Advisor to HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari stressed that the continuous participation of the State of Qatar in the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) always receives positive feedback, especially toward the speeches of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani before the leaders of countries in those meetings.
In his remarks to Qatar News Agency , Al Ansari said that the State of Qatar – as a proactive and influential partner in the international community and an effective member of the United Nations – always works to strengthen its position in this international body, in particular, and the international community in general through its active participation in the UNGA meetings.
He added that the annual speeches of HH the Amir before the UNGA include a clearly delivered group of visions and ideas, setting the directions for Qatar’s foreign policy and its work within the multilateral international framework.
He stressed that participating in the UNGA meetings represents an annual opportunity to emphasize Qatar’s foreign policy firm stances and a chance to push toward clear directions regarding basic issues in which Qatar believes. Thus, there are always constants in the speech of HH the Amir that always form an essential part of Qatar’s foreign policy, on top of which are the Palestinian cause and regional issues.
He pointed out that HH the Amir’s presence in the UNGA draws the attention of various parties and that the meetings held on the sidelines of His Highness’ participation in the UNGA represent the bedrock of Qatar’s foreign policy.
He said that this annual gathering, which brings together a large number of leaders of world countries under one umbrella, gives a chance to push forward the agenda for Qatar’s foreign policy. In addition, the great respect that HH the Amir enjoys through his participation in the UNGA confirms the success of this participation and its importance in the international context.
He indicated that Qatar’s participation in the UNGA meetings also includes the launch of a number of important initiatives by the State of Qatar, as in 2022 a group of initiatives were launched, led by the “Women in Conflict Zones” initiative, in addition to holding an event on combating child trafficking in sports. Another side event came to commemorate the adoption of the Doha Program of Action for the Least Developed Countries, in addition to the “The Scoring Moment” for sustainable development, which was held two months ahead of hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
He noted that all the initiatives put forward by the State of Qatar in the UNGA are part of the State of Qatar’s continuous active role in the UN through its Permanent Mission in New York headed by HE the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, as the mission makes immense efforts to consolidate Qatar’s relation with the UN and ensure that Qatar’s role is generally influential within the organization.
Dr. Majed Al Ansari said that the issue of mediation and resolving disputes by peaceful means comes at the heart of Qatar’s international influential roles, especially since it comes within Qatar’s foreign policy constants. He added that the mediation role played by Qatar is not a marginal issue in its foreign policy but rather a principle stipulated in its permanent constitution to consolidate international peace and security by promoting the peaceful resolution of international disputes.
He indicated that out of that role, Qatari diplomacy engaged during the past few years in several successful mediations, including putting an end to the presidential vacuum in Lebanon in 2008, signing the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), mediating between Eritrea and Djibouti, the release of hostages in Syria, in addition to working to achieve reconciliation between the Palestinians.
In the same context, a peace agreement was achieved between the United States and Taliban, which required a tremendous effort and ended the longest war in the history of the USA and the suffering of the Afghan people that lasted for more than 20 years. In addition, Qatar hosted the intra-Afghan negotiations, the indirect talks between the US and Iran regarding the nuclear deal, and the signing of Chadian parties on the Doha Peace Agreement.
Qatar’s latest mediation efforts was between the US and Tehran to release some prisoners and open a humanitarian channel in the same agreement. Dr. Al Ansari stressed that Qatar’s success in mediation is a direct result of the wise leadership’s interest in the success of any negotiations and also of the political will in Qatar that makes sure to have a clear role regarding resolving conflicts and peaceful solutions.
He noted that Qatar’s success in that regard is because Qatar always stands at the same distance from all parts, which is not seen as passive neutrality, as within the framework of mediation, Qatar always plays roles beyond being a traditional mediator through developing conflicting zones and engaging in investment, economy, promoting international consensus on the solution, and providing the appropriate environment for the future success of the mediation, as these are the strength points of the Qatari mediation.
