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Qatar witnessed significant developments in the legislative field for the promotion and protection of human rights last year such as accession to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the promulgation of the Law on the Regulation of Political Asylum, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani has said.
Speaking at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, the FM said within the framework of promoting the rights of expatriate workers, the permanent residency law was issued and the law regulating the entry and exit of expatriates was amended, including the cancellation of exit permits. Also, a law was passed to establish a fund to support and secure labourers.
He said the Cabinet also decided to form committees to resolve labour disputes, pointing out that the efforts are on to complete the development of a national plan of action for human rights that will be a strategic approach to the process of promotion and protection of human rights in Qatar.
“Despite the exceptional circumstances that my country is experiencing because of the illegal blockade and unilateral measures taken by the blockading countries, development and progress are being witnessed by Qatar, thanks to its wise leadership. The country is moving forward to achieving sustainable development for its people, generation after generation,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“Qatar has maintained its advanced positions in human development indicators at the international and regional levels, and continued its efforts as an active international partner in efforts to achieve peace and stability and to provide development and humanitarian assistance,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
He added that Qatar has strengthened strategic partnership with international organisations to achieve international peace and security, promote and protect human rights, and achieve sustainable development.
Qatar is keen to contribute to strengthening the capacities of the United Nations and the international community to meet the global challenges in the humanitarian and development sectors, he added.
“In December, Qatar pledged $500 million in financial support over several years to fund and support a number of UN humanitarian funds. The next phase will witness the opening of the United Nations House in Doha, which will include offices of a number of United Nations bodies that will enhance their ability to implement their regional and international activities and programmes,” he noted.
The FM said, “The international community has recognised the falsehoods of the allegations made by blockading countries and the illegal unilateral measures imposed on Qatar. ”
Sheikh Mohammed said these measures undoubtedly contravene the rules of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and human rights treaties, in particular the principles of equality and the prevention of discrimination, which in effect have not only threatened peace and security in the region but have also threatened the social fabric and inherited emotional interdependence among the families in the region for hundreds of years. He stressed the importance of the international mechanisms to restore the rights of owners and compensation of those affected and hold those responsible for those illegal measures.
Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar still believes the need to reach a comprehensive solution to the Gulf crisis based on respect for the sovereignty of states, political independence and non-interference in their internal affairs.
He praised the mediation efforts of the Amir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah, expressing the hope that these noble endeavors would be successful.
“This UN session is being held in the face of serious challenges to human rights in light of the increasing violations in many regions of the world, especially those experiencing armed conflicts and not holding those responsible accountable,” he said.
“While we commend the joint efforts of all of us to strengthen the role of this council to achieve its objectives in the protection of human rights, the grave challenges facing these rights require further efforts to achieve the lofty goals of this Council. Qatar views this Council as a key United Nations mechanism for human rights protection if its mandate, mechanisms and potentials are used optimally,” he added “
The FM said the gross violations of human rights continued to be perpetrated against the brotherly Palestinian people, as Israel, the occupying force, continued to build settlements, the unjust siege of the 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.
He said Qatar stresses 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 are the principle of a two-state solution, the restoration of all its inalienable rights, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Sheikh Mohammed warned that the international community was still unable to protect the Syrian people from the crimes, torture and forced displacement they have suffered since 2011 in complete impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. The international community must ensure that all those responsible for these violations and crimes are held accountable and brought to international criminal justice.
He said Qatar reaffirms its full support for all efforts aimed at reaching a political solution to the Syrian crisis based on the Geneva Declaration and relevant Security Council resolutions, including the need to abide by international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to meet the legitimate aspirations of the brotherly Syrian people and it preserves Syria’s unity, sovereignty and independence.
On Yemen, he said, “In light of Qatar’s keenness on the unity, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, we reaffirm our full support for all efforts aimed at restoring its security and stability and moving forward towards building the rule of law, respect for human rights and achieving peace, stability and development. “We welcome the Swedish agreement as a first step to achieve peace and stability for the brotherly Yemeni people.”
He said the globalization of terrorism and the credibility of the international community in confronting it necessitates tackling its real causes.
“It is unacceptable that the war on terrorism becomes a pretext for new violations and violations in the field of human rights. In this context, defending human values, as is internationally recognised, and against all forms of extremism and manifestations of terrorism, should be carried out through the means of law,” he noted.
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