HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, and HE Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism at the United Nations Vladimir Voronkov officially inaugurated today the Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Program on Parliamentary Participation in Preventing and Combating Terrorism, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding and the signed agreement between the Shura Council and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, to establish this office and be based in the State of Qatar, and its activities cover all parliaments of the world.
HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud said in his speech at the opening ceremony that the establishment of this office in Doha on this historic day came in appreciation of the United Nations and the international community for the distinguished role of the State of Qatar in combating terrorism under the leadership and wisdom of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and his firm policy in the field of combating terrorism in all its forms, whatever its source and eliminating its causes, adding that the efforts of close cooperation between the Shura Council and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two sides in February of 2019, and a subsequent agreement last November, through the exchange of letters, to establish this office, which is the first of its kind in the region and the world,
His Excellency added that all parliaments of the world will benefit from this office programs and activities, and it will be an important qualitative leap in the international communitys efforts to prevent and combat terrorism, due to the great role played by parliaments by virtue of their legislative, political and direct influence on all issues of concern to the peoples of the world, especially the issue of combating terrorism.
His Excellency summarized the offices tasks in undertaking joint initiatives to support the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions in the field of combating terrorism and violent extremism leading to terrorism, conducting research and analysis, and carrying out work to support the prevention and combating of terrorism, including enacting new legislation around the world and helping to formulate model parliament-led counter-terrorism legislation, policies and strategies.
The office will also undertake major initiatives within the framework of the United Nations Program and the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the role of parliaments in addressing terrorism and violent extremism leading to terrorism, because of the critical role of parliaments in preventing and combating terrorism and supporting the international conventions adopted in the field of eliminating this scourge, and this office will support the establishment of operation of a global parliamentary network, creation and maintenance of a web platform, and production of materials, publications and multimedia resources to support activities to prevent and combat terrorism.
His Excellency praised the efforts of HE Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism at the United Nations Vladimir Voronkov, and the great and fruitful work he had done in order to establish this office to serve the objectives of the United Nations in general and the field of counter-terrorism in particular.
His Excellency also praised the efforts of HE President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco, who supported the initiative to establish the office since its inception and was keen to continue cooperation and coordination for the success of the office's work and implementation of its tasks.
For his part, HE Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov praised Qatars efforts and leadership in combating terrorism and its support for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism; and extended thanks and appreciation to HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for his strong support for counter-terrorism efforts.
In his speech via videoconferencing, HE Voronkov shed light on role of the office, saying that it will provide a package of technical support and capacity-building programs, assist parliamentarians in their efforts, and build partnerships with UN institutions, in addition to providing programs on evidence-based research, empowering women and youth.
He said that there is an increasing recognition of the important roles of parliaments in combating terrorism and violent extremism and in taking preventive measures. There is also a strong demand by parliamentarians to better understand their roles and to be provided with means to complement the actions taken by the executive authority in this regard.
He added that that legislators are integral components of the countering terrorism approach, which is recognized in the various resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council as the cornerstone of effective efforts to combat terrorism.
The opening ceremony was attended by HE President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco, who expressed his pride in participating in this important event, which confirms the importance of the State of Qatar in this multilateral international system. He gave a detailed presentation on the role of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in combating terrorism and violent extremism, and the Union's future plans in this field in coordination with the Doha office.
HE the IPU President praised the efforts of HE the Speaker of the Shura Council, which resulted in the establishment of this important office that will enhance the efforts to prevent terrorism and violent extremism, thanks to its outputs and its establishment of an international parliamentary network, an interactive map and annual reports.
The ceremony was also attended by HE Chairperson of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean Gennaro Migliore, HE Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean Sergio Biazi, and HE Mauro Medico of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, who underlined that the opening of this office is an important and positive development in the international efforts to combat terrorism because parliamentarians have an effective and influential role in enacting legislation and cooperating with governments in this field.
They expressed their appreciation for the role and the leadership of the State of Qatar in combating terrorism, and for hosting this office concerned with parliamentary participation in preventing and combating terrorism.
The opening ceremony was also attended by HE President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Rik Daems, HE Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Reinhold Lopatka, HE Secretary-General of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States Dmitriy Kobitskiy, HE Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Achim Steiner, HE Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Ghada Fathi Waly, and HE Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Michele Coninsx.
In their speeches delivered via videoconferencing during the ceremony, they valued the leading role played by the State of Qatar in establishing this office, stressing its importance and its expected role in advancing counter-terrorism efforts across the world, achieving close cooperation with the United Nations and parliamentarians in all countries, addressing the challenges of terrorism and ensuring the required balance between the rights of victims and combating terrorism, through parliamentary diplomacy and the application of United Nations counter-terrorism policies and strategies.
The opening ceremony was also attended by HE Deputy Speaker of the Shura Council Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Sulaiti, a number of Their Excellencies members of the Shura Council, HE Deputy Chairman of the National Counter-Terrorism Committee, HE Ambassador of the State of Eritrea and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the State of Qatar Ambassador Ali Ibrahim Ahmed.
The ceremony was followed via videoconferencing by Their Excellencies the heads of parliaments of the world's countries, Their Excellencies the ambassadors and heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to the State of Qatar, Their Excellencies the permanent delegates to the United Nations in New York, and Their Excellencies representatives of international parliaments.