Qatar Stresses Responsibility of All Nations to Protect Civilians from War Crimes

Seoul, – The State of Qatar has stressed that all nations have the responsibility to protect civilians from war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

While highlighting that it is the responsibility of the whole nations, individually and collectively, Qatar wondered what actions the international community would take when a state which is supposed to protect its people commits such atrocities, making a reference to the responsibility of the Syrian regime for killing more than 400,000 civilians since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, and for the displacement of millions.

This came in a statement delivered by HE Dr Mutlaq Al-Majid Al-Qahtani, Director of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences at the Foreign Ministry, during his participation in the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points, which concluded in Seoul, South Korea, today.

The indecisiveness of the international community to protect civilians in Gaza, Syria and Yemen paved the way for extremist groups such as (ISIS group) to intervene in pockets of tension and commit atrocities against civilians, HE Dr Al-Qahtani said, adding that “the emergence of non-State actors puts us all in front of new and serious challenges and at the same time requires from us to deal with them.” He added that the failure of the Security Council in carrying out duty for maintaining international peace and security should not absolve the United Nations and the international community of performing the same responsibility, indicating the need to activate the role of the UN General Assembly and other regional organizations and arrangements to put an end to the massacres committed against civilians, citing what happened in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Syria and Yemen as an example.

On Yemen, HE Director of the Department of International Organizations and Conferences said that the intervention of Arab coalition forces in Yemen came at the request of the legitimate president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, in accordance with the principle of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, and in accordance with the principle of the responsibility to protect, when the Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh tightened control over government buildings and targeted civilian facilities and committed crimes against civilians. He expressed Qatar’s aspiration for peace consultations taking place in Kuwait to reach a political agreement to restore security and stability of Yemen and its people.

It is worth mentioning that Qatar was appointed as a National Focal Point for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), becoming the 44th state globally and the first state in the Middle East to appoint a National R2P Focal Point.

Doha will host this year a high-level workshop for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to discuss the principle of the responsibility to protect, and will also host the seventh Annual Meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points next year.

Source: Qatar News Agency