Foreign Minister's Assistant: Repercussions of Qatar's Blockade Still Causing Human Rights Violations

Foreign Minister's Assistant: Repercussions of Qatar's Blockade Still Causing Human Rights Violations

Geneva/ Information Office // February 24

The State of Qatar participated in the meetings of the high-level segment of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, which began today in Geneva.

HE Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater headed the State of Qatar's delegation to the meetings.

Delivering the Statement of the State of Qatar before the meeting, HE Al Khater said that the State of Qatar views this esteemed Council as a United Nations' key mechanism that can effectively contribute to changing the lives of millions of people for the better, pointing that Qatar is honoured to be a member of this Council. "This membership that we consider to be an extension of the State of Qatar's national efforts to enhance the dignity of humankind, safeguard and protect its rights, and achieve its development, security and well-being," she said.

Her Excellence went on saying: "Qatar's national efforts have not only enhanced the role of the State's institutions, but have also strengthened the legislative framework in many areas, most notably the issuance of the Amiri Decision establishing a higher committee to prepare for the Shura Council elections, the cabinet's decision to form a committee to align national legislation with the international covenants, the cabinet's decision to establish the National Committee for Women, Children, the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities. In addition, Qatar has continued to develop and reform the legislative system that aims at protecting and promoting the rights of expatriate workers."

HE Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs said: " At the international level, Qatar's external relations are characterized by constructive cooperation and positive engagement with countries and international organizations. In 2019, the State of Qatar signed an agreement to establish in Doha a center for analysis and communication that is affiliated to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, an agreement to establish an office for the United Nations Development Program, an agreement to open the United Nations Office for the Alliance for Civilizations in Doha, and an agreement to establish an office to coordinate humanitarian affairs. The State of Qatar has also continued to provide humanitarian, developmental and relief assistance to those affected by disasters and conflicts. In this respect, Qatar has spent nearly two and a half billion US dollars during the last three years in the areas of economic development, education, health and infrastructure. In addition, Qatar has continued its mediation role to bring views closer together, avoid escalation and find sustainable solutions to conflicts and disputes. The most recent is the State of Qatar's mediation between the United States of America and the Taliban, which we hope will prove successful in achieving the long-awaited sustainable peace in Afghanistan."

The repercussions of the blockade and the coercive measures imposed on my country by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the Arab Republic of Egypt since 2017 are still causing many violations of human rights related to religious and educational rights, freedom of movement and fundamental freedoms, Her Excellency pointed saying "Of particular concern is the fact that these violations are targeting Qatari citizens on the basis of their Qatari nationality, which constitutes a grave and direct violation of all human rights instruments, particularly the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination."

HE the Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to the two decisions of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on jurisdiction and admissibility to consider complaints filed by Qatar against both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. "I also recall the International Court of Justice's Interim Measures regarding the discrimination suffered by Qatari citizens, as the court is still considering the case filed by the State of Qatar against the UAE in this regard," she said.

Her Excellency stressed that the Palestinian cause is exposed to many dangers, such as the biased unilateral decisions and projects, including the so-called "Deal of the Century", which violates all agreed laws and agreements, and encourages the Israeli occupation to continue committing further gross violations.

HE Al Khater stressed that the only and best way to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution should be based on human right, the rules of international law, international legitimacy resolutions and the Charter of the United Nations in order to achieve security, stability and enable the Palestinian people to realize their full legal and historical rights, including the right of return and the establishment of an independent State according to the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

HE Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater viewed what the Syrian people are going through to be no less tragic than the tragedy of the Palestinian people, adding that the military escalation by the Syrian forces and their allies in northwestern Syria, especially in the City of Idlib, has caused the displacement of approximately one million people; it is thus the largest wave of displacement since the start of the conflict in Syria. "In this context, a national campaign led by Qatar Charity to relief displaced people in Idlib has started in Qatar. From this perspective, the State of Qatar calls on the international community, in particular the Security Council, to take all necessary measures to end violence and killing, protect the Syrian people, and to reach a political solution in accordance with the Geneva Communique and the Security Council Resolution 2254," she said. 

Concerning the situation in Libya, HE the Foreign Minister's Assistant said: " We are surprised at the double standards practiced by some members of the international community who have remained silent on the continuous attacks by the militias of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, and they have even provided him a political umbrella for his attacks against Tripoli and the targeting of the Government of National Accord, Libya's legitimate and internationally recognized government."

She went on saying that all Libyan parties must realize that there is no military solution to the crisis in the country. "They should let the voice of reason be heard, stop the fighting immediately, and pursue the political track based on the Skhirat agreement and all its outputs to stop bloodshed in Libya and to preserve its sovereignty, independence and national unity," she stressed.

Within the framework of the open invitation Qatar has extended to the special procedures mandate holders, Her Excellency said "I have the pleasure to inform that the State of Qatar received last year the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity, the working group on arbitrary detention, the Special Rapporteur on racism and the Special Rapporteur on the right to education."

Moreover, Qatar invited the International Labor Organization to open an office in the State of Qatar, which currently works closely with government agencies to improve employment conditions in the country and related legislations, she added.

Her Excellency further reaffirmed the State of Qatar's continued approach based on the maintenance, promotion and protection of human rights and the continuation of its policies aimed at constructive international cooperation that includes support for the work of this Council to enable it to carry out its duty in an optimal way. "In this context, we confirm that the State of Qatar welcomes the recommendations of all international human rights organizations, as the constructive criticism that we have received over the past years has been of great help for us in developing our policies, legislations and practices for the better," she said.

HE Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater wished the meeting all success in its efforts to promote and protect human rights.