The Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will hold a special session on Friday to hear Qatar' appeal concerning the inter-state complaints against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which imposed discriminatory measures in June 2017 that harmed its citizens.
The relevant committee, composed of 18 international experts from around the world, will determine the competence of the committee to consider whether or not a national complaint is to be considered, and also to consider all the conditions set forth in the Convention in order to refer the complaint to the Conciliation Commission. The Agent of Qatar to the International Court of Justice and Dean of the Law College at Qatar University Dr Mohamed Abdulaziz al-Khulaifi will submit the legal pleading in Geneva as a representative of Qatar.
The complaint is the first against another state to be considered by the committee since the adoption of the Convention in 1962. Palestine is the second country to file a similar complaint against Israel under the UN anti-racism treaty before the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
On March 8, 2018, Qatar submitted an inter-state complaint against Saudi Arabia as well as another inter-state complaint against the UAE before the CERD, in accordance with the provisions of the UN Convention. On 22 July 1976, Qatar acceded to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The convention intends to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, religion or national origin.
Qatar initiated this action as a result of the discriminatory measures imposed on it in June 2017 by the blockading countries, which harmed and affected Qataris.
Qatar decided to start the aforementioned measures to protect the rights of its citizens since Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enacted and implemented, on 5 June 2017, a series of discriminatory measures which contravene the provisions of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination based on national origin mentioned in Article 1 thereof.
In compliance with articles 11 through 13 of the Convention, the committee is entrusted with the task of referring complaints for formal conciliation in order to reach an amicable settlement, after ascertaining its competence and the applicability of the provisions of the convention.
The International Court of Justice on 23 July 2018 issued a verdict granting Qatar's request for provisional measures against the UAE. The court's order requires the UAE to allow Qatar-UAE mixed families, who were separated due to UAE procedures taken on 5 June 2017, to reunite and Qatari students should be given the opportunity to complete their studies in the UAE or to retain records of their studies to be able to continue their education elsewhere
The court's order stated that Qataris, affected by the measures taken by the UAE on 5 June, 2017, are allowed to access judicial services in the UAE.