Shura Council Speaker Highlights Qatar's Interest in AI and Cyber Security

27 April 2024

HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim highlighted the importance that the State of Qatar, under the directives of its wise leadership, attaches to Artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security, and setting legal frameworks to manage their use.
This came during His Excellency's chairmanship of the Shura Council's delegation to the 6th conference of the Arab Parliament and Speakers of Arab Councils and Parliaments held at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Saturday. The conference is held to discuss and issue a draft document for an Arab parliamentary vision for the safe use of AI.
His Excellency pointed to HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's emphasis on and call for the need to hold an international conference to regulate cyber security in international law at the 73rd and 74th sessions of the United Nations General Assembly held in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council underscored the State of Qatar's efforts to solidify national cyber and ensure the safety of the state's vital interests by forming the National Cyber Security Agency.
His Excellency added that the State of Qatar has supported a United Nations' decision to set a comprehensive international convention to counter cyber security crimes, in addition to establishing the Qatar Computing Research Institute in order to meet local needs and enhance Qatar's leading international standing in the field.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council said that the state has adopted Qatar's National AI Strategy in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030, to ensure the country's economic and strategic future.
His Excellency stressed the importance of the draft document being worked out, however, pointing to member states' divergence in opinions and positions regarding AI legalization.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council continued by saying that AI receives international interest due to AI's impressive role in serving humanity and facilitating life. His Excellency added that as the case with other forms of knowledge and sciences, AI also poses challenges and risks, particularly with regard to its military misuse which has the potential of threatening world peace and security, something on which specialists are working on understanding and mitigating.
HE Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim stressed the need for parliamentarians to work with AI experts and specialists on drafting a comprehensive legislation on the safe use of AI in all fields.
HE the Speaker of the Shura Council said that Arab AI experts and specialists must be benefitted from in conducting research and studies in the field, as well as in preparing a report on the benefits and risks of AI use, and ways for its safe use, to then be presented to the Arab Parliament's general secretariat and distributed among member states to guide their national AI legislations.
His Excellency expressed hope that the conference succeeds in making decisions and setting procedures for a unified comprehensive vision on AI. 

In his speech, HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim touched on the suffering of the brothers in Palestine because of the brutal aggression that claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people, denouncing the crimes of genocide and forced displacement committed by the occupation forces in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories. He denounced the international silence regarding the barbaric crimes committed by the occupation forces, and the inability of the United Nations agencies concerned with protecting international peace and security and their inability to stop the brutal aggression and hold the occupation accountable for its heinous crimes. He stressed the need for parliamentarians to act by forming a parliamentary committee or creating a mechanism that brings together parliamentarians to stop this brutal aggression that disregards all international laws. Pointing to what the world is witnessing these days in relation to student demonstrations in several universities, which began in the United States of America and extended to a number of countries, he explained that the authorities’ handling of those demonstrations through repression and arrest reveals the false claim of some countries regarding the protection of freedoms and human rights. His Excellency said that he feels pain and bitterness when he sees the failure of two billion Muslims to influence the UN resolution and the positions of the countries supporting the occupying entity. HE the Speaker of the Shura Council pointed out that the brutal entity's continuing violations and defiance of international norms and laws despite the efforts undertaken by the State of Qatar and a number of Arab and Islamic countries is due to the United Nations' lack of mechanisms to implement its decisions, and the urgent need to reform the Security Council. His Excellency reviewed the efforts of the State of Qatar in this file through its active participation in facilitating intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform and its hosting in 2017 of the high-level meeting on Council reform with the participation of 30 countries. At the conclusion of the conference, the participants adopted the parliamentary document, with an "Arab parliamentary vision for the safe use of AI," including the approval of an advanced legislative structure to set controls on the uses of artificial intelligence, the development of a national strategy and plans to regulate the uses of artificial intelligence, and the establishment of early warning systems for continuous assessment of the risks of artificial intelligence. The document, scheduled to be presented to Their Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies leaders of Arab countries during the upcoming Arab Summit, also includes raising societal awareness regarding the challenges and risks of artificial intelligence, taking into account the specificity of Arab societies in the uses of artificial intelligence, localizing its industry, and using it in parliamentary work, and participating in international efforts to reach a binding international agreement to regulate the uses of artificial intelligence. The conference also issued a statement regarding the continued aggression of the occupying entity against the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories, in which the parliamentarians called on the UN Security Council to adopt a binding resolution to immediately stop the aggression of the occupying entity and implement the temporary measures contained in the order of the International Court of Justice. The statement stressed the need to break the siege of the occupying entity on the Gaza Strip and bring in aid convoys. Through the statement, the parliamentarians affirmed their rejection of the plans and intentions of the occupying entity to forcibly displace more than one and a half million Palestinian citizens. The statement also stressed the need to provide support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and urged the International Criminal Court to criminally investigate war crimes committed by the occupation forces, provide support for the State of Palestine to obtain full membership in the United Nations, and call on the Security Council to accept this membership. The Shura Council delegation participating in the conference comprises Members HE Abdulrahman bin Yousef Al Khulaifi, HE Yousef bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, HE Dr. Ahmed bin Hamad Al Mohannadi, and HE Abdullah bin Ali Al Sulaiti along with HE Secretary General of the Shura Council Nayef bin Mohammed Al Mahmoud.