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Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani Addresses The UN On Israel, Assad, Iran And The Houthis: The 70th United Nations General Assembly September 2015

29 September 2015

Excerpt from Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

Since there is no lasting stability without development and social justice, development is equally impossible under the circumstances of war and unrest.

It was our hope that this session be convened after some progress has been made concerning some bloody conflicts in this world, but we find ourselves encountering more challenges and crises that threaten international peace and security.

The absence of international consensus has returned to be an obstacle in the face of important issues, and the selectivity adopted in enforcing justice and international law is still prevalent in dealing with regional issues, and this would dent the concept of international legitimacy and the values, norms and principles that have settled in human conscience and adopted by the international community after millions of people had paid a dear price, especially after major humanitarian experiences that have taken their toll on peoples' memory, such as enslavement, genocide, colonialism, racism, and world wars, etc.

It is not permissible to manipulate these values that have been derived from the suffering of the peoples, and perhaps this is the basis of the existence of this organisation, and without this basis there would be no sense for such annual meetings.

The conflict in the Middle East would continue to pose a constant threat to international peace and security for its direct impact on many of the crises facing the region and the world. The just and lasting solution of Palestinian cause, which remains an issue of people displaced from their land, and are still under the yoke of occupation, cannot be delayed to the next generation.

The achievement of a just and lasting settlement that allows an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and establishing a Palestinian State requires an Israeli partner for peace. For the time being, there is neither an Israeli partner for a just peace, nor even for a settlement. In these circumstances there is an international obligation that cannot be evaded towards the last de facto colonial issue in modern history.

And until there is an end to the occupation, the procrastination, delay-tactics, futile contacts and statements would continue.
Also there would be a continuation of the condemned hectic settlement activity in addition to the persistent violations of the sanctity of Al Aqsa mosque, which is a clear indication not only of the absence of Israel's will for peace, but also the domination of ultra-orthodox fundamentalist nationalist elements of the Israeli policy.

Look at what is happening in Jerusalem! Extremist religious political forces tend to rely on literal interpretations of text versions dating back to thousands of years in order to desecrate other people's sanctities, occupy their land and to settle on it. Isn't this tantamount to a religious fundamentalism? Isn't this violence an act of terrorism carried out by radical religious forces?

Allow me to send a message to all major parties of the international community in general that the continuation of the Palestinian cause without a permanent and just solution is a stigma at the face of humanity.

The international community is failing in what is less than a fair settlement, it did not even succeed in forcing the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the aggression.

An international conference by a Norwegian initiative convened specifically for this purpose. Qatar has pledged to pay $1bn for the reconstruction process, and we are pursuing providing aid to the Gaza Strip until the end of implementing our commitment, but we wonder: What happened to the conference and its decisions?

The international community represented by the Security Council must assume its responsibilities, by taking a firm stance forcing Israel to comply with deliverables of peace, namely, halting of all forms of settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, lifting the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip and to be committed to implement the resolutions of the international legitimacy that recognise the Palestinian people's right to regain their legitimate national rights, and establish an independent Palestinian State according to 1967 borders, as per the principle of two-state solution.

We caution against missing the opportunities, because if peoples reach a conclusion that there is no peaceful solution to this issue, then this would lead to unpredictable dire consequences on the region and the world.

The Syrian crisis with its current and future dimensions and repercussions is generating catastrophic consequences for the Middle East region, and even the world, in light of the continuation of the atrocities and horrendous crimes committed by the regime against the Syrian people, the threat to the core status of the State and its people, and creating a breeding ground environment for intensifying the phenomenon of extremism and terrorism under false religious, sectarian and ethnic banners that will threaten humans, community and cultural heritage in Syria and the region.
In this context, the Syrian regime has manipulated the concept of terrorism, by depicting the peaceful demonstrations as terrorism, while it has been practising actual acts of terrorism. When the shelling and killing of civilians brought the people to adopt armed action, and the entry of some organisations that are not committed to the demands and principles of the Syrian revolution into the sphere of the political action without permission, Syria has turned into a war zone; then the regime has attempted to scare the international community away of the alternative.

