Qatar has stressed that levelling charge of terrorism solely because of political differences or tarnishing the image of states to try to isolate them and to impose guardianship on their sovereign decision is contrary to the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
This came in a statement delivered by HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani, a member of Qatar delegation to the United Nations, before the Sixth Committee (Legal Affairs Committee) on "Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism", within the framework of the 72th Session of the UN General Assembly.
While the pace of eradicating terrorism and addressing its roots and causes is accelerating, the continuation of this grave threat to international peace and security calls for more effective co-operation among member-states and a vigorous pursuit of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism as the world has become more than ever before in need of this convention, he said.
Qatar, while reaffirming its strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms whenever, wherever it may occur and by whomsoever it is committed and regardless of its justifications, reiterates its position that the convention should include a specific definition of terrorism and non-associating it with a particular religion, race or culture along with the international community's commitment to promote international co-operation in combating terrorism and the need to distinguish between terrorism and the legitimate resistance to foreign occupation, self-defence and the right to self-determination of peoples under occupation.
He pointed out that it is clear to the international community that violations of human rights, marginalisation, discrimination and fabrication of crises by some countries in order to cover up their internal failures, invoke the fight against terrorism and politicise it are detrimental to international efforts to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, stressing that levelling charge of terrorism solely because of political differences or to suppress political opponents or to distort the image of states to try to isolate it and to impose guardianship on their sovereign decision under the pretext of terrorism, is inconsistent with the strategy and needs to be addressed.
As Qatar is an active partner in the fight against terrorism, it strongly supports the statement made by the Non-Aligned Movement to reject threats or take measures to pressure states under the pretext of combating terrorism or accusing them of supporting terrorism in order to achieve political gains, which constitutes a violation of international law, he said.
"The issue of combating terrorism and addressing its causes is a priority in the policy of the State of Qatar. We have continued our regional and international partnerships and worked within the international framework to address the root causes of terrorism and to confront extremist ideologies that become a source of terrorism when they are in a socio-political environment that produces despair and frustration, chaos and instability in the world."
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani said that Qatar has continued its great efforts at the national, regional and international levels to enhance cooperation with all UN institutions to achieve this goal and to implement the obligations of the accession of Qatar to most of the relevant international instruments and to take the necessary measures to implement all international resolutions concerning counter-terrorism.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani said that Qatar has also been keen to implement strictly the international obligations of the Security Council related to the fight against terrorism and its financing, including the freezing of assets, travel bans or arms embargoes against all persons and entities on the consolidated list of Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committees.
It has been co-operating with the Security Council committees, the expert teams and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and supporting its mandate, he added.
He pointed out that Qatar has made this year a financial contribution to support the duties of the task force, in addition to a contribution of $250,000 to the United Nations Center for Combating Terrorism.
In September, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Qatar, Silatech Foundation and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force in capacity-building and launching projects aimed at preventing violent extremism and addressing the root causes of terrorism in the region.
As part of Qatar's keenness to strengthen bilateral co-operation to combat terrorism and deprive terrorist groups of funding sources, Qatar has signed bilateral agreements for co-operation and co-ordination, including the memorandum of understanding signed in July this year with the United States to combat the financing of terrorism, he said.
He added that Qatar continued its efforts and it is one of the countries that participates actively in the international coalition against the ISIS group which has achieved significant successes in the fight against terrorism.
Qatar hosts the US air base from which the air operations of the alliance against terrorism in the region are launched.
Qatar has co-operated in the framework of the global counter-terrorism forum and is a founding member of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, which attaches particular importance to protecting young people from the ideas and plans of extremist groups.
Qatar as one of the largest donors to the Fund has extended it a $5mn support. The Fund will hold a meeting in Doha on December 5-6.
In the context of preventing extremism that lead to terrorism, Qatar has pursued a comprehensive approach that involves the consolidation of a culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue among civilisations, cultures and religions.
It plays a leading role in the United Nations in the fight against terrorism.
Doha hosts a number of leading, enlightening and moderate intellectual centres, which support international efforts to combat terrorism and contribute to raising awareness of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, thus contributing to combating the exploitation of counter-terrorism to achieve political objectives.
Silatech also conducts activities at the regional level, including holding workshops to train youth in the countries in the region to raise awareness and provide the conditions that prevent joining extremist organisations.
In line with international efforts to combat terrorism, Qatar continued to promote and implement counter-terrorism legislation in line with Qatar's policy and its national, regional and international obligations.
He referred to the Emiri Decree issued on 20/7/2017 under the law on the definition of terrorists, crimes and terrorist acts and entities, the freezing of funds, the financing of terrorism, the creation of two national lists of individuals and terrorist entities, the identification of procedures for listing individuals and entities in any of them and the related implications, and the right of the concerned party to challenge the listing decision before the Court of Cassation, noting that this law joins the previous legislations, including but not limited to the law prohibiting the illegal use of electronic means for terrorism-related purposes, as well as the organisation of the work of charities to prevent their misuse for any purpose outside the humanitarian goals for which they were created.
He stressed that the efforts and the rich and honourable record of Qatar in the implementation of its international obligations and commitments affirm its positive and effective role in the fight against terrorism and that obstacles aimed at undermining the status and reputation of Qatar in the international arena will not deter it from pursuing this policy.
"We renew our readiness to continue working within the framework of the sixth committee and the working group to finalise the procedures related to the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and to work with all international institutions to eradicate the threat of terrorism," HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani said.