Doha, September 21 (QNA) - Out of its national constants, principles and strategy, the State of Qatar believes in the importance of strategic partnership with the United Nations.
Since joining the international organization more than half a century ago, the State of Qatar is continuing work with the United Nations, extending helping hand to the afflicted, victims and vulnerable groups everywhere, and assisting the organization in many tasks, issues and files, especially with regard to humanitarian relief operations and their financing.
Based on its belief in its humanitarian mission, the State of Qatar has been at the forefront of countries that provide humanitarian and development assistance at the bilateral level and through the United Nations all over the world, especially to the developing countries facing crises and natural disasters, through the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD) and the Department of International Development at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In view of its significant humanitarian contributions, the State of Qatar is member of the Board of the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.
The State of Qatar was ranked first among Arab countries and sixth globally in terms of contributing to the UN multi-partner funds and programs. There is also a Qatari-UN partnership to enhance the role of preventive diplomacy in resolving conflicts in the Arab and Middle East region.
In 2018, Qatar announced support for core resources of the United Nations with a total of $500 million. During the period from 2000 to 2014, it made contributions to more than 40 UN bodies or entities.
In September 2021, HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani participated in the meetings of the 76th session of the General Assembly, and delivered a speech at the opening session of the general debate on Tuesday, Sep. 21, which marks the 50th anniversary of the State of Qatar joining the United Nations in 1971.
In his speech, His Highness said: "During the past five decades, the relationship between Qatar and the international organization has been characterized by close cooperation and the establishment of exemplary partnerships in various fields." His Highness also indicated that Qatars bet on international institutions and multilateral cooperation is a strategic one, reaffirming Qatars commitment to supporting the United Nations entities and fulfilling its commitments to the issues identified by the international community as priorities at this stage.
On this occasion, HH the Amir received a message from HE Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, congratulating HH on the 50th anniversary of Qatar's accession to the United Nations.
In the message, Guterres said that the State of Qatar, over the past 50 years, has made multiple contributions in the fields of sustainable development, conflict prevention and settlement, combating terrorism, climate action, and health, at the regional and global levels.
He noted that the State of Qatar has hosted, over the years, a number of vital UN conferences and events that helped push forward solutions based on global policies.
His Excellency pointed out that Qatar is also a generous supporter of vital development and humanitarian efforts, and has contributed to combating the COVID-19 pandemic and provided life-saving vaccines and assistance to the most vulnerable groups.
For her part, HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani said that HE UN Secretary-General's message reflects the extent of respect and appreciation for HH the Amir, the high position he holds at the international level, and the desire of the UN to continue cooperation with Qatar on various international issues.
Qatar ranks among the top ten contributors to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The value of assistance and aid provided by the State of Qatar, both government and non-government, increased from about $483 million in 2008 to more than $2 billion in 2017.
Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) has continued its efforts to support issues of development and relief in brotherly and friendly developing countries and to extend a helping hand to them through UN multilateral agencies, bilateral partners and civil society organizations. the total contributions of QFFD in support and relief operations exceeded $550 million in 2021.
Among the dozens of countries to which the State of Qatar, in cooperation with the relevant United Nations organizations, provides permanent humanitarian and relief assistance, or in times of pandemics and natural disasters, the countries of the Arab region are at the fore in the list of such contributions, based on the bonds of brotherhood and common history. Among those countries are Syria, Palestine and Yemen, in addition to Afghanistan and others.
Based on the firm belief in the right of the brotherly Syrian people to a decent life, the State of Qatar has been keen, since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, to provide humanitarian and material support to it, and its aid has exceeded $2 billion, whether through government aid or through civil society organizations, humanitarian and charitable associations, and Qatari donor institutions.
Since 2016, the State of Qatar has annually maintained $100 million for the benefit of the Syrian people. In March 2021, it pledged another $100 million to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis.
Within the framework of the State of Qatar’s continuous and strong support for the Palestinian brothers, based on the bonds of brotherhood and the ties of Arabism and religion between the Qatari and Palestinian peoples, and under the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar has announced $500 million in May 2021 in support for the reconstruction of Gaza, which saw massive destruction from the Israeli attacks, especially in the service facilities, including health, education and electricity sectors, in addition to the homes that were destroyed due to the attacks.