It was incumbent on the international community to stop the massacres at the right time, and provides the conditions for the Syrian people to put forward a rationale, civil and fair alternative to tyranny. But is there a tyranny in the world that could acknowledge an alternative? Is it possible for a tyranny to allow an alternative to grow and develop under its shadow?

When people suffer from war of genocide and displacement, then the worst decision is not to take a decision, and the most detrimental danger is to ignore the danger. The failure of the international community to take the necessary decisions and measures to end this disaster is a major crime. It reveals the failure and the inability of the international order, and leads to a loss of confidence in the law and the international community.

In this context the role of the General Assembly must be activated and strengthened as a broader framework for dealing with peoples' issues in light of the inability or the failure of the Security Council to find fair solutions for them.

From here I call for co-operation in order to impose a political solution in Syria that would end the reign of tyranny and replacing it with a pluralistic regime based on equal citizenship for all Syrians, defeat radicalism and terrorism and insulate Syria from them, repatriate the displaced to their homes, and allows reconstruction of Syria. The question is not whether this is possible, it is possible if there is a will among certain countries.

The question posed to all of us here is: Do you see that the continuation of the current situation in Syria is possible? The conflict has been transformed in this country into genocide and mass displacement of the population. This has grave consequences on the region and the whole world, and even on countries that do not expedite a solution because they are neither directly affected by the conflict, nor reached by the influx of the displaced people.

The international handling of the nuclear disarmament issues that is mired by shortcomings and double standards alarm us. A clear evidence of this is the recent failure of the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference to render the Middle East nuclear-free zone, it was disappointing and have dented the credibility of the treaty.
The agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Group is a positive and important step. As we look forward with hope that this nuclear agreement contributes to maintaining security and stability in our region, we further demand moving forward to disarm the entire region of nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction.

In this context, and given the strategic importance of the Gulf region, the achievement of stability in the Gulf is essential for the countries of the region and the international community as a whole.
In this regard we emphasise our firm position that the Gulf region must be spared of any nuclear weapons' dangers or threats while recognising the right of countries in the region to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in accordance with relevant international rules...

We affirm our commitment to Yemen's unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty, and support the legitimacy and completion of the political process, in accordance with the Gulf initiative, its executive mechanism, the outputs of the national dialogue in Yemen in January 2014, the Declaration of Riyadh in May 2015, and the relevant Security Council resolutions, particularly Resolution No. 2216.

It is not reasonable to have a precedent that a basic political party accepts the outcome of a national dialogue and then tend to neglect it and try to impose its own vision and domination over the whole country by arms.

Concerning the Iraqi affair, the stability of Iraq requires a national general consensus devoid of any outside interferences and free from any discrimination whether sectarian or ethnic; and we hope that the Iraqi government be able to meet the requirements of concord and reconciliation among the various Iraqi people's factions.
The experience in Iraq and Yemen has proved that the existence of militias outside the framework of legitimacy doesn't only pose a threat to the State by virtue of the definition of the State and its exclusive right in establishing armed forces, but it is tantamount to a dormant civil war that would turn into a full blown civil war sooner or later.

Any political solution in Iraq, Yemen, Syria or Libya must include ending the existence of militias outside the legitimate institutions of the State. This is a key component part of any genuine settlement, without which there would neither be a permanent settlement, nor real solutions...

The State of Qatar has sought to pursue an advanced policy in the field of protecting and promoting human rights, and we continue to cooperate with the international organisations through our membership in the Human Rights Council to consolidate the concepts and the culture of human rights through pursuing an approach based on the rule of law, transparency, justice and human dignity.

We must work together to strengthen the collective security system to effectively deal with international and regional problems to maintain the rights of peoples, and to persistently face any attempts to impose temporary solutions to address the side effects of the problems rather than touching their roots.

Finally, the State of Qatar will spare no effort in supporting the international community's efforts to achieve the goals that we all seek in a manner that would achieve the interest of our peoples and the good of humanity.'' 



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