His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Saturday said educated youth played an important role in popular movements in several Arab countries, highlighting the importance of quality education in advancing societies and achieving growth and prosperity.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) at Sheraton Doha on Saturday, His Highness the Amir said: “In some Arab countries, educated youth led popular movements in demand for dignity, justice and freedom, which they summed up in the saying 'decent living'. They proved that they were cultured and civilised in their demands and movements, when they were allowed the opportunity for peaceful activity in some Arab countries.

“These experiences prove that the regimes which had denied them the freedom of expression and opportunities for peaceful activity, bear a basic responsibility for the deterioration of the situation into violence,” stated the Amir.

Sheikh Tamim said education has become a social right and an integral part of human rights. He also highlighted the efforts of Qatar in promoting education globally.

“Investing in quality education is one of the most important elements of building the economy, advancing societies, and achieving growth and prosperity. If we are talking about the challenges emanating from sustainable development, peace or the rule of law, we would find that education is at the forefront of the tried-and-trusted solutions to these challenges.

“Our country has also launched numerous initiatives in the field of supporting and promoting education in collaboration with national and global partners such as the initiatives 'Educate a Child', the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), and other initiatives,” continued the Amir.

Speaking about the importance of the rule of law, the Amir said: “Without it, there will be no justice of any kind, and the two antitheses of the rule of law are chaos, on the one hand, and tyranny on the other.

“At the regional and global levels, the danger of the receding role of international law in the relations between the states is on the rise as there is a tendency towards giving priority to the supremacy of power over it, with the relegation of international law and international legality to a weapon of the weak only.

“It does not help them much vis-a-vis the veto of the powerful members at the Security Council, or in granting an international cover to those who perpetrate aggression against others, human rights violators and those who annex the territories of others by force. An example to this is the recognition of the major superpower in this world of the de facto annexation of Jerusalem and the official annexation of the Golan by Israel,” highlighted the Amir.

The Amir also called upon the members to look into the common challenges that the world is facing.

“Each of us has his views and opinions, but there are many common challenges that face all of us, including environment, climate, poverty, armed conflicts, extremism, terrorism, and recently the problem of cybersecurity and individual privacy intrusion. To counter them, we assume a minimum level of commitment to the human values that we share,” the Amir said.

Highlighting the need to fight terrorism, the Amir noted that the war on terrorism should not mean fighting armed extremism of only one colour, while there are extremist terrorist forces and movements that are not on the agendas of this war.

“Just as we cooperate in fighting terrorism, we must co-operate in combating the causes of extremism and addressing its causes. Experience proves over and over again that extremism is not confined to one civilisation than the other, nor to the adherents of a specific religion than the other, and that every generalisation of this kind is nothing but an utter racism,” the Amir said.

“The problem is not in the principle of differences but choosing a path of antagonism and hostility instead of healthy difference. Difference is indicative of health and wellness if it leads to dialogue. Parliamentary diplomacy is of greater importance in promoting dialogue for peaceful settlement of disputes, even for conflicts that are thought by some to be insoluble,” added the Amir.

Full text of His Highness the Amir's speech: https://www.gulf-times.com/story/628024/Amir-IPU-meeting-s-objectives-reflect-entire-manki