H.E. the President of the Human Rights Council,
Her Excellency, the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
Your Excellences, Heads of Delegation,
I am pleased to participate with you in the works of the fortieth session of this Council and wish you all the best and success for the promotion and protection of human rights.
This session takes place under serious challenges that threaten human rights in light of the increasing violations of these rights in many parts of the world, particularly in those affected by armed conflicts, and lack of accountability of those responsible.
As we commend the joint efforts exerted by all of us to strengthen the role of this Council in order to achieve its objectives of maintaining and protecting human rights, however; those serious challenges, facing these rights, require us to exert further efforts in order to attain the lofty goals of this Council. The State of Qatar views this Council, if its mandate, mechanisms and potentials are used optimally, as a key and effective UN mechanism for the protection of human rights.
The past year has witnessed significant developments in the legislative sphere for the promotion and protection of human rights in the State of Qatar, namely the State's accession to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the promulgation of the Law on the Regulation of Political Asylum.
In the context of promoting the rights of migrant workers, the permanent residency law was issued, the law regulating the entry, exit and residence of expatriates was amended, including the abolition of exit permits, and a law for the establishment of a fund to support and secure foreign labour was issued. In addition, the Council of Ministers issued a decision on the formation of labour disputes resolution committees. I would also like to point out that national efforts are about to complete a national plan of action for human rights which will serve as a strategic approach to the promotion and protection of human rights in the State of Qatar.
Despite the exceptional circumstances through which my country is passing due to the illegal siege and unilateral measures taken by the blockading States which violate human rights instruments, the process of development and progress witnessed by the State of Qatar, thanks to its wise leadership, is still moving forward firmly towards transforming the State of Qatar into a State capable of achieving the sustainable development for its people, generation after generation, in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030 with its various dimensions.
In this regard, the State of Qatar has maintained its advanced positions in human development indicators at both international and regional levels. It has also continued its efforts as an active international partner in efforts being exerted for achieving peace, stability and providing development and humanitarian assistance.
In the same context, the State of Qatar has strengthened its strategic partnership with the international organizations in order to achieve international peace and security, promote and protect human rights and achieve sustainable development. The State of Qatar has been keen to contribute to strengthening the capacities of the United Nations and the international community to counter the global challenges in humanitarian and development sectors. In this respect, Qatar has pledged last December to provide $ 500 million in financial support over several years to fund and support a number of UN humanitarian funds. The next stage will witness the opening of the “United Nations House” in Doha, which will include representative offices for a number of the United Nations agencies. This will enhance Qatar’s capacity to implement its regional and international activities and programs.
The international community has realized the baseless allegations upon which the illegal siege was imposed on the State of Qatar; almost two years after the imposition of illegal and unilateral measures by the blockading States against the Qatari citizens and residents of Qatar with the aim of undermining the sovereignty, security and stability of the State.
No doubt, these measures violate the norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and human rights treaties, in particular the principles of equality and the prevention of discrimination. The impacts of these measures have not only threatened peace and security in the region, but have also threatened the social fabric and emotional bonding among families in the region inherited for hundreds years. In this context, we emphasize the importance of the international mechanisms concerned in the restoration of rights to their owners, the compensation of those affected and the accountability of those responsible for such illegal measures.
We still, in the State of Qatar, believe that a comprehensive solution to the crisis must be found based on respect for the sovereignty of States, their political independence and non-interference in their internal affairs. In this regard, we highly value the mediation efforts being exerted by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the sisterly State of Kuwait, and we hope that these noble endeavors will, eventually, be culminated by success.
International peace and security are fundamental pillars of the promotion of human rights. No doubt, that failure and inability of the mechanisms concerned with the maintenance of peace and security in the United Nations system constitute an obstacle to halting human rights violations and holding perpetrators accountable.
The flagrant violations of human rights are still being committed against the brotherly Palestinian people where Israel, the occupying power, continues to build settlements, keep on the unjust blockade of Gaza Strip, kill peaceful Palestinian demonstrators and attempt to change the demographic and political character of the Holy City of Jerusalem in flagrant violation of international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.
The State of Qatar affirms the continuation of its efforts and policies aimed at achieving peace and stability in the Middle East and finding a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue based on the resolutions of international legitimacy, foremost of which is the principle of a two-state solution; the restoration of all inalienable rights to the Palestinians and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
In this context, the international community is still unable to protect the Syrian people from the crimes, torture and forced displacement to which they have been subjected since 2011 in complete impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. Thus, the international community must ensure that all those responsible for such violations and crimes are held accountable and brought to international criminal justice, and we are certain that the day, when the civilized world will hold itself accountable for being silent over these crimes, is not far off.
The State of Qatar reaffirms its full support for all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis on the basis of the Geneva Declaration 1 and the relevant Security Council resolutions. This includes the need to abide by international humanitarian law to protect civilians and what meets the legitimate aspirations of the brotherly Syrian people and preserve Syria's unity, sovereignty and independence.
Proceeding from the State of Qatar's keenness on the unity, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, we affirm our full support for all efforts aimed at restoring its security and stability, pushing forward for building the State of law, respecting human rights and achieving peace, stability and development.
We welcome once again the Sweden Agreement on Yemen as a first step towards achieving peace and stability for the brotherly people of Yemen and call upon all Yemeni parties to give priority to the national interest rather than to the narrow considerations and interests in order to reach national reconciliation and political settlement that put an end to the ongoing futile war and stop all violations and crimes against the brotherly people of Yemen.
The globalization of terrorism and the credibility of the international community in confronting it necessitate addressing its real causes, working to deepen the concepts of human rights, mobilizing all efforts to defend and protect such rights and getting committed to an approach that links human rights as indivisible. Because this constitutes the full guarantee of respect for human dignity and promotion of truth and justice as well.
It is unacceptable that war against terror becomes a pretext for new violations and breaches in the field of human rights. In this context, the defense of human values, as they are universally recognized, concerns the accountability of the human conscience and that the confrontation of all forms of extremism and manifestations of terrorism should be conducted through the means of law.
In conclusion, our firm belief in the promotion and protection of human rights will continue to be one of the most important pillars of our national policy and international relations, and we reaffirm the commitment of the State of Qatar to cooperate with this Council and to support its efforts in order to fulfill its mandate and tasks optimally.
I wish all the best for the works of this session.
Peace and mercy of Allah and his blessings be upon you.