Viewpoint: HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
“Restoring Hope” sends an important message about returning to normalcy, without, of course, abandoning the means of protection and precaution; this comes after a difficult time that the world has experienced and is still experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left behind millions of victims and countless humanitarian, social and economic crises. This difficult test, which humanity is continuing to face, has revealed the flaws and vulnerabilities in our collective security system, meanwhile, it has inspired us with many lessons, namely, the importance of balancing the concern for people’s health and maintaining the economic cycle that secures, at the same time, their livelihoods, as well as the importance of integration between the indispensable role of the state within its borders, on the one hand, and its role in confronting cross-border issues and joint commitments to confront challenges, crises and disasters, on the other hand.
We affirm our support for achieving the priorities included in the vision introduced for this session, emphasising the necessity of equitable distribution of vaccines, ensuring their accessibility to the countries in the Southern Hemisphere and securing treatment for all, as well as the necessity of coordinating efforts to combat another pandemic, which is the pandemic of fake news, conspiracy theories and unprecedented scepticism about the feasibility of vaccines that also swept the world during this pandemic, which still hinders the necessary spread of vaccines against the backdrop of the continuation of this pandemic. I point out here that the State of Qatar has taken a balanced and effective approach in addressing the pandemic and its impacts on health and economy at the national level. Experience has shown that success in this confrontation depends both on the policies and capabilities of the state, especially in the field of public health, and citizens’ sense of responsibility and their level of awareness. Based on our partnership with the international community to confront global crises, the State of Qatar has not slackened providing support to the relevant international institutions and standing beside the countries affected by the pandemic; as we have continued to provide medical supplies and cater for other needs related to tackling the pandemic through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation and providing support to the World Health Organisation and Humanitarian Initiative to provide vaccines for the most vulnerable groups and the countries most in need.
The issue of conflicts has kept the UN busy and placed many burdens on it since its foundation. Unfortunately, the Middle East region is a source of a large part of these burdens. Hence, the State of Qatar considers contributing to the field of peaceful resolution of conflicts, including putting forward concepts of collective security, as one of its priorities. As there is no security, stability, development or decent human life under conflicts.
We have always been keen to establish an atmosphere of peace, stability and cooperation in the region. As an example, at the Gulf level, our immediate environment, we have repeatedly stressed the importance of the GCC and our commitment to settle any differences through constructive dialogue. The Al Ula Declaration, which was issued by the leaders of the GCC last January, came as an embodiment of the principle of resolving differences through dialogue based on common interests and mutual respect. We are confident of consolidating this concordance that has happened between brothers. On the other hand, we see that there is no solution to the disagreements and differences in viewpoints with Iran except through rational dialogue based on mutual respect. This also applies to the issue of returning to the nuclear agreement with Iran. I do not think that anyone has an alternative to this approach, even those who oppose reverting to the agreement. The American decision to withdraw from Afghanistan following negotiations with the Taliban constituted an extremely critical turning point for this country. The responsibility lies first on the Afghan people with all its factions and second on the international community to work systematically and persistently to achieve a comprehensive political settlement and pave the way for stability in this country that has long suffered from the ravages of war. As you know, Qatar has spared no effort in helping to evacuate thousands of individuals and families of various nationalities during the past weeks. This was our humanitarian duty. But the most important thing I want to refer to is that we were confident that war offers no solution and that there would be dialogue in the end. We had acted on this basis when we hosted the Taliban office when our international partners asked us to open and patronise a direct dialogue between them and Taliban in Doha. This position has been proven correct.
A decade has passed since the start of the Syrian crisis, which unfolded with a peaceful uprising and then turned into a humanitarian catastrophe due to the war launched by the regime against its people and the extremist armed forces that took advantage of the situation. The continuation of the crisis poses immense perils, including the aggravation of the threat of terrorism to Syria itself and to the peace and security in the region and the world.
These days mark the 50th anniversary of Qatar joining the membership of the UN on September 21, 1971. During the past five decades the relationship between Qatar and the international organisation has been characterised by close cooperation and the establishment of exemplary partnerships in various fields. Qatar’s bet on international institutions and multilateral cooperation is a strategic one. In this context, we affirm pursuing our contributions to supporting the UN entities and fulfilling our commitments to the issues identified by the international community as priorities at this stage.
We are pleased that Doha has become a hub of international multilateral action in our region, which is in dire need of the work and efforts of the UN agencies and international institutions, as their offices in Doha have started working. In this context, we look forward to inaugurating the UN House in Doha soon. I refer also to the world’s increasing dependence on IT and modern communication in all aspects of life, from education, to security and the economy. But on the other hand, the world has felt the effects of the misuse of cyberspace, including breaching private domains of individuals and international piracy and the serious threat it poses to the security and stability of the international community. From this standpoint, we reiterate the call for the UN to lead the process of unifying the efforts to prevent the misuse of the scientific progress in cybersecurity and regularise these vital aspects according to the rules of international law.
Climate change remains one of the most critical challenges of our time, as it brings with it disastrous impacts on all aspects of life for the current and future generations, which necessitates pursuing our joint efforts to confront these effects. In this respect, I want to indicate that the State of Qatar has placed climate change at the forefront of its priorities, and it continues to take the necessary measures to develop climate change-related technologies and clean energy. In conclusion, our joint responsibility and the shared destiny of humanity require dedication to the values of partnership in international relations to achieve the interest of our peoples and the good of humanity.
This viewpoint was taken directly from HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s speech delivered at the 76th UN General Assembly in September 2021.