Qatar has been accepted as an observer member of the Council of Europe as the country aims to share knowledge and expertise in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The agreement, to be known as 'St Denis Convention' was announced during a signing ceremony in France, and will help all parties cooperate on a range of issues, notably safety, security and service preparations related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The Council of Europe agreed to sanction Qatar’s observer status following discussions with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) at the 1st Major Event Safety and Security Conference in November 2017.

Qatar’s Representative to the Council of Europe, Brigadier Ibrahim al-Mohannadi, signed the agreement on behalf of the SC.

In doing so, al-Muhannadi highlighted the importance of Qatar’s membership of the body, which consists of 47 countries and is managed through a Council of Foreign Ministers of member states.

“The safety and security of all participants of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is of the utmost importance to us,” he said. “By working closely with the Council of Europe and its member countries, the SC can deliver a unified approach to safety, security, and servicing during the tournament.”

Since 2012, the SC has coordinated with national and international agencies and forces in relation to safety and security planning in crucial areas, such as law enforcement, legislation, training and planning.

It is hoped the new agreement will help ensure that football and other sports events provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment for all individuals through the implementation of an integrated approach on safety, security and servicing.

The Council of Europe’s stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy, the rule of law in Europe, and promote European culture. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states and covers approximately 820 million people.

The agreement with the Council of Europe is supervised by a permanent committee to monitor its implementation and its function is to ensure that the member states of the European Union accede to all its provisions.

The signing ceremony took place at the Palais de l'Europe in Strasbourg, France.

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