Qatar participated yesterday in the high-level annual ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, which was held in New York via videoconference on the sidelines of the 75th session of UN General Assembly, titled, “Shaping a better world: building cohesive and inclusive societies in the Covid-19 environment.”
HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi represented Qatar.
In his speech at the meeting, HE al-Muraikhi said that there is no doubt that the unprecedented challenges caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic have affected all aspects of social, economic, and cultural life in all parts of the world. He emphasised that, despite these challenges, it can provide many opportunities to reconsider the previous approach and to benefit and learn from experiences and mistakes.
The minister stressed the need to seize these opportunities to come up with innovative solutions to many of the dilemmas the world faced before the Covid-19 crisis, which unfortunately are currently exacerbated by the crisis. He said that during this phase full of unprecedented global events and challenges, it is imperative for the Group of Friends of UN Alliance of Civilisations, to intensify efforts to bring people, civilisations, and religions closer, especially in light of the spread of fear, misinformation, and the growing divisions between societies.
He underlined the urgent need to stand together in unity and solidarity to build just, peaceful and inclusive societies.
Since the current stage requires the highest level of international co-operation, Qatar has spared no effort in providing aid and support to countries that do not have sufficient resources to combat the pandemic, and provided about $89mn to needy countries in the form of financial and in-kind assistance, as well as intensifying its efforts for mediation and reconciliation in light of this crisis, he explained.
The minister also reiterated that Qatar has spared no effort to support the Alliance to achieve its goals since its establishment in 2005, reaffirming the commitment of Qatar to continue supporting it, particularly in these difficult circumstances. He said Qatar’s commitment has been embodied in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Qatar and the UN Alliance of Civilisations in December 2019, according to which Qatar will provide $1.5mn in the period 2020-2022, to support the implementation of its programmes and projects.
In this regard, al-Muraikhi praised the initiative of the Alliance announced by the High Representative in the field of prevention and mediation.
The minister also announced that Qatar will host a high-level global conference on comprehensive peace processes for youth in May 2021, the outputs of which will strengthen the Alliance’s efforts in the field of mediation.
Qatar, UNOCT sign agreement to support International Hub
Qatar and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) signed a contribution agreement to support the International Hub on Behavioural Insights to Counter Terrorism, as it is a UNOCT Programme Office established in Doha, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between Qatar and UNOCT.
The signing ceremony was held virtually. HE the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani signed the agreement on behalf of Qatar, while UNOCT Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov signed on behalf of the United Nations.
The International Hub will advance research in behavioural sciences to better understand the drivers and factors contributing to radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism, provide capacity-building assistance to Member States, regional organisations and civil society partners to develop and implement programmes, projects and initiatives that integrate behavioural insights to counter-terrorism, and promote outreach and partnerships to share knowledge, expertise, experiences and lessons on behaviourally informed counter-terrorism interventions.
The initiative to establish the International Hub comes in line with Qatar’s role as an active partner in the international efforts to counter the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism and its focus on cutting-edge and evidence-based solutions to global challenges, HE Sheikha Alya said.
For his part, Voronkov expressed appreciation to the Government of Qatar for its generous contribution to the International Hub, and for the close co-operation between Qatar and UNOCT.
Qatar has provided $5mn in support for the Hub and its activities for three years.
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