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Speech by Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani at 69th UN General Assembly

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In the name of God the Merciful,

Your Excellency the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Your Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure at the outset to congratulate His Excellency Mr. Sam Kutesa on his election as President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, I wish him success in his mission.

I would also like to thank His Excellency Mr. John Ashe for his efforts during his presidency of the previous session.

I thank His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for his efforts to promote and activate the role of the United Nations.

Convening this session comes at a time when the latest developments in the international arena affect the security and safety of all humanity, and need the United Nations to assume its role in maintaining international peace and security through all its mechanisms and means provided by the Charter of the United Nations, and explore any and all means to prevent conflicts and address their root causes, and work to settle them in peaceful means.

The international peace and security will not be achieved without a dialogue based on the principle of equality and compliance with the provisions of international law, the implementation of the resolutions of international legitimacy and respect for the principles of human rights and the rights of peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The region of the Middle East has gone through extremely dangerous phase during the recent war on our Palestinian brothers. There are no guarantees that a similar war would not be waged again. In fact, Israel hangs on to its policy of occupation and snubbing the will of the international community by its latest confiscation of lands in the West Bank and its continuous building of settlements in a bid to perpetuate its occupation.

The conscience of mankind has been deeply shocked by the tragic pictures and unprecedented realities that the world has seen during the aggression on Gaza and targeting of civilians: babies were killed while in the arms of their mothers, almost half a million Palestinians were displaced, and Gaza Strip was destroyed on a large scale before we even finish the reconstruction of what was destroyed during the previous aggression. The definition of what that aggression has committed, as per the provisions of international law and the international humanitarian law, is a crime against humanity.

The arrogance of power will not overcome the resistance of the Palestinian people. I salute the steadfastness of the resistance of the Palestinian people in Gaza in the face of the occupation and in insisting on regaining its legitimate rights. May the souls of the Palestinian martyrs rest in peace.

Israel must realize that the security of its people will only be achieved through peace, and that demise will be the fate of occupation.

The damages caused by the repeated Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip over the past years, the unjust siege imposed on it, and the destruction it caused in its infrastructure, make it imperative for the international community to compel Israel to implement the resolutions of the international legitimacy, fulfill its obligations and expedite the removal of obstacles in order to lift the blockade and achieve the reconstruction process. The State of Qatar will spare no effort to provide assistance for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. We urge all countries of the world to be a part of that effort.

Mr. President,

The intemational community’s response to the aspirations of the Palestinian people to freedom and national independence is a prerequisite to confirm the justice of international legitimacy, especially since the question of Palestine is the last remaining issue on the decolonization agenda. In this context, temporary solutions and piecemeal settlements have proven to be useless and unacceptable. Israel’s intransigence compels us to refer to the United Nations as a framework that accommodates all parties. The Security Council needs to assume its moral and legal responsibility by upholding the international legitimacy and human rights and avoiding selectivity that characterized the way it has addressed this issue during the past period. It needs to pass a resolution under Chapter VII of the Charter to force Israel to end its occupation of lands it captured in 1967 and implementation of the two-state solution agreed upon by the international community, according to a clear and time-bound political plan, within the framework of peace negotiations leading to a permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue and the two-state solution, in accordance with the Arab peace initiative and the relevant resolutions of the international legitimacy. It is the duty of the world to persuade the Palestinians that those who killed their children in Gaza would not be received in the diplomatic forums as if they carried out a civilized action, for they have bombed Palesfinians from the air without staining their hands with blood.

Mr. President,

The tragedy of the Syrian people, which has entered its fourth year, represents one of the major challenges in the Middle East. This humanitarian disaster is exacerbated and becoming increasingly dangerous in the lack of a clear vision for a solution to the crisis, the continuing acts of murder and destruction, the violations of human rights, the suffering and the displacement of nearly half of the Syrian people.

In the light of such situation, it is imperative for the international community to work hard to put an end to the bloodshed and the systematic destruction of Syria by a regime that put its people between a rock and a hard case to chose between accepting its presence at the helm or burning down their country.

We have already warned that the continuation of the regime’s policy of terrorism, genocide and displacement, and the failure to provide support to the Syrian revolution, when it was still a civilian revolution demanding freedom and dignity, would push many Syrians to opt for self-defense. We have also warned the international community, from the outset, that if no action was taken about the situation in Syria, we would be getting to where we are now. When the Syrian people defended themselves with weapons, we advocated supporting them before the regime destroys their country and before extremist organizations are established. No red lines were drawn to limit the action of the Syrian regime. The world remained unfazed even when Syrian children and women were being killed with chemical weapons, and when its populated neighborhoods were bombed with air-dropped barrels. Eventually, the Syrian people were stuck between terrorism of the regime and terrorism of extremist forces that thrived in the swamp of violence.

The war of genocide being waged and the deliberate displacement carried out by the regime, remain the maj or crime.

Faced with this grim reality, the international community needs to provide all aspects of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people inside Syria and in the areas of their refuge. We reiterate the call for the Security Council to promptly shoulder its legal and humanitarian responsibility and support the Syrian people against both dangers posed by the terrorism of the regime and the crimes of genocide it is perpetrating, and by the terrorist forces that took advantage of the misery and bitterness and the absence of the state and the international community. The first danger has begotten the second.

Mr. President,

Many areas of the world suffer from the terrorism phenomenon that is being perpetrated under different pretexts and slogans that threaten the security and stability of the world and hamper the achievement of the desired development. There is no civilization that has not known terrorism in the modem era.

There is no doubt that the most affected communities are those in which this bad seed had grown. Such phenomenon is hostile to diversity and pluralism that enrich communities. In the case of the affected Arab and Islamic societies, terrorism affects innocent people, impoverish our societies for it seeks to deprive them of humanitarian and religious diversity, blurs the real demands of the peoples, and offends the religion by superficial and anathematizing interpretations.

Therefore we must all redouble our efforts to fight this phenomenon whatever its forms, target or source might be.

It has been proven beyond doubt, that terrorism can only be defeated in its social environment. If societies are to stand with us in the fight against terrorism, we need to be fair with them and not push them to choose between terrorism and tyranny, or between terrorism and sectarian discrimination.

We cannot succeed in the war on terrorism if the peoples were not satisfied that it is their war, and not a war to stabilize a regime that is oppressing them.

The Syrian people have suffered from tyranny and terrorism. The international community did not listen to the cries for help of the Iraqi people who were themselves the first victims of terrorism in Iraq.

But the people who fought terrorism and defeated it, found themselves prone to marginalization and abuse by terrorist sectarian militias. It is hence imperative to persuade the Iraqi people that they would not pay the price a thousand times, and that when they defend their homeland they are merely defending their rights, dignity and freedom, which must be upheld.

This is what the majority of the Syrian people must be persuaded of after being soaked in blood spilled by the Syrian regime for daring to demand freedom and dignity.

In this context, the international community needs to stand firmly beside brotherly Iraq to confront terrorism, end its ordeal. Preserving its sovereignty, territorial integrity and diversity of sects can only be achieved by defusing sectarian conflict and achieving Iraqi reconciliation that lays the foundations for a society free of sectarian and ethnic conflicts, with the participation of all the political forces without exclusion of any party. In this context, we must also support our sisterly Libya to end its current ordeal by a serious effort from the international community to respect the will of the Libyan people and meet their legitimate aspirations for security and stability through reconciliation and inclusiveness of all Libya spectrum.

From this rostrum, I call on all Libyan political forces to follow the path of national dialogue to hammer out a formula for the regime they want that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people, who gave so much for freedom.

On this occasion, I cannot but note the nascent Tunisian experience, which bodes well thanks to the awareness and unity of Tunisians and their insistence on the success of their experiment, despite continuous attempts for conspiracy by powers that do not want for the experience of pluralism to succeed in our region. We have witnessed another successful experience of peaceful transfer of power in Yemen. We are encouraged by the outcome of the national dialogue under the auspices of the United Nations, and support of the Security Council, which passed a resolution that emphasized its commitment to that process and condemned those undermining its implementation.

But it seems there are forces who are joining their ranks in an attempt to thwart that experiment. Some of them oppose any change at all and would have preferred time would go back, and some offer sectarian conflict, and sectarian and factional interests instead of justice and good governance for Yemen. Experience has shown that the use of violence and political action from a factional or sectarian perspective does not lead to a change towards a better system of governance, but poses a threat to the political entity itself.

We call on the Yemeni brothers to preserve the achievements of the young people of Yemen, and the achievements of the national dialogue, and their wisdom, and not to abandon what they have accomplished, and not to allow anyone to drag them through factional violence. We also call upon the United Nations to work on implementing its decisions on the achievements of the national dialogue, including the rebuilding of the army to be able to defend the legitimate institutions, and to stop the phenomenon of armed militias in Yemen. It is clear that such forces would lead to civil strife and derail the process of peaceful transition.

Mr. President,

Many countries in the world still suffer from poverty and face serious difficulties in promoting the development within the desired rates. In this regard, the new post -2015 sustainable development goals constitute a common vision on future generations. I would like to emphasize here, that the State of Qatar will continue its efforts to build a partnership with the United Nations, to adopt a post -2015 development plan that meets the aspirations of the peoples of all countries and regional blocs.

I would like to note that the State of Qatar has achieved advanced steps in their national development and strengthened its regional and global partnerships in this regard and this was confirmed by the 2014 United Nations Human Development index. The State of Qatar was ranked thirty-first globally, and today we continue the implementation of the comprehensive national strategy for human development based on the Qatar Vision 2030 aimed to achieve development in various fields.

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Qatar will continue to support initiatives in developing countries, and to provide aid in disaster areas, over the last five years, we have provided governmental humanitarian aid worth about two billion and two hundred million US dollars, in addition to non-governmental aid of about three hundred ninety million dollars.

The State of Qatar will also continue its active policy in providing a space for dialogue in areas of conflict and to mediate between the various parties because we do believe in solving conflicts by peaceful means, and because we have established the tradition of peaceful mediation. We will also continue to provide a platform for dialogue among political currents, cultures and religions.

In conclusion, I would like to renew the commitment of the State of Qatar to work with the United Nations to address common challenges, and achieve the goals we seek.

I thank you.
May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani

Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani Emir of Qatar (since 2013)

 
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