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Further to my previous letters regarding the blockade of Qatar and the illegal and discriminatory measures that have been imposed against it since 5 June 2017, and upon instructions from my Government, I should like to apprise you of the ongoing efforts of Qatar to appeal to United Nations and international legal institutions, with a view to resolving situations precipitated by the failure of the blockading States to comply with international instruments and mechanisms. That failure has serious implications for the stability of the region and threatens international peace and security.

On 14 July 2020, the International Court of Justice handed down two judgments in favour of Qatar, one in which the Court rejects the appeal lodged by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates relating to the jurisdiction of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to consider the complaint submitted by Qatar under article 84 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, and another in which the Court rejects the appeal lodged by Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates regarding the jurisdiction of the ICAO Council to consider the complaint submitted by Qatar pursuant to article II, section 2, of the International Air Services Transit Agreement. Qatar presented its complaint to the ICAO Council because, since 5 June 2017, the four blockading States have closed their airspace to Qatari aircraft and prohibited them from flying over their respective territory or landing at their airports, in flagrant violation of international law, the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and the International Air Services Transit Agreement. Nevertheless, those States continue to impose a blanket ban on Qatari aircraft without regard for the legal and humanitarian implications of their actions, in particular given the unprecedented global crisis that has been caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

I should like to point out that the aforementioned judgments in favour of Qatar are in addition to two other judgments that the Court had rendered previously. In the first judgment, which was handed down on 23 July 2018, the Court approved the request of Qatar for interim measures to be taken against the United Arab Emirates, which, as stated in my identical letters dated 26 July 2018 (S/2018/562), has taken discriminatory measures against Qatari nationals in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. In the second judgment, which was handed down on 14 June 2019, the Court rejected the request of the United Arab Emirates for the indication of provisional measures against Qatar in relation to that same case, as stated in my identical letters dated 30 July 2019 (S/2019/610).

On 16 June 2020, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization issued its final report, which favours Qatar, with regard to the violation by Saudi Arabia of the intellectual property rights of Qatari satellite television sports channels and the organized piracy to which those channels have been subjected. It was proven that Saudi Arabia failed to initiate criminal proceedings against and impose penalties on the Saudi Arabian channel beoutQ for its piracy and theft of programming belonging to the Qatari beIN television channel, despite evidence that the former channel is operated by individuals or entities subject to the jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, Saudi Arabia is legally obliged to stop the Saudi Arabian channel beoutQ from misappropriating the intellectual property rights of the Qatari beIN television channel. Saudi Arabia is also legally obliged to rectify its conduct so as to bring it into line with its obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

Instead of doing that, Saudi Arabia, acting through its Mission to WTO, circulated a note to the Permanent Missions of several States in Geneva and to the relevant organizations, entities and companies, in which it makes several claims regarding the report that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body issued in relation to the aforementioned case. Saudi Arabia stated that the Dispute Settlement Body had exonerated it under international law and had accepted its defence that it was protecting its national security. It should be noted that the report of the Dispute Settlement Body contradicts the false allegations contained in the note circulated by Saudi; the theft of television broadcasting rights has nothing to do with a country’s national security and commercial piracy continues. The Saudi Arabian note is therefore simply an attempt to mislead the global public and the international community about the report of the Dispute Settlement Body and to cover up the truth.

The fact that Qatar continues to resort to the International Court of Justice and other international bodies confirms that is committed to international law and international instruments concerning the resolution of disputes by legal means, and demonstrates that it respects the principles governing friendly relations between States. On the other hand, the blockading States continue not to implement the judgments of the relevant legal institutions and United Nations and international bodies, refuse to resolve the crisis through dialogue and continue to ignore the initiatives of friendly States in that regard.

I should be grateful if the present letter could be issued as a document of the Security Council.