Speaker of Shura Council: Qatar Policy Consolidates Sustainable Development Efforts, Enhances International Peace, Security

30 January 2023

HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim stressed that the policy pursued by the State of Qatar, under the leadership of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, is internally based on consolidating the efforts of sustainable development and providing all means of decent living for citizens and residents, while externally, exerting all efforts to enhance and achieve international peace and security, strengthen the cooperation between all countries, and resolve all disputes by peaceful means according to the principles of UN Charter and the rules of international law.

This came during the inauguration of the third Counter-Terrorism Coordination Meeting and Policy Dialogue on Border Security, being held in Doha for two days and organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Program Office on Parliamentary Engagement (based in Doha) in cooperation with the Shura Council of the State of Qatar, to discuss the mechanism of coordination between parliamentary organizations and assemblies concerned with counter-terrorism.

In the speech he delivered on Monday, HE Speaker of Shura Council said that this meeting, in which regional and international parliamentary organizations and assemblies whose activities cover most regions of the world, is of considerable significance due to its time and the items listed on its agenda, as well as in terms of the aspired objectives behind the meeting of this elite of representatives of organizations and assemblies in Doha.

His Excellency noted the letters of thanks sent by HE UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, in which he praised the huge support of His Highness for all UN initiatives and the international efforts to achieve global peace through humanitarian aid of the State of Qatar to support international development, combat counterterrorism and extremism, and spread values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among peoples without prejudice to their history, civilization, cultural values, and religious beliefs.

HE Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim indicated that during these two days, the activities accomplished during 2022 would be reviewed and evaluated in cooperation between parliamentary organizations and assemblies and UNOCT. The 2023 future activities and initiatives would be discussed in coordination with the Doha-based UNOCT, which receives full support from the Shura Council and various institutions in the State of Qatar, he added.

During his speech, His Excellency pointed out that the meeting would address the coordination mechanism between the parliamentary organizations and assemblies, ways to support them to carry out their task to the fullest, and study the different aspects of policies related to counter-terrorism, especially all those related to legal and legislative aspects of border security and cross-border cooperation to prevent and counter-terrorism and dry-up its sources.

At a time when the civilized world is calling for respect for religions and their sanctities and for the freedom to practice religious practices, it is unfortunate to witness an escalation in the manifestations of intolerance and discrimination against religions, as well as an increase in attacks and violations of religious sanctities and symbols under the pretext of freedom of expression, HE Speaker of Shura Council said.

His Excellency added that violations of people's religious sanctities are unacceptable, expressing his surprise to see that the official authorities in some countries are now providing a legitimate and legal cover for exposure to religions, by allowing some individuals to transgress religious sanctities and symbols, and even protecting them when they carry out these disgraceful behaviors.

During his speech, HE Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah Al Ghanim said that the transgressions that the Islamic religion and sanctities have been subjected to, manifested in the act of some citizens of several European countries, who are proud of their adoption of pluralism and claim respect for human rights and equality between them, by desecrating the Holy Qur'an - the holy book of two billion Muslims.

This crime is one of the forms that generate and feed terrorism, and these disgraceful behaviors must be discussed in this meeting to prevent their recurrence, considering that they fuel unacceptable racism, contribute to deepening the gap between peoples and cultures, and promote hate speech, His Excellency said, stressing the need for this meeting to adopt a discussion on preventing contempt for religions, criminalizing insulting religious sanctities and symbols, and including them in the legislation and regulations of international parliamentary organizations, as an approach to addressing these shameful acts.

His Excellency called on the participants of the meeting to get acquainted with the State of Qatar and the culture of its people, and to learn about its various achievements, in addition to visiting some sports facilities that recently hosted the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which has been widely praised for its remarkable organizational success.

He indicated that the State of Qatar and its people have harnessed all capabilities to receive the peoples of the world and host this tournament, which contributed to its great organizational success.

This remarkable success has been achieved despite all the attempts to distort, discredit, the systematic and malicious campaigns and heinous attacks - launched by some European and Western countries, which were based on false allegations and misleading statements, His Excellency added, pointing out that these allegation were repeatedly refuted not only by Qatar, but by many international and independent bodies and organizations as well.

The people of Qatar won the challenge and presented the world with the true image of their country, its ancient history, its authentic civilization and its distinguished culture, HE Speaker of Shura Council added.

It is noteworthy that this meeting, in which representatives of regional and international parliamentary associations and unions participate, seeks to review the relevant activities and initiatives implemented and launched by parliamentary councils, including cooperation with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), in addition to discussing priority areas and geographical focus for potential future initiatives of the parliamentary assemblies, on issues related to combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism.