclusion, the statement of the State of Qatar called for strengthening joint action, sharing responsibility and exchanging information, and addressing the main causes of asylum and displacement, whether conflicts, wars or natural disasters, in order to face these challenges.