Qatar has expressed its deep appreciation for the distinguished efforts made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), led by Filippo Grandi and all the cadres working to enhance the protection of refugees and displaced persons, seeking to provide them with a decent life in their countries or countries in which they sought refuge, and to ensure that they obtain their rights.
Qatar has renewed its commitment to continue strengthening and developing its strategic relations and partnerships with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and to provide the necessary support for its humanitarian, relief and development activities and programmes, to alleviate the suffering of refugees and displaced persons, and to finance and implement programmes aimed at strengthening their capabilities.
The speech pointed out that the volume of government contributions made by Qatar to the UNHCR during the last four years amounted to more than $53mn, and Qatar also signed numerous memorandums of understanding to support the basic resources of the UNHCR, and a co-operation agreement was also signed to open an office of the UNHCR in Doha.
Qatar has also been keen on continuing its membership in the over 20mn club, which includes the most prominent donor countries and to co-operate with the UNHCR.
This came in the speech of Qatar, delivered by HE Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Ambassador Ali bin Khalfan al-Mansouri, in the public debate on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, during the 71st session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner's Programme.
He explained that many Qatari non-governmental humanitarian institutions and organisations, such as the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Qatar Charity, Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Fund and the Silatech Organisation, have provided health, medical and humanitarian aid, and have formed important partnerships with the UNHCR, with the aim of supporting UNHCR's efforts in refugee assistance and protection, and thus the Qatari private donors ranked 13th in the UNHCR 2019 Global Funding Overview.
He added that the spread of Covid-19 pandemic has added an additional burden and challenge to the crises of refugees and displaced persons, whose number has reached nearly
80mn, especially since 80% of them live in countries whose economy and infrastructure and health are weak, adding that Qatar had stressed the need to strengthen international solidarity and co-operation and to unite all international efforts to protect public health and protect individuals from this virus, and take into account all other aspects, such as social or economic level, and the response and recovery stages after the crisis.
He also stressed the importance of adopting a comprehensive international approach to deal with refugee issues, focusing mainly on addressing the root causes, such as conflicts, wars or natural disasters, and working to find appropriate solutions in accordance with the principle of sharing burdens and responsibilities.
Furthermore, he added that mediation is one of the most important means of resolving and preventing disputes and conflicts, and stressed its important role in supporting peaceful transformation and national reconciliation, and helping to build societies. Qatar's diplomacy and foreign policy has been keen to contain many regional and international crises and conflicts.
This contributed to avoiding the occurrence of asylum and displacement problems, as well as alleviating their tragic effects.
HE al-Mansouri noted that Qatar, at the legislative level, issued in 2018 the law regulating political asylum in the country, in order to confirm its humanitarian role in protecting refugees, guaranteeing their rights and helping them to live in a dignified manner, and the protection of human rights, and is the first-of-its-kind in the region.
At the end of the speech, al-Mansouri reiterated Qatar's affirmation of continuing its humanitarian commitments, continuing to provide the necessary support for the activities and programmes of the UNHCR, and to continuing co-operation and partnership within the framework of the international community to face humanitarian and development challenges, and expressed Qatar's support for all efforts exerted to facilitate and support the achievement of the goals of the Charter of the International Conference on Refugees.
He also expressed his hope that it would contribute to making a great difference and positive and sustainable progress in the lives of refugees and their host communities, especially in light of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties resulting from it.
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