For more than half a century, Qatar’s opinions on issues of the Arab and Islamic nations have always been heard by the United Nations (UN). Qatar has always aimed at delivering the voice of the voiceless, the weak and the marginalized while defending their causes yearly through the international forum.
In recent years, Qatar has increased its presence in most of the UN’s activities both regionally and internationally, to reach solutions to crises, maintain peace, prevent conflicts, and maintain post-conflict peace. Qatar is one of the troop-contributing countries participating in the UN’s peacekeeping missions.
Qatar’s participation in the meetings of the UN’s General Assembly (UNGA), held in September of each year, is considered a prominent presence at the highest levels.
Qatar and the UN share very concrete relations, one that is based on strategic cooperation in service of humanity on all fronts.
Since joining the international organization in 1971, Qatar has been an active member, working tirelessly to achieve the organization’s objectives and principles, including maintaining international peace and security, as well as supporting international development efforts, promoting and consolidating human rights, and participating in collective efforts and initiatives to address the challenges facing the world.
Qatar is proud of its distinguished and active role in the UN, which is referred to by the international organization and member states on issues raised on the international scene. Qatar is known for its serious and fruitful partnerships with the UN bodies and its achievements and respect for international commitments and initiatives in various fields to support multilateral international action to meet common challenges.
As a translation of the existing partnership between Qatar and the UN, Doha, which the UN views as a prestigious global platform for dialogue, has become an international center for many of the UN’s main organizations. This communicates the message and signifies that Qatar is at the forefront of countries in the region that is relied upon as a reliable partner of the UN.
Qatar’s role in the UN is not just limited to attending official meetings, but also drafting UN resolutions and initiatives on an array of topics. These draft resolutions always have been acknowledged and encouraged by the UN.
In this context, the UNGA adopted by consensus in April 2022, a resolution in support of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The resolution welcomed the unique dimension of the 2022 World Cup, which is organized by the international football association (FIFA) in Qatar for the first time in the Middle East. The UNGA adopted its resolution under the title ‘The 2022 World Cup organized by FIFA in Qatar.’
The resolution was submitted by Qatar and sponsored by 106 countries, under the item ‘Sport for Peace and Development; Building a Peaceful and Better World Through Sport and the Olympic Ideal.’ In its resolution, the UNGA emphasized that sport has an important role to play in the promotion of peace and development, respect for human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls – particularly football, given its universal popularity.
The UNGA also expressed its support for the launch of ‘Healthy 2022 World Cup Creating Legacy for Sport and Health,’ a multi-year collaboration among FIFA, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Qatar, which aimed to make the 2022 World Cup a beacon for the promotion of healthy lives, physical and mental health and psychosocial well-being.
In April 2021, the UNGA declared in a resolution adopted by consensus that March of every year will be the International Day of Women Judges due to the initiative of Qatar.
In a statement at the time, Qatar affirmed that International Day of Women Judges is an annual occasion to reaffirm the importance of women’s participation in public institutions, including the judiciary, and the commitment of the international community that participatory and representative decision-making at all levels requires a balance between the genders.
In recognition by the UN for Qatar’s efforts to help vulnerable groups in different societies, especially children, the UNGA adopted in May 2020 a resolution to allocate Sep. 9 as an “International Day to Protect Education from Attack,” a decision called for by Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, and led by Qatar to mobilize international support in order to ensure accountability for the ongoing and deliberate attacks on education and armed violence suffered by children around the world.
The resolution, bearing the number 74/275, was adopted by consensus and was co-sponsored by fifty-seven Member States. The resolution aims to raise awareness of the plight of children affected by armed conflict, who are in the most desperate need of educational support.
The international day provides an annual platform where the international community can review progress, new data and make commitments towards effective mechanisms to end impunity for those who attack schools.
All of Qatar’s submitted draft resolutions or initiatives to the UN were praised by member states, due to the nature of those initiatives and draft resolutions dedicated to the service of humanity and humankind, and ensuring world peace and security. In February 2004, the UNGA approved a draft resolution at its 58th session, submitted by Qatar under items 8 and 20 of the UNGA’s agenda entitled: ‘Support by the United Nations System of the efforts of Governments to promote and consolidate new or restored democracies.’
