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Posted On: 9 July 2020 11:24 pm

Qatar’s foreign policy based on strengthening international cooperation and solidarity

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
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The State of Qatar affirmed that it has adopted over the past decades a foreign policy based on strengthening and promoting international cooperation and solidarity with all countries and international and regional organizations in order to achieve world peace and contribute to efforts to realize development in various fields.

This came in the State of Qatar's speech delivered by HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva Ambassador Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri during an interactive dialogue with independent expert on human rights and international solidarity Obiora Okafor regarding his report on his visit to the State of Qatar within the framework of the 44th session of Human Rights Council.

Al Mansouri thanked Obiora Okafor for his visit to the State of Qatar from September 2-10, 2019, and praised the transparent, constructive and fruitful discussions he held during the visit, while thanking him for his report which reflects many positive models and practices adopted by the State of Qatar in embodying human rights-based solidarity at the national and international levels.

He added that he noted with appreciation the praise of the independent expert to the State of Qatar, being the first country in the Gulf region to extend an open invitation to those charged with mandates within the framework of the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, and the State of Qatar's active engagement with international and regional organizations and its hosting of various United Nations bodies, which reflects, as the independent expert mentioned, the fact that Qatar is making a great contribution to solidarity with other member states and peoples, including in the context of human rights.

The Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva added that the Qatari government has taken note of the recommendations of the independent expert mentioned in his report, and is pleased to note that a number of these recommendations are already being implemented, including those related to strengthening the work of civil society organizations, continuing efforts concerned with achieving sustainable development, introducing human rights education in the various national curricula, reinforcing national efforts related to diversifying the sources of the economy, and addressing the negative effects of climate change. Qatar will also continue its efforts to promote and protect workers' rights taking into account what was recommended by independent expert in this regard.

Al Mansouri pointed out that the State of Qatar has adopted over the past decades a foreign policy based on strengthening and promoting international cooperation and solidarity with all countries and international and regional organizations in order to achieve world peace and contribute to efforts to realize development in various fields, including by helping developing countries achieve development goals, stressing that this policy was further promoted by the Qatar National Vision 2030, which called for strengthening the economic, political and cultural role of the State of Qatar internationally and regionally.

Among the most prominent examples that the independent expert mentioned in his report in this regard, he said, are the efforts of the State of Qatar in interactive solidarity by providing support to countries affected by disasters, conflicts and climate change, as well as its efforts in preventive solidarity by investing in providing quality education at the national and international levels and implementing a number of programs and initiatives in this regard with many international partners.

On the national efforts to address and reduce the negative effects of climate change, HE Ambassador Al Mansouri said the State of Qatar has implemented several projects and initiatives aimed at reducing air pollutants and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, increasing dependence on renewable energy sources. One of the most prominent efforts of the State of Qatar in the field of climate change is the project using compressed natural gas as fuel in the transportation sector, and as an alternative fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said, pointing to the launch of Umm Al Houl power station, which is the largest power station in the Middle East and is characterized by high production efficiency and its use of the best environmentally friendly technologies in the field of water desalination, as well as the use of clean natural gas fuel to reduce emissions.

On the promotion and protection of the rights of expatriate workers, Al Mansouri affirmed that the State of Qatar has adopted important legislative and institutional reforms, the foremost of which is the abolition of the sponsorship system and its replacement with a contractual system. It also adopted specific measures to improve conditions and procedures for employing expatriate workers, to improve the system of wage protection, inspection, safety and occupational health, to facilitate access to justice for workers, and to remove restrictions related to changing employers, noting the accreditation of the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs, within the framework of the national development strategy for the labor sector, a new project to carry out an awareness campaign on the rights of expatriate workers, aiming at raising awareness among workers and employers about the new laws. Several workshops have been held in this regard, His Excellency added.

Al Mansouri stressed what the independent expert referred to in relation to the impact of the Gulf crisis on the human rights of citizens and residents of the State of Qatar, especially the right to education, health, religious practice, transportation and residency, which led to the separation of families and relatives from each other.

His Excellency urged the independent expert to pay attention to the impact of the blockade countries' closure of their land, air and maritime borders with the State of Qatar on the international humanitarian efforts undertaken by the State of Qatar, especially in light of the current COVID-19 crisis.

He said: "We reiterate our thanks to the independent expert for visiting the State of Qatar and for his efforts in carrying out the tasks of his mandate. We affirm our continued support for this mandate and our intention to cooperate with him, as a confirmation of our firm stance and commitment to international solidarity and its importance, especially in light of the current conditions that make international solidarity and cooperation an indispensable matter in order to address many challenges facing our world today."

Source: Qatar News Agency