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Speaker of Shura Council Confirms Success of IPU Meetings Despite Unjust Blockade

10 April 2019



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HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, President of the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), said that the State of Qatar appreciates the praise it received for its hosting of the assembly and its accompanying meetings.

HE the Speaker of the Shura Council stressed that the praise reflects the appreciation of the Union's members of the State of Qatar's Amir, government, and people. His Excellency added that the praise, despite the unjust blockade, succeeded in organizing the meetings, which were unprecedented in terms of the level of participation.

His Excellency was speaking at a joint press conference with HE President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Gabriela Cuevas Barron and HE Secretary-General of the IPU Martin Chungong, that parliament speakers expressed their satisfaction with the organization of the assembly despite the blockade enforced on the country, during their meetings with HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani. His Excellency highlighted that some of the parliament speakers condemned in plenary sessions their rejection of the blockade, and the importance of ending it given its illegal status.

HE the Speaker of the Shura Council said that the State of Qatar has moved past the blockade, but is concerned by its humanitarian implications, as families remain divided in addition to the violations of the rights to education. His Excellency called for avoiding the involvement of citizens and families in political differences.

His Excellency said that all the violations he mentioned were documented in the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after a factfinding commission visited Doha and met the victims.

HE the Speaker of the Shura Council pointed to the position the president of the union from the blockade, saying that it was the same view shared by other parliament speakers during their meetings with the Qatari side. They all stressed their rejection of the blockade and called for an end to it. His Excellency added that the wide participation in this year's assembly was the biggest response to the blockade.

He said that a total of 80 parliament speakers took part in this year's meeting, and 40 deputy speakers. There were also 2200 members of parliaments that represented another 46,000 around the world that came to Qatar looking for a better future for peace, stability, and the rule of law.

His Excellency stressed that the union will work earnestly to achieve the agreements they reached during the Doha meetings, in cooperation with the union's president and secretary-general. His Excellency added that parliament speakers held the meeting that was the first of its kind in the IPU's history to discuss how parliaments can realize the aspirations of people, in addition to a number of other issues that could enhance joint parliamentary work. His Excellency said that they supported the outcomes of the meeting from the beginning, given the role they can play in benefitting humanity, whether in terms of rejecting the restriction of freedoms, human rights violations, or the other matters discussed by the union's committees. His Excellency added that they will support the union, and that they have great belief in its president and secretary-general.

In response to a question on parliamentary diplomacy, HE the Speaker of the Shura Council said that it was an important part of political work, noting that the union's meetings with the UN focused on political conditions all over the world, and warned that there was a slow reaction in dealing with some of the problems. He also highlighted that the UN, during a meeting with the IPU three months ago in New York, asked parliaments for help in achieving its goals. The union for its part proposed a wider use of preventative diplomacy to help resolve problems rather than wait for it to occur.