The State of Qatar has reminded the international community that providing the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to the Palestinians in the occupied territories is one of the responsibilities of the occupation authorities before international and humanitarian law and that their disavowal of this responsibility can only be understood as an apartheid regime that must be condemned and denounced.
This came in the speech of HE Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater before the high-level segment of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.
HE Al Khater expressed happiness at addressing the esteemed council at this session, which is held under exceptional circumstances due to the continuing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing hope that the pandemic will quickly pass, humanity will avoid further loss of life and the various negative consequences.
She emphasized that the State of Qatar continues its efforts to improve human rights conditions, and has made great strides in this regard through the steady implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the strategies related to it, adding that the State of Qatar has achieved many sustainable development goals, and has assumed advanced positions at the level of the countries of the region in human development reports in recent years, as it topped the list of countries in the Middle East and North Africa in the ranking of the 2020 Global Peace Index, ranked first in the Arab world in the index of the most secure and peaceful societies, and achieved the highest level of women’s participation in the workforce in the region with 58.3 percent.
Concerning confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Qatar continued its efforts by adopting a strategy based on three basic axes: protecting citizens and residents by strengthening the health sector, providing the necessary support to the economic sector to reduce the pandemic negative effects, and contributing to international efforts to address the pandemic by providing support to needy countries and concerned international organizations, HE Al Khater explained.
Her Excellency indicated that within the framework of enhancing public participation to allow wider participation for citizens, the State of Qatar decided to hold the first elections for the Qatari Shura Council in October according to the provisions of the permanent constitution of the State of Qatar.
About modernizing the legislative system in the field of promoting and protecting workers’ rights, the State of Qatar has adopted a series of pioneering legislative and institutional reforms in the region that have led to the abolition of the sponsorship system, improvement of working conditions, and providing a decent living for all workers, including the enactment of minimum wages and the creation of a safe and balanced work environment in line with the standards of the International Labor Organization, which said that the State of Qatar will become a regional model for the rights of migrant workers when legislation comes into force, HE Al Khater said.
There is no doubt that everyone has followed the conclusions of the 41 GCC summit in Al-Ula, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the issuance of the Al-Ula statement announcing the end of the Gulf crisis that lasted for more than three years, after the spirit of wisdom and responsibility prevailed among all and overcoming difficulties in achieving reconciliation and establishing the principles of brotherhood and reunification, HE Al Khater added.
Her Excellency explained that the State of Qatar has welcomed this agreement out of its firm conviction that constructive dialogue is the way to resolve differences by peaceful means based on the rules of international law, the principles of good neighborliness, and respect for sovereignty and independence of states. She added no doubt ending this crisis and implementing the Al-Ula agreement will positively reflect on enhancing the GCC desired role in consolidating regional stability and the bonds of the Gulf societal fabric and promoting and protecting human rights, expressing hope that this crisis will be a lesson to learn from it and a catalyst for more cooperation and solidarity to achieve a better future for relations between our countries.
HE Al Khater said that the State of Qatar renews its appreciation for the Kuwaiti mediation efforts made by HH Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the late Amir of the State of Kuwait, which was completed by HH the Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, adding Qatar also appreciates all brotherly and friendly countries that contributed to ending this crisis.
HE Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater indicated that the world, the Arab region in particular, is still facing many dangerous challenges that threaten the international peace and security as a result of the continued occupation and armed conflicts. With regard to the occupied Palestinian territories, the State of Qatar renews its condemnation and rejection of the continued violations and racist practices committed by the occupation authorities against the brotherly Palestinian people, especially the determination on implementing plans to build illegal settlements, in flagrant violation of the provisions of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy. The State of Qatar also renews its condemnation of the continued unjust siege imposed by Israel on two million Palestinians in Gaza Strip, calling on the international community to take all necessary measures to end this illegal siege and protect the brotherly Palestinian people. HE added that the occupation authorities must realize that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace can only be achieved by ending the occupation and establishing the State of Palestine on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.
She said that the State of Qatar reminds the international community that providing vaccines to the Palestinians in the occupied territories is one of the responsibilities of the occupation authorities before international and humanitarian law, and their disavowal of this responsibility can only be understood as an apartheid system that must be condemned and denounced.
On Syria, HE Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater said that after 10 years of the ongoing conflict, the brotherly Syrian people are still paying a heavy price from their lives, security and future as a result of their demands for freedom, dignity and justice. The Syrian regime continues to face these legitimate demands by committing gross violations of human rights, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Warning about the fragility of the situation in Syria and the impact of its deterioration on the region, the State of Qatar calls on all Syrian parties and the international community to work hard to make a real progress in reaching a peaceful solution to the conflict on the basis of the Geneva Declaration 1 and Security Council Resolution 2254, and to ensure accountability the perpetrators of all violations and crimes in Syria.
Referring to Libya, the State of Qatar calls on all parties to adhere to their national responsibilities, overcome their differences, and move forward in the Libyan political dialogue in order to consolidate the principles of the rule of law and institutions through democratic national elections that meet the demands of the Libyan people and contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights, and the achievement of welfare and sustainable development, HE added.
Meanwhile, HE expressed the hope that all parties to the war in Yemen would realize the magnitude of the human tragedy that afflicted the country and the brotherly Yemeni people, and called for implementing the agreements that have been concluded, especially the Riyadh Agreement, to stop the fighting and move forward towards peace with a real will that leads to an end to the war and the achievement of the national reconciliation and the aspirations of the Yemeni people for security, stability and development.
HE Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater underlined the State of Qatar’s firm commitment to cooperation with the Council and with all other United Nations mechanisms working in the field of human rights, and to support them to carry out their tasks and enable them to achieve the noble goals for which they were established.