Qatar reiterated that a permanent, comprehensive, and just settlement of the Middle East issue will only be achieved on the basis of international law, international legitimacy resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, leading to ending the occupation of all occupied Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan and the occupied Lebanese territories, ending settlements, a just solution to the issue of refugees, and the Palestinians enjoy their inalienable rights, especially their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the vision of the two-state solution.
This came in the statement of the State of Qatar made by HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on all its items. Qatar's statement stressed that the two-state solution is the solution agreed upon by the international community as the only possible way to reach a lasting peace. It also underlined the need not to prejudice the existing status of Al Quds Al Sharif and the Islamic and Christian sanctities, especially the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The statement stated that the reports, submitted to the committee under the item of the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, show the continued practices of Israel, the occupying power, that are inconsistent with international law, especially the international human rights law and humanitarian law, as well as UN General Assembly resolutions.
The statement of Qatar also referred to the continued expansion of illegal settlements, including what was recently reported about plans to expand settlements in the vicinity of Jerusalem, reiterating Qatar's position that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and constitute an obstacle to achieving the two-state solution as well as an obstacle to peace and economic and social development. In its statement, Qatar reiterated that Israel's decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the occupied Syrian Arab Golan is null and void and has no international legal effect.
Qatar also reaffirmed that the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War is applicable on the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967. In light of the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions, especially in the Gaza Strip, which is still under a suffocating siege, the statement drew attention to Qatar's continuation this year of its efforts to provide humanitarian and development support for the benefit of the brotherly Palestinian people, as His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani directed the allocation of a $500mn grant for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. The statement indicated that the UN has started, at the beginning of last month, the implementation of the cash assistance program to provide assistance to about 100,000 needy families in the Gaza Strip, benefiting from Qatar's $40mn grant over four months.
Qatar praised the role played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which continues to carry out indispensable projects and activities in the field of health, education, and others in the occupied Palestinian territory and the countries hosting Palestinian refugees, in light of the global pandemic challenges and the ongoing budget deficit. The statement renewed Qatar's continued support for UNRWA's core resources.
In its statement, Qatar stressed that there is no alternative to the role played by UNRWA, along with other UN agencies and bodies, in meeting the basic needs of millions of Palestinians, which is essential to maintaining stability, until the refugee issue is resolved. The statement also commended the great efforts made by UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini and all UNRWA staff under the difficult conditions on the ground to fulfill the mandate entrusted to the Agency and to develop its work and efficiency.
The statement expressed Qatar's belief in the principle of ending colonialism and foreign occupation, stressing the 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and UN resolutions related to decolonisation. Regarding the committee's consideration of items related to decolonisation, the statement of Qatar called for continuing to strive to reach just settlements for all cases before this committee, in accordance with international law, and in a manner that takes into account the specifics of each case.
On the issue of the Moroccan Sahara, the statement reiterated the position of Qatar, which stems from its belief in settling differences and disputes through dialogue and peaceful means. The statement indicated that Qatar supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General aimed at facilitating a lasting and agreed upon political solution within the framework of the political process under the UN supervision in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions, the latest of which is Resolution 2548 (2021), in a manner that guarantees the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco.
The statement added that Qatar considers the autonomy initiative presented by Morocco a constructive initiative as a basis for any realistic solution to this issue. In conclusion, the statement expressed the hope of Qatar that the draft resolution that the committee will consider on this issue will contribute to supporting the political process and reaching a final solution in a manner that serves the interests of the parties and security and is in the interest of strengthening stability and co-operation in the region.