A conference organised Monday by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in co-operation with the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) highlighted the efforts of Qatar in the protection of human rights, especially the national mechanisms in this regard, and its pioneering experience in the light of the national legal system and international mechanisms and conventions.
The conference was organised on the occasion of the celebration of the Qatari Human Rights Day, which falls on November 11 every year, and in the context of the technical framework of co-operation between the NHRC and the Department of Human Rights at the Ministry of Interior on knowledge production, awareness-raising and joint contribution to relevant national, regional and international events.
In his opening remarks, the Assistant Secretary-General of the NHRC Sultan bin Hassan al-Jamali said that the protection of human rights is a national responsibility, as stated in the UN Charter. Al-Jamali commended the commitment of Qatar to the human rights system at all levels, whether international, regional or national.
He stressed that Qatar, since its accession to international policies and conventions concerned with the protection and promotion of human rights, has been working to translate the requirements of these conventions in its domestic legislation and policies.
Al-Jamali pointed out in this context that the accession of Qatar to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, reinforces and deepens this national commitment.
He added that this accession has reinforced efforts to move the Qatari society from an approach based on providing social services that guarantee citizens their human rights to an enabling approach that also motivates them to active citizenship and popular participation.
Al-Jamali noted that the NHRC is one of the leading national institutions and a national reference for human rights in the country working in parallel with other relevant national mechanisms for the protection and promotion of human rights at the national level.
For his part, Assistant Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior Colonel Saad Salem al-Dosari said that human rights in Qatar have become a constant strategic choice guiding the action of the State and society, and that the provision of guarantees necessary for their implementation has become an integral part of the requirements of the state of institutions, the support of the rule of law and good governance.
He added that this could be seen in the incorporation of 'human rights' into the Constitution, the National Vision 2030, the system of legislative instruments, the package of programs, projects and creative initiatives in favour of civil, political, economic, social and cultural human rights.
He praised the effective partnership and the joint action between the Human Rights Department of the Ministry of Interior and the NHRC in the areas of handling complaints and petitions of the public, commenting on the relevant draft laws and monitoring the human rights situation and others, adding that this partnership comes within the framework of co-operation agreement that was signed between the two parties in March 2018 and included vital topics related to exchange of publications and experiences, knowledge production, capacity building and awareness, and openness regionally and internationally and others.
Colonel al-Dossari pointed out that this year witnessed joint scientific and awareness initiatives by the Human Rights Department and the NHRC on the occasion of International Women's Day and the Arab Human Rights Day, while appreciating the role of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-ordinating the efforts of the authorities concerned in the country to present the national performance in the field of human rights to the international community led by the United Nations, and the effort of the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region in strengthening national human rights capacities.
For his part, HE the Assistant Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Yousef al-Thani said that the promotion and protection of human rights is a strategic choice as it forms the backbone of the policy of comprehensive reform and is at the top of the priorities of Qatar.
He noted that the country's interest in promoting human rights was most evident in its accession last year to international covenants on human rights, 'International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' and in strengthening the legislative and institutional structure as well as its commitment to submit and discuss its reports to UN human rights monitoring mechanisms.
Director of the UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region Dr Abdel Salam Sidahmed praised the continuous co-operation between the Centre and the NHRC and the Department of Human Rights at the Ministry of Interior through joint training activities.