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Shura Council Speaker: Qatar's Accession to Asian Parliamentary Assembly Stems from Its Keenness to Support Joint Action

14 December 2019

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HE the Speaker of Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud stressed that the accession of the State of Qatar to the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) stems from the keenness of the State of Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to support joint action within regional and international organization, in which the State of Qatar has become a member, in line with the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, as well as the Shura Council's keenness to translate this trend within the framework of parliamentary cooperation with regional and international parliamentary organizations.

In his speech at the second meeting of the Executive Council and 12th Plenary of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in Antalya, Turkey, HE the Speaker said that the first meeting of APA Executive Council in Rize recommended that the Shura Council of the State of Qatar be granted full membership in the APA, expressing his aspiration for today's meeting to adopt this recommendation to get involved in the APA's activities as active members in it as an important parliamentary organization that represents the voices of the peoples of the Asian continent and works hard to achieve its high and ambitious goals.

HE the Speaker of the Shura Council added, "we are pleased to discuss in this meeting together ways to enhance joint Asian action through parliamentary cooperation and per the agenda," pointing out that the importance of the plenary to highlight the security instances witnessed by some regions of the Asian continent, the largest continent of the world, including terrorism, extremism, corruption, transnational organized crime, climate change, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other challenges.

His Excellency said that to meet these grave challenges, it was necessary to have an Asian parliamentary platform to consult on these threats and reach satisfactory solutions to them.

HE the Speaker added "We must acknowledge that there are such big problems in the Asian continent, but they are not insurmountable and solutions can be found," pointing out that the existence of these problems should not be a cause of despair, but it should represent an impetus to make more joint efforts to solve them.

HE Al Mahmoud said, the parliamentarians' mission is to contribute to creating an inclusive humanitarian Parliamentary discourse focusing on Asian countries' commonalities, which are people's concerns to live in dignity, security and sufficiency, their concerns to reconcile with nature and coexist with its disasters, and their concerns in securing a decent future for them and their children.

He pointed out that the actions that will be addressed and studied during the work of the Executive Council and the Plenary in these meetings would enrich the parliamentary work and help to bring the views and perceptions closer to many issues of common concern between member states and parliaments.

HE the Speaker added that the Shura Council of the State of Qatar believes that effective multilateralism is the key to many of the global problems that today's world suffers from. He stressed that efforts to prevent and settle conflicts by peaceful means should occupy a high rank among the priorities of parliamentarians and that the APA's support for the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli occupation in all its aspects should continue to liberate its land and establish its independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

HE Al Mahmoud further added, "We have never needed cooperation and solidarity more than today." He said that after more than a decade of the establishment of the APA, challenges become more difficult and chaos, corruption and poverty spread, which requires supporting the great efforts made by this Assembly to develop cooperation between Asian countries and its endeavor to strengthen the bonds of parliamentary friendship to support peace opportunities and enhance security and stability in the region and the world.

His Excellency thanked the representatives of the Asian Parliamentary Group for the inclusion of this meeting's agenda of important topics, such as combating corruption, which is the basis of problems for countries and peoples, pointing to the hosting by the State of Qatar of the 7th Conference of Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) as part of its role to confront this serious scourge. HE Al Mahmoud added that during the 7th Conference of GOPAC, he was elected President of GOPAC for the current session, stressing that GOPAC will work with APA to fight corruption, and cooperate in this field.

HE the Speaker stressed that the State of Qatar remained committed to the necessity of cooperation and joint work in facing cross-border challenges, adding the State of Qatar has established partnerships with many United Nations agencies, and Qatar is one of the leading countries in providing development and relief assistance.

For example, in 2018, the Qatar Fund for Development funded projects in the sectors of education, health, economic empowerment and job creation in more than 70 countries around the world, most of them in the Asian continent, he said.

HE Al Mahmoud added Qatar has also established Reach Out To Asia, operating in Cambodia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Palestinian Territories, and Lebanon, pointing out that it aims to improve the quality of education and health care in Asian countries by building capacities, encouraging education, and providing important awareness for human development, along with many initiatives launched by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to support International efforts to face common challenges such as terrorism, migration, and cybersecurity.

At the end of his speech, HE the Speaker of Shura Council reiterated his thanks and appreciation to the Republic of Turkey's President, Government, and People for their support to the Assembly by hosting these meetings, and before that the first Executive Council meeting in the beautiful city of Rize, wishing success in achieving the goals of this Assembly for the benefit, good and prosperity of the people of the member states.

HE the Speaker also expressed his thanks to HE President of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Mustafa Sentop, for inviting His Excellency to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Parliament, confirming his participation and wishes of progress and success for the Republic of Turkey.