The State of Qatar reiterated that it has continued its efforts to promote the principle of "the responsibility to protect" as a tool for the prevention of atrocities, out of its commitment to the collective security of mankind as a common responsibility of all member states of the United Nations and consistent with its continuing policy and efforts to put an end to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
The State of Qatar also stressed that it stepped up its efforts as a member of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect to advance this important principle, appointed a senior government official as a focal point on the responsibility to protect and, in the same context, joined initiatives to restrict the use of the veto right in the face of mass atrocities.
This came in Qatar's statement delivered by Her Excellency Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani before the interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect meeting that was held in New York on Wednesday.
In the framework of international efforts to uphold the principle of the responsibility to protect, the State of Qatar hosted a meeting on the responsibility to protect from January 24 to 25, 2017 to discuss the issue of accountability as a tool for the prevention of atrocities, and the role of the responsibility to protect in combating violent extremism, Her Excellency said, adding that event was held in cooperation with the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect along with Gulf Cooperation Council member states and the UN Office of special advisers on Genocide Prevention of the Responsibility to Protect and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force as well as a number of government organisations.
She added that the State of Qatar hosted from April 24 to 25, 2017, the seventh annual meeting of the Global Network of R2P Focal Points of the Global Network for the Responsibility to Protect to discuss the challenges and opportunities for accountability for mass atrocity crimes.
In this context, the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies plays an important role in promoting humanitarian law and human rights and preparing research and proposals on ways to address the challenges related to the vulnerability of States and means to achieve stability, HE Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations said.
"Twelve years have passed since the adoption of the 2005 World Summit Outcome, in which member states reaffirmed their commitment to the responsibility to protect, and that decision was a historic turning point for the responsibility of the international community to protect the population from mass atrocities and to translate it into the spirit and letter of the Charter of the United Nations, in which the international community affirmed its belief in the fundamental rights and dignity of the human beings and in advancing human life in greater freedom," she said.
HE Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations said while we are aware of the lessons of history and the legal principles that concern humanity and have contributed to changing the course of history take a long time to be enshrined in the human conscience, we have no doubt that this principle, which has become one of the most important legal principles that the world needs today, will find its way as a well-established principle of international law due to the increasing number of conflicts and their nature and the extent of their civilian casualties, and the responsibility of the international community to protect them.
HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani pointed out that the lack of protection of civilians resulted in atrocities and gross violations of human rights, leading to mass migration across borders and continents, with serious humanitarian and security consequences due to unprecedented waves of refugees. She pointed out that the realisation of the principle of the responsibility to protect on a global scale could prevent crises experienced by the world in the recent past by using human and physical capacities in the process of development and the stability of societies.
Hence, the responsibility to protect is of paramount importance for the maintenance of world peace and security, and should receive more attention in the United Nations, she said.
Her Excellency said while we agree with the Secretary-General's report on the gap between the commitment to the principle of responsibility to protect, the reality faced by populations subjected to mass atrocities and the importance of implementing the principle of accountability for such crimes as a preventive measure, we are satisfied with the commitment of the Secretary-General to the responsibility to protect, a key element in his vision for preventive agenda, which will add to the steps and achievements made since 2005 to promote this critical principle for human beings and ensure international consensus on legal mechanisms to protect the lives of millions of people ravaged by conflict and gross violations of human rights.
Despite recognising the importance of the interactive dialogue in the General Assembly on the responsibility to protect and the role that dialogue has played to advance this principle since its inception, the current international situation and the shared responsibility of Member States for the protection of civilians require the inclusion of the responsibility to protect in the agenda of the General Assembly to reflect the important role of the General Assembly in matters related to the prevention of violations of human rights and the maintenance of international peace and security and to translate the 2005 General Summit resolution in this regard.
Concluding, HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations hoped that the next stage will see an international consensus on the implementation of the principle of the responsibility to protect so that civilians enjoy the protection guaranteed by international law.
No doubt that the inclusion of this topic on the agenda of the General Assembly would be an essential step towards achieving that goal, she said, appreciating the efforts made in the preparation of the ninth report of the Secretary-General, which contained valuable proposals and ideas on the responsibility to protect and accountability as a tool for the prevention of atrocities.
Her Excellency announced that the State of Qatar added its voice to the statement of the Group of Friends of the Responsibility to Protect as a member state of the Group.
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