Moreover, in December of the same year, the UNGA also approved a draft resolution submitted by Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China under the title: ‘Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family’ without a vote, as it was adopted by more than 140 countries, which represented a great achievement for Qatar in this forum.
The adoption of the resolution came within the framework of the 59th session of the UNGA, in celebration of the 10th international anniversary of the family. The resolution reflected the positive results of the Doha International Conference for the Family in 2004 hosted by Qatar under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, which was held on Nov. 29-30, 2004, resulting in the Doha Declaration.
Furthermore, the resolution recommended all relevant parties, including governments, civil society, non-governmental organizations, research and academic institutions, to contribute to the development of strategies and programs aimed at enhancing families’ livelihoods.
It also stipulated the observance of the anniversary of the International Year of the Family periodically. In this context, based on the proposal of Qatar, the UNGA approved in 2007, April 2 of each year, as World Autism Awareness Day.
The purpose of this annual observance is to highlight the need to help improve the quality of life for people with autism so that they can live within their communities normally.
In addition, the UN Human Rights Council (OHCHR) adopted at the conclusion of its 29th session in July of 2015, a resolution draft by a majority of 29 votes, on “Protection of the family: contribution of the family to the realization of the right to an adequate standard of living for its members, particularly through its role in poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development”, presented by the group of “Friends of the Family”, which includes Qatar amongst others. Qatar’s participation in this draft resolution came as Qatar is a major founder of the Group “Friends of the Family”, based on the State’s interest in the issues of the family, since it is the basic unit of society, as well as a follow up to Qatar’s organization of the Doha International Conference for the Family in 2004 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family.
Qatar has always had Arab causes and issues at the forefront of its priorities and concerns at the UN, based on the sense of responsibility towards the Arab Nation’s fateful issues, and Qatar’s keenness to keep Arab issues under the spotlight of the international organization’s agenda. Qatar submitted numerous draft UN resolutions on the central issue of the Arabs, the question of Palestine.
An example of which took place in November of 2006, when the UNGA adopted a draft resolution on the “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” submitted by the delegation of Qatar on behalf of the Arab Group.
The resolution received 156 votes in favor, seven against, and six abstentions. The resolution condemned the Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories and called for an immediate cessation of Israeli raids and acts of violence, as well as the establishment of a fact-finding committee.
Similarly, in 2016, as the crimes committed against the Syrian people escalated, Qatar and the Principality of Liechtenstein submitted a resolution to the UNGA, which got adopted, to establish an independent and neutral international mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Syria, according to the classifications of international law.
The draft resolution received the support of 105 countries, against 15 rejections and 52 abstentions. The UNGA mandated the new mechanism to extract, collect, preserve and analyze evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, in order to prepare dossiers to facilitate and expedite the conduct of fair and independent criminal procedures in accordance with international law standards in national, regional or international courts that may have jurisdiction over these crimes in the future according to international law.
The resolution asserted the need to ensure accountability for crimes involving violations of international law, particularly international humanitarian law and international human rights law, some of which may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, through appropriate investigations and trials. With regard to maintaining international peace and security, Qatar has consistently called for making the Middle East region free of nuclear weapons.
This is due to it being an essential step on the road to non-proliferation and eventually achieving the goal of complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Qatar has asserted that the establishment of a nuclear-free Middle East is a common goal for the people of the region, as well as the international community as a whole.
Qatar also expressed more than once its full support for the negotiation process on the Iranian nuclear program in order to reach a comprehensive and satisfactory settlement for all parties, whilst at the same time stressing the right of people to benefit from peaceful nuclear energy.
UN’s platforms and halls stand witness to Qatar’s permanent presence in the meetings of the UN at the highest levels, and its continuous contributions to the service of humanity through the constructive decisions and initiatives it offers which has always been welcomed by the international community.
Over the past years, Qatar has received messages of gratitude from the UN for the country’s prominent role on an array of issues, especially those related to human rights and the establishment of peace and security in the world, in addition to humanitarian initiatives for afflicted and poor countries, as well as for working alongside the UN in many international or regional missions which had a global resonance that put Qatar on the map of global action and as a significant UN partner and member.
Source: Qatar News Agency