It is a matter of great pride for Qatar that the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), hosted from April 6 to 10 in Doha, was a massive success by any yardstick. As pointed out by IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron the Doha meeting was exceptional in the history of IPU assemblies with the participation of 80 parliament speakers, 40 deputy speakers and 2,200 members of parliaments representing another 46,000 around the world. All came to Qatar looking to seek a better future for the world in terms of peace, stability and the rule of law, it was observed.
Cuevas Barron stated that it has been a wonderful event with platforms to enhance communication and promote dialogue for a better quality of life for the people, stressing that the countries that failed to take part in the event missed a great opportunity for promoting peace and stability in the world. It should be noted that by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt which continue with an illegal blockade against Qatar since June 5, 2017, clearly lost by staying away, if the words of the IPU president are any indication.
HE the Advisory Council Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud, who was also the president of the 140th IPU Assembly, pointed out at the concluding press conference that the speakers of parliaments of different countries and heads of delegations expressed their admiration for Qatar’s ability to organise an event of this scale in spite of the ongoing blockade. “All of them affirmed their rejection and condemnation of the unjust blockade, describing it as illegal and noting that it should not go on. They expressed their support for us since the very start of the crisis,” he said.
As HE al-Mahmoud pointed out, though Qatar has put the blockade behind it, what continues to be painful is the ongoing severing of close family relations within the GCC countries. This has resulted in a lot of suffering for many families across the Gulf region, as some of the blockading countries have not stopped from separating a mother, who is one of their citizens, from her children, only because the father is a Qatari citizen and naturally his children are Qataris. “This has also had negative consequences such as interruption of education, with some of these countries denying Qatari students access to complete their studies.”
He noted that these acts amounted to violations of basic human rights and such family issues should not be hostage to politics. HE al-Mahmoud said all such violations have been documented in a report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which affirmed that what is happening against Qatar in this regard is unethical, inhumane and illegal and could amount to the waging of an economic war. HE al-Mahmoud said Qatar appreciated the praise it received for its hosting of the assembly and its accompanying meetings despite the unjust blockade. He stressed that the praise reflected the appreciation of the IPU members of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s government and the people. The wide participation in this year’s assembly was the biggest response to the blockade. IPU secretary-general Martin Chungong also described the Doha meetings and assembly as successful and fruitful.
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