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Speaker of Shura Council Stresses Need to Activate Role of Parliaments to Restore Confidence among Nations

15 October 2019

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HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud stressed that there is a need today more than ever to activate and strengthen the role of parliaments in order to restore confidence among nations, in particular the role of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) because it has been characterized by the equality of all its members without discrimination or preference for States with veto power to undertake reforms to regional and international systems that do not achieve justice and equality and do not deter aggressors.

This came in a speech delivered by His Excellency today to the 141st General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the accompanying meetings held in the Serbian capital Belgrade under the title "Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional cooperation".

His Excellency said that the countries that emerged from World War II agreed to establish an international legal system aimed at maintaining international peace and security and to spare the world the scourge of war and the evils of conflicts, and pledged to abide by it and support the bodies established to implement it, pointing out that the celebration of the 130th anniversary of the IPU is an occasion to assess the commitment of nations to international law and to seek effective means to meet the challenges facing nations today.

His Excellency added that by reviewing some cases of violations of international law in our region, there is a need to strengthen international law and the role of parliaments and regional organizations in supporting it.

His Excellency stressed that our region suffers from Israel violations of all UN resolutions that have continued since its establishment in 1948, and the international community must push for the resumption of peace negotiations leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He pointed out that parliamentarians can play a vital role in preparing the atmosphere for direct negotiations and through sending delegates from parliaments to monitor the effects of the occupation, blockade and arbitrary measures, and urged governments to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and provide assistance to the Palestinians.

His Excellency also pointed out that our region is also witnessing violations of international humanitarian law due to wars and conflicts due to ideological differences, marginalization and the spread of armed and extremist movements, where parliaments and regional and international parliamentary organizations can play an active role in this field.

He said they could urge their governments to provide humanitarian support and assistance to refugees, displaced people and war victims, to send envoys to mediate and good offices between the conflicting parties, to help achieve peace, implement transitional justice measures, return displaced people to their homes, and rebuild war-affected areas.

His Excellency spoke of the fact that the Gulf region is witnessing a tense situation threatening of disasters in this vital region.

He reiterated the State of Qatar's concern over these tensions. Qatar does not hope for any military escalation in the region, Qatar has consistently called for an end to wars and conflicts in the region, the elimination of their causes, the resolution of any dispute through dialogue and adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law, he added.

His Excellency called on parliaments to urge their governments to express their concern and help defuse tensions in the region.

His Excellency pointed to another threat to the stability represented by the negative effects of modern technology, including unconventional cyber security threats, which has become a threat to international peace and security.

His Excellency pointed out that the State of Qatar and other countries have been affected by digital piracy and espionage, and the misuse by some countries of modern technologies and sciences in the absence of clear international institutions and legislation that regulate this dangerous and vital area and punish the perpetrators of cross-border crimes.

His Excellency stressed that parliaments can take confidence-building measures in policy-making and capacity-building initiatives, and urged governments to call for an international conference on cybersecurity and the freedom to use digital codification on their freedom of use, by continuing to support the invitation of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the 72nd and 73rd sessions of the United Nations General Assembly to organize and host an international conference on cybersecurity.

His Excellency also drew attention to the existence of many other forms of violations of human rights and international law under the pretext of fighting terrorism without support, transparency and international sponsorship. He pointed out that the violation of some systems and governing entities in a number of countries to the rights of citizens and the confiscation of their freedoms under the pretext of fighting terrorism, is the result of a lack of respect for international laws and human rights.

In this context, His Excellency stressed the State of Qatar's firm position to reject all forms of terrorism, whatever the causes and pretexts and address its roots, and drying up its sources through the dissemination of education and employment opportunities for young people, and through the support of the United Nations organizations and the launch of initiatives to educate millions of children and provide employment opportunities for young people.

He stressed the role of parliaments and regional organizations in combating violence and countering this phenomenon, by demanding standardization in the fight against terrorism and adopting a definition that is not based on selectivity according to the religious or ethnic identity of the perpetrator, and not detailed according to the narrow interests or hidden agenda of some countries.

His Excellency praised all the delegations that participated in the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which was hosted by the State of Qatar last April, praising their valuable contribution, which has been credited for its outstanding success.

His Excellency also pointed to the choice of climate change as an emergency item for this session, adding that HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, had announced at the International Climate Change Summit at the United Nations in New York recently that the State of Qatar donated USD 100 million to support small island states and least developed countries to support efforts in the fight against the harmful impacts of climate change.

His Excellency expressed his thanks to the friendly Republic of Serbia, the Government, the Parliament and the people, and to the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Maja Gojkovic, for the kind invitation, good reception and quality of preparation and organization of the work of these important meetings.