Qatar has renewed its call to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful and diplomatic means, and stressed the need for all parties to conflict to abide by the principles and provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and to avoid targeting civilians and civilian facilities and infrastructure.
This came in a Qatar government statement delivered by HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani during the UN Security Council's open debate on *Protecting civilians during armed conflicts.
In its statement, Qatar pointed out that the effects of conflicts are neither limited to areas where violence is taking place, nor to threats to the life and safety of civilians, but include other forms of negative repercussions, such as displacement and refugee crises, economic impacts, threat to food security that already bears the consequences of climate change, and disruption of supply chains that has been exacerbated by the global coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The most effective way to spare civilians the violence, suffering and humanitarian needs as a result of violence is to prevent conflicts and resolve them by peaceful and diplomatic means, and take all measures to ensure the freedom of civilians and secure their access to the humanitarian and emergency aid they need in the fastest and unobstructed manner, HE Sheikha Alya said.
She called for facilitating the work of medical and humanitarian workers in addition to providing them security and protection, and expressed regret that hundreds of humanitarian workers are subjected to unjustifiable violence.
Qatar’s statement referred to the violence that affects other categories of civilians who must be protected in conflict situations, and indicated that 20 journalists were killed in 2021 in countries affected by the conflict, according to the Unesco.
In this context, Qatar's statement condemned, in the strongest terms, the assassination of Al-Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh and the injuring of the channel's producer Ali Al Samudi, by the Israeli occupation forces, while they were doing their work and wearing clothes that declare their journalistic profession.
HE Sheikha Alya said that Qatar considers the assassination a heinous crime, a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, and a blatant infringement on freedom of media and expression and the right of people to obtain information.
She renewed Qatar's call for the Security Council to conduct an immediate, comprehensive, transparent, fair and impartial investigation, and ensure accountability.
The statement expressed Qatar's astonishment of the continued violations of the right to education in conflict situations, including exposing educational institutions to attacks, recalling UN General Assembly Resolution 74/274 submitted by Qatar, which urged the parties to armed conflicts to protect civilians, including students and workers in the field of education, and the protection of educational institutions.
The statement affirmed Qatar's keenness to mitigate the impact of humanitarian crises on civilians affected by the armed conflict, pointing to the leading role played by Qatar in providing development and relief assistance and supporting the efforts of the United Nations in this regard.
Qatar ranks among the top 10 contributors to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as it has provided support for humanitarian efforts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and others, the statement added.
It referred to Qatar's contribution to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of $18mn, noting the continuous humanitarian and development support provided by Qatar to the Palestinian people, especially to alleviate the difficult conditions and reconstruction in Gaza Strip, in addition to the continuous contribution to the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).
The statement also noted the urgent humanitarian aid provided by Qatar in Afghanistan, including the aid provided via the air bridge from Qatar to Kabul, and rehabilitation of Kabul Airport, which contributed to facilitating the entry of food commodities.
Qatar reiterated its commitment to humanitarian work based on the principle of cooperation, partnership, integrity and impartiality.
Qatar will continue to co-ordinate with international partners to assess the humanitarian situation and provide assistance, as needed, for the benefit of civilians affected by armed conflicts.