HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud stressed that there is a need today more than ever to activate and strengthen the role of parliaments in order to restore confidence among nations.
This came in a speech delivered by HE al-Mahmoud on Tuesday to the 141st General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the accompanying meetings held in the Serbian capital Belgrade under the title "Strengthening international law: Parliamentary roles and mechanisms, and the contribution of regional co-operation".
He said, in particular, the role of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) needs to be strengthened because it has been characterised by the equality of all its members without discrimination or preference for States with veto power to undertake reforms to regional and international systems that do not achieve justice and equality and do not deter aggressors.
HE al-Mahmoud said: "By reviewing some cases of violations of international law in our region, there is a need to strengthen international law and the role of parliaments and regional organisations".
He stressed that the Middle East region suffers from Israeli violations of all UN resolutions that have continued since its establishment in 1948, and the international community must push for the resumption of peace negotiations leading to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He pointed out that parliamentarians can play a vital role in preparing the atmosphere for direct negotiations and through sending delegates from parliaments to monitor the effects of the occupation, blockade and arbitrary measures, and urged governments to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and provide assistance to the Palestinians.
HE al-Mahmoud also pointed out that the region is also witnessing violations of international humanitarian law due to wars and conflicts, ideological differences, marginalisation and the spread of armed and extremist movements. Parliaments and regional and international parliamentary organisations can play an active role in resolving these issues, he added.
He said the delegates could urge their governments to provide humanitarian support and assistance to refugees, displaced people and war victims, to send envoys to mediate and good offices between the conflicting parties, to help achieve peace, implement transitional justice measures, return displaced people to their homes, and rebuild war-affected areas.
The Gulf region is also witnessing a tense situation, HE al-Mahmoud said and reiterated Qatar's concern over these tensions. Qatar does not hope for any military escalation in the region, he said and added that the country has consistently called for an end to wars and conflicts in the region, the elimination of their causes, the resolution of any dispute through dialogue and adherence to the principles of international humanitarian law.
He called on parliaments to urge their governments to express their concern and help defuse tensions in the region.
HE al-Mahmoud pointed to another threat to the stability represented by the negative effects of modern technology, including unconventional cyber security threats, which poses a danger to international peace and security, as well.
He pointed out that Qatar and other countries have been affected by digital piracy and espionage, and the misuse by some countries of modern technologies and sciences in the absence of clear international institutions and legislation that regulate this dangerous and vital area and punish the perpetrators of cross-border crimes.
HE al-Mahmoud urged governments to call for an international conference on cybersecurity and the freedom to use digital codification on their freedom of use, by continuing to support the invitation of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the 72nd and 73rd sessions of the United Nations General Assembly to organise and host an international conference on cybersecurity.
HE al-Mahmoud also drew attention to the existence of many other forms of violations of human rights and international law under the pretext of fighting terrorism without support, transparency and international sponsorship.
He pointed out that the violation of some systems and governing entities in a number of countries to the rights of citizens and the confiscation of their freedoms under the pretext of fighting terrorism, is the result of a lack of respect for international laws and human rights.
In this context, he stressed Qatar's firm position to reject all forms of terrorism, whatever the causes and pretexts, and address its root causes, and drying up its sources through the dissemination of education and employment opportunities for young people, and through the support of the United Nations organisations and the launch of initiatives to educate millions of children and provide employment opportunities for young people.
Meanwhile, HE al-Mahmoud held several meetings on the sidelines of the 141st general assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Belgrade.
He met the Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia and president of 141st General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Maja Gojkovic.
During the meeting, they reviewed the existing parliamentary relations between Qatar and Serbia and discussed topics on the agenda of the general assembly.
HE al-Mahmoud also met separately with Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, Speaker of House of Representatives of Djibouti Mohamed Ali Houmed, Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana Aaron Oquaye.
During the meetings, they reviewed the existing parliamentary relations between Qatar and sthese countries and discussed the topics on the agenda of the General Assembly.
The meetings were attended by members of the Shura Council.
Qatar elected as member of IPU committee on peace
Qatar was elected as a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Standing Committee on Peace and International Security. This took place in the current 141st Assembly of the IPU in Belgrade.
Qatar will be represented in the committee by HE Mohamed bin Mahdi al-Ahbabi, member of the Shura Council.
HE Mohamed bin Mahdi al-Ahbabi
The committee follows up on the 2014 resolution 'Towards a nuclear-weapon-free world: The contribution of parliaments', and will discuss topics related to the criminalisation of money laundering, as well as an expert hearing on parliamentary strategies to promote peace and security to address threats and conflicts arising from climate-related disasters.