HE Shura Council Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud affirmed that Qatar's hosting of the 140th General Assembly of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and its related meetings reflects the confidence of IPU and the parliaments of the world, their presidents and representatives, and their appreciation and respect for HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and his wise leadership as well as the government and people of Qatar.
In a press conference on Tuesday evening, HE Speaker of Shura Council stressed that the wide participation in these meetings reflects the confidence and appreciation of the State of Qatar and its wise leadership, pointing out that 80 parliaments and more than 2270 parliamentarians from 160 countries are participating in the international parliamentary event. He said that this is the first time in the history of the IPU meetings that witnesses the participation of this large number outside the IPU's headquarters, reflecting the appreciation and respect of the world of the State of Qatar, HH the Amir and the government and people of Qatar as well as Qatar's deep relations with them.
HE the Speaker pointed out that the focus of the general debate at this session will be "Parliaments as Platforms for Enhance Education for Peace, Security and the Rule of Law", for the importance of education and its effective role in achieving these goals. He pointed out that this topic was chosen in coordination between the Shura Council and the IPU and its Secretariat.
HE Al Mahmoud stressed that there is no development without education or security or the rule of law, pointing out that all these things are basically linked to education.
In this regard, the heads of parliaments will discuss how parliaments can contribute to supporting education around the world, especially as many countries need support in this area to achieve the desired development, he added.
HE the Shura Council Speaker pointed to Qatar's role in spreading development and education in various countries around the world, especially conflict areas, citing Qatar's contributions to facilitate the return of African refugees in Libya to their home countries and providing work for them. HE the Speaker also noted that the role of Qatari institutions such as Education Above All foundation and its various programs, Silatech, and others in supporting youth in different countries of the world, pointing out that these meetings are a tool to move the world to work in this area.
HE the Speaker explained that the meetings of the General Assembly include a number of events, including the meeting of the Governing Council and the General Assembly, which include a number of sub-committees that discuss several topics, namely, the four main committees: Standing Committee on Peace and International Security; Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade; Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights; and Standing Committee on United Nations Affairs.
HE the Speaker of Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud welcomed participating delegations and reviewed the intensive program that was prepared during the opening, discussions, open and closed meetings and the agenda. He said that all the topics will be discussed widely by the various geopolitical groups of the Union, including a specific emergency issue to be presented to the Conference.
In this regard, HE Al Mahmoud noted that the Arab Group discussed some of the issues that concern it in the Arab meetings. "The issue of the international protection of the Palestinian people and the issue of Jerusalem and the occupied Golan as an emergency is likely to be raised for the Arabs," he said.
He said that the geopolitical groups have their ideas and will put up topics to be chosen from among them, and that what is chosen in the General Assembly, will be discussed with the United Nations.
In response to a question on the participation of parliaments of the blockading countries , HE the Speaker of the Shura Council confirmed the participation of an official delegation from the Egyptian parliament, pointing out that each country has sovereignty in terms of participation or not.
He expressed his happiness that the parliaments of a number of countries have joined the IPU for the first time in the Doha meetings, considering that this is a milestone in the Union's march and at the same time reflects the appreciation of the State of Qatar.
On Qatar's benefitting from such meetings, His Excellency reiterated that this hosting reflects the appreciation of the world and respect for HH the Amir's invitation to host these meetings in Doha, in addition to presenting the experiences of the Shura Council to the participating countries and also listen to their experiences on many issues. The Council will be present in most committees and will play its role in the discussions and conciliation between the parties, praising the role of the Council and its successful efforts in selecting Qatar to hold this great international parliamentary event.
His Excellency said that the participants expressed their satisfaction with the choice of Qatar to host these meetings due to its "intelligent diplomacy" which can bring together all parties", he added. He noted the essential role played by parliamentary diplomacy and the great influence of parliamentarians on their country's policies as representatives of the peoples.
"Through these meetings, we seek to spread peace, love and good in all parts of the world, drawing on the" preventive diplomacy "of the State of Qatar in moving towards solving problems and confronting crises before they occur.
He pointed out that the international parliament and the United Nations should not wait for the conflict to take place and then move to resolve it. They must act before it happens, and this is what the State of Qatar is keen to put forward through the principle of preventive diplomacy, he added.
HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud said that the State of Qatar, as a permanent member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union's Human Rights Committee, will cooperate with the members to do their utmost to preserve human dignity and respect their rights.
"The Arab issues will be the basis of the discussions, especially the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent State with its eternal capital, Al Quds Al Sharif, and the return of the usurped rights of the Arab States, including the occupied Syrian Golan," he said.
In response to a question, HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud stressed that the position of the State of Qatar on the Gulf crisis is clear from the beginning that should be resolved through dialogue, mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for the sovereignty of States, stressing that the State of Qatar is having love and respect for all and does not hate anyone but rather hates injustice and acts that harm the people. HE Al Mahmoud noted that the meeting of the heads of Gulf parliaments, in Jeddah recently was held in a good atmosphere.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council inaugurated the press centre for the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the accompanying meetings which will start in Doha on Saturday.
The Council's social networking platforms were also launched to cover the events of the meetings as well as a special channel on YouTube to broadcast the various events.