In that regard, he pointed out that aid and governmental or non-governmental humanitarian work in Qatar stems from the profound belief of Qatar’s people and leadership in Islam and the centrality of such issue in it, which is a human value to help those in need. He stressed that the aid and humanitarian work in Qatar constitutes a part of the international commitments within the framework of multilateral international action and stems from Qatar’s National Vision, which clearly reflects the significance of the values of solidarity in helping the countries, peoples, and communities that suffer human crises, conflicts, and poverty.
As well known, Qatar never links its foreign aid with political or economic interests as Qatar always provides the aid based on those countries’ needs first and on the added value or the anticipated impact of the aid in the conflict zones, he said. He added that from this standpoint, the numbers show that Qatar’s aid is always directed to health and education sectors, as the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) provided education for more than 10 million children in conflict zones.
In addition, Qatar-based organizations like Silatech play a significant role in bringing hope to the people in conflict zones by providing job opportunities for those in need and linking employers and individuals. Furthermore, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) directs Qatar’s aid according to those strategic goals related to education, health, and relief, as well as matches Qatar’s role that exceeds its region in terms of aid.
He pointed out that the State of Qatar has built massive capabilities in the field of direct relief through the Qatari International Search and Rescue Group, which played a significant role in the humanitarian crises and natural disasters that occurred in recent years, for example, in Beirut, in addition to assisting in the rescue operations after the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, which indicates that Qatar’s constant assistance is not linked to a specific political agenda rather than the humanitarian help provided in the right time and place.
Advisor to HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari noted the soft diplomacy and soft power that Qatar follows, saying that HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said, in an interview with Qatar TV in April, that some people wonder about Qatar’s need for soft diplomacy and soft power.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that as a small country, Qatar considers soft power and soft diplomacy as an integral part of proving its existence and protecting its security, which is a fact and not something to be said randomly. It is a highly significant and central issue in Qatar’s foreign policy. He added that the State of Qatar, in terms of its geographically small size and presence in a turbulent environment, needs to be influential internationally and for its voice to be heard to have an international influence that directly serves its interests and security.
He indicated that Qatar’s policy, diplomacy, and soft power in its various cultural, sports, and other forms essentially serve to place Qatar on the international map and ensure Qatar’s interests in the long term through Qatar’s heard voice. A prominent example is the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which introduced various people of the world not just to Qatar but also to the regional culture and values, as well as removed a lot of the stereotypes around the region, allowing Qatar to move toward several new initiatives and reactivate its position as an attractive environment for international tourism and investment. That is why we cannot separate between Qatar’s soft power and diplomacy and the supreme national interests of the State of Qatar.
Regarding Qatar’s efforts in the field of protecting women and children in conflict zones, he noted QFFD’s support for various educational projects around the world through EAA, in addition to the Women in Conflict Zones Initiative, through which Qatar stressed the need to provide protection for women in conflict zones. Furthermore, Qatar continues to fund a group of projects concerned with humanitarian and developmental assistance to provide women and children in conflict zones with tools and awareness that help them lead a decent life and live in a way that guarantees their dignity and humanity.
He pointed out that in December 2022, Qatar and Indonesia cochaired the International Conference on Afghan Women’s Education, in which more than 40 countries, regional and international organizations, and the private sector participated, revealing that a second edition of that conference will be held in Doha in November 2023. He also pointed to the draft resolution that Qatar had submitted to the UNGA 74 on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, which stipulates that Sep. 9 of each year be considered an international day for the protection of education from attacks and urges the international community to alleviate the plight of millions of children living in countries affected by conflict. The resolution has been adopted and celebrated ever since.
He indicated that children are the most affected group in conflict zones as their education gets interrupted throughout the conflict, which can go on for years, creating a deliberately uneducated generation that is raised by the culture of conflict and fighting instead of an upright generation capable of contributing positively to the social framework.
Source: Qatar News Agency