The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani addressing the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.
DOHA: The Arab Spring revolutions are now facing difficulties but things will not revert in the Arab world since the people have become more aware of their rights, the Emir
H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said yesterday.
Addressing the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, the Emir said that Qatar aimed to become a hub for dialogue and not a party in the regional and international conflicts.
“The Arab Spring revolutions during which the Arab people have risen up calling for freedom, dignity and social justice, are now facing difficulties that seem to be trying to go back in time. In fact these difficulties were expected, but what is strange is that some politicians do not succeed in avoiding even expected problems,” said the Emir.
The transformation to a just rule and meeting the demands of the people in all states of the world have never been an easy path but one full of sacrifices. It has not been easy to go through it without patience and determination.
“Rarely have there been revolutions that have not been followed by desperate attempts by the former regimes to abort them. That is why wise people prefer all the time that regime change should be through gradual reform and not through revolutions that also entail the possibility of counter-revolutions. There are cases in our region and in other regions of the world, which we know very well, where there was no way for change through reform,” said the Emir.
He cautioned against jumping to hasty conclusions about the future of the Arab revolutions.
“This is a historical necessity. It is clear that things will not revert in the Arab world and that the Arab peoples have become more aware of their rights and more involved in the public domain,” said the Emir.
He said Qatar always had opted to become an active and effective party taking a constructive role at the international level through its balanced economic and political relations at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
“Qatar aims to be a hub for dialogue and discussion among different parties to conflicts and not to be a party in these conflicts. We aim also to open windows for cultural and information dialogue between peoples,” said the Emir.
The process of reform and modernity initiated by Qatar, which has made it a state of institutions, is interacting positively with the international community.
“It was not possible to achieve it without a genuine commitment in applying the rule of law and principles of governance, combating corruption and protecting human rights and the basic freedoms, as well as the empowerment of women to participate in the public life on equal steps with men and creating a healthy environment for children,” said the Emir.
The Emir said the stalemate remains characteristic of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which comes at the forefront of the issues threatening international peace and security.
“Continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories with its resulting practices, changing their demographic conditions particularly by extending the scope of settlement activity, Judaising the city of Jerusalem, the unjust embargo on Gaza Strip in addition to the intensification of settlement in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and changing its status quo, cannot be accepted as normal,” said the Emir.
“Israel should know that coercion and de facto policies do not bring peace. It is wrong for it to establish a state which sees peace in subjugating the other peoples and denying their rights and make that a priority over peace.”
The Emir said the continuation of settlements leads to the destruction of the basis for establishing a Palestinian state while the current status changes to one that resembles apartheid under the domination of one state or within the state.
“This would be a ground for new conflict since no people will accept enduring injustice and keep silent. The inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people in establishing their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital within the limits of 1967 borders as well as the right of return for the Palestinian refugees are not only an Arab demand, but they also represent an international standard for testing the credibility of international legality, which should not be divisible,” said the Emir.
The Emir said it is unfortunate that the perpetrators of brutal crimes and massacres in Syria are enjoying impunity from deterrence or accountability. “The issue is not whether or not Syria possesses chemical weapons for Syria is a state that is in conflict with another state that owns chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. But the issue is the use of such weapons by the regime against its own people,” said the Emir.
The Syrian people have not risen up for putting the Syrian chemical weapons under international supervision but for getting rid of despotism and corruption and to end the injustice they have been facing. “We all know that the responsibility for failure to impose political settlement. We all prefer for Syria is due basically to the inability of the Security Council to take the required decision to stop the bloodshed and the continued intransigence of the Syrian regime and its refusal of all regional and international initiatives,” said the Emir.
The Emir said the decision-making process at the Security Council is in need of change since it lacks fairness and objectivity. “Therefore, we affirm the importance of accelerating the process of Security Council reform in order for it to be more capable of dealing objectively with global challenges and responding to the aspirations of people.”
It is obviously impossible to take any decision without the support of the majority of the permanent member states, but taking a decision should not be monopolised for a long period by one or two states.
The Emir called on the Syrians “to unify their ranks for entering a transitional period that leads to establishing a governing system that guarantees freedom and dignity for all Syrians without discrimination on the grounds of gender, nationality, sect or creed.
“These large numbers of martyrs have not fallen and all these sacrifices have not been made by this great people so that despotism could be exchanged for chaos or another kind of despotism.”
The Emir said the peoples of different regions are looking forward to international community dedicating efforts to finding solutions to poverty, hunger, and sustainable development in a way that goes beyond convening conferences and adopting resolution and even beyond the necessary collective attention and campaigns that are called for from time to time.