Qatar's national unity, which was the source of strength when the country went through difficult experiences and challenges in its modern history, will never be allowed to be threatened in the future, asserted His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Tuesday.
"When reflecting on and reviewing the experiences we are going through, we must always uphold high our cohesion as Qataris, above any consideration and avoid everything that might pose a threat to it," he urged in his address after inaugurating the first ordinary session of the first legislative term corresponding to the Shura Council's 50th annual session, at the Council's headquarters.
The Amir highlighted that the promulgation of the permanent Constitution for the country and the implementation of its provisions has gone through several stages since the setting up of the preparation committee, which drafted it and put it to a public referendum where it garnered a vast majority of citizens approval. Subsequently, laws and other necessary legislative measures to implement the provisions of the constitution were issued.
HH Sheikh Tamim pointed out that legislations, including constitutional legislations, are the product of the corresponding historical stage, and it develops with the evolution of life.
"Out of our keenness to promote equal Qatari citizenship and translate it into practice as a direct relationship between the citizen and the state based on rights and duties, I have instructed the Council of Ministers to prepare the appropriate legal amendments to ensure the achievement of this goal, and to present them to your esteemed council whose election and formation completes the necessary legal framework to consider the approval of these modifications."
The Amir clarified that "nevertheless, it is known that citizenship is not just a legal issue, but a civilisational issue before that and a loyalty and belonging, and a matter of duties and not just rights. This requires not only a legislative work, but also an intensive social and educational work, especially on encountering the upholding of tribal bigotry vis-à-vis public interest or loyalty to the homeland and national unity.
"This negative aspect of tribalism took us all by surprise recently when some of its negative manifestations reminded us of its existence. Although our enlightened society swiftly overcame it, we cannot ignore the disease for mere disappearance of its symptoms.
"The tribe, the extended family, and the nuclear family are all components of our society that we are proud of. They are part and parcel of its solidarity and cohesion, besides its countless positive aspects. But tribalism and abhorrent bigotry of various kinds, can be manipulated, harnessed to subvert and undermine the national unity, and used as a cover for non-performance of duties or as an alternative for incompetence, which we did not accept, nor will allow it in the future," HH Sheikh Tamim declared.
Earlier during his speech, the Amir congratulated the Shura Council members and stressed the significance of the historic moment which witnessed the completion of the institutions stipulated in the Constitution by establishing the elected legislative authority along with the executive and judicial authorities.
His Highness the Amir also recalled Qatar's stellar achievements across various fields, including food security, economic diversification, increasing contribution of local industries to the GDP, tenacity of the financial and banking sector in countering the regional and global shocks, and notable position and high ranks in some important components of global competitiveness indicators.
The Amir described the name change of Qatar Petroleum to QatarEnergy as reflecting the Qatari adoption of the transition towards clean and renewable energy. "In this field, we are working on two spheres: The first: Increasing liquefied natural gas production, and reducing the emissions resulting from its production by using state-of-the-art technologies. The second: Contributing to the development and use of solar energy," he said while adding that Qatar pays special attention to protecting the environment.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, His Highness the Amir's Personal Representative His Highness Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani and other dignitaries.