Qatar has affirmed its commitment to support the work of the United Nations and the importance of international co-operation to confront the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the unilateral measures it is facing that impede international co-operation and co-ordination under the umbrella of international and regional organisations.
Qatar stressed the need to address various dimensions in the framework of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, calling for the response to be integrated and co-ordinated and to be based on a peacekeeping perspective.
This came in a statement delivered by Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations ambassador HE Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani before the UN Security Council, which held a virtual meeting on "Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace."
HE Sheikha Alya reviewed the steps and measures taken by Qatar to respond to the Covid-19 crisis since its outbreak at the local level, pointing to the precautionary measures and the harnessing of necessary resources to enhance healthcare, as well as the adoption of other measures to reduce the effects of the disease, such as developing distance learning methods for school students.
HE Sheikha Alya explained that these measures were coupled at the national level with unremitting efforts at the international level, including the provision of urgent financial and in-kind assistance to help address the threat of the pandemic.
She pointed out that Qatar continues its efforts to support sustainable development, noting that the country has taken into account that paying attention to the coronavirus crisis has contributed to distracting attention from priority issues at a time when attention is most needed more than ever before, especially for the effective response to the coronavirus and its impacts.
She said that the burden of Covid-19 crisis is double on countries and societies affected by conflicts, countries in transition and post-conflict countries, referring to the fragility of these countries' economies, the deterioration of their health systems, humanitarian crises, and the social, security and logistical challenges that complicate and hinder preventive and remedial measures to confront the virus and its effects.
In light of these multifaceted threats posed by the pandemic, the minimum thing that should be done is to put an end to armed conflicts and silence the guns in order to direct all efforts and energies towards fighting the common enemy, which is the coronavirus.
HE Sheikha Alya warned that the spread of the pandemic would lead to the loss of peacebuilding gains, stressing UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres's call for a comprehensive ceasefire and the contents of Security Council Resolution 2532 (2020). Given the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on building and maintaining peace, she said that the UN Security Council as well as the UN Peacebuilding Commission must play an important role in an integrated and co-ordinated response.
She also noted the importance of tasks performed by peacekeeping operations to support peacebuilding efforts, ensuring their continuity during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this context, HE Sheikha Alya said that Qatar, out of its recognition of the importance of continuous work of the international organisation in these circumstances, facilitated the movement of United Nations personnel to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the work of peacekeeping missions.
Since the beginning of this year, the crisis caused by the spread of Covid-19 has been at the top of the concerns of countries and societies around the world, she said, adding that the pandemic has become a concern for the United Nations, including the Security Council, not only because of the impact of the disease on those infected with it, but also because its effects extend to everyone in all parts of the world.
HE Sheikha Alya also warned of the complex and intertwined impacts of the pandemic in various security, economic, social and developmental aspects and of the long-term effects on peace and its sustainability.
She said that it is not feasible in the context of building and maintaining peace to be restricted to security aspects, rather, the social, economic, political and developmental dimensions of the crises must be addressed.
She also stressed the need to address various dimensions in the framework of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, provided that the response is integrated and coordinated and based on peacekeeping perspective, not just the health aspect.
HE Sheikha Alya stressed that the coronavirus is a global threat, stressing the importance of a joint international effort to address this pandemic.
She drew attention to the important role of the United Nations, its agencies and programmes in co-ordinating efforts to address the spread of the virus and the effects it causes on the sustainability of peace and development.
In conclusion, HE Sheikha Alya affirmed the commitment of Qatar to support the work of the United Nations and the importance of international and regional co-operation despite the unilateral measures it is facing that hinder this cooperation and coordination under international and regional organisations.
She said that what everyone needs in light of these exceptional circumstances is the necessity to harness all efforts and energies to confront the coronavirus and other global threats to security, peace and stability for all without discrimination.
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