The State of Qatar also provides a financial grant of $100 per month to 100,000 needy families in the besieged Gaza Strip. QFFD and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) have signed a contribution agreement to finance the core resources of the UN Organization through the period 2021-2022 with an amount of $18 million, side by side with the delivery of a comprehensive additional support to Palestinian refugees in Syria across health, education and economic development sectors with a total amount of $7 million.
Out of its awareness of the plight of the brotherly Yemeni people and their humanitarian suffering, HH the Amir directed in July 2021 the allocation of $100 million in support of the efforts of the UN World Food Program (WFP) in Yemen to support food security and to help prevent famine, and to assist the United Nations relief and urgent humanitarian programs to alleviate the exacerbation of the human tragedy there.
Support for Yemen
With regard to development support for Yemen, the total aid provided by Qatar to Yemen from 2013 to 2020 amounted to approximately $195 million. QFFD and WFP signed an agreement to provide a financial contribution of $90 million to help meet urgent food security needs in Yemen, where conflict, economic crisis and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic put millions at risk of famine.
On the sidelines of the 2018 Doha Forum, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and HE the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres signed several agreements demonstrating Qatar’s active role in achieving international peace, security and sustainable development.
The agreements included a $500 million (QAR 1.82 billion) pledge to various UN programmes and the establishment of four new UN offices in Doha. The agreements further pledged annual support from Qatar to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Regarding its contributions in Afghanistan, Qatar took the initiative to provide urgent humanitarian aid, including foodstuffs, via an airlift from Qatar to Kabul, which transported hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid and participated in the rehabilitation of Kabul Airport, which will help facilitate the entry of food commodities.
The State of Qatar also harnessed its logistical, technical and human capabilities to evacuate tens of thousands of stranded foreigners from Afghanistan. Doha has also received thousands of Afghans and provided them with all aspects of care.
The State of Qatar also attaches great importance to the issue of climate change as one of the current and future challenges facing the world. In 2012, it hosted the 18th session of the Conference of Parties (COP18) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
HH the Amir also presented the initiative of the Global Dryland Alliance (GDA) in a speech at the 68th session of United Nations General Assembly in September 2014. During the Climate Action Summit in September 2019, His Highness announced the State of Qatar's contribution of $100 million to support small island developing states and least developed countries to address climate change, natural hazards and environmental challenges, and build resilience to their devastating effects.
On the sidelines of the 2022 Doha Forum last March, Qatar Fund for Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation jointly pledged up to $200 million towards agriculture, climate resilience, and economic development projects to support smallholder farmers in drylands on the African continent who are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change.
Qatar Fund for Development also signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA), to help Somalia in building climate-resilience and take shock-informed anticipatory action.
In October 2021, Qatar pledged an additional $16 million to support the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) global efforts to fight poverty, climate change and inequality across the world.
Disasters and Crises
The State of Qatar firmly believes that addressing disasters and crises begins with addressing their roots and causes. Qatar is the second largest contributor to the United Nations Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism out of a total 35 other donors.
Qatar also supported UNOCT with an amount of $15 million annually from 2019 to 2023, and announced that it would continue to support the office for an additional three years from 2024 to 2026 with an amount of $15 million annually.
Under the directives of HH the Amir and out of the belief in the importance of global solidarity to overcome the impacts of the Covid-19, especially on the least developed countries, the State of Qatar harnessed its efforts since the beginning of the pandemic to provide support to countries in need of assistance to help them strengthen their ability to address this pandemic.
Qatar, during COVID-19 pandemic, provided the necessary assistance to more than 80 countries and international organizations that is worth more than $256 million. It also signed a basic contribution agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) totaling $10 million in support of the Organization's Program of Action, and the initiative on accelerating the availability of tools to combat the corona virus in most needy countries.
The United Nations House is expected to open in Doha and will include offices for UN organizations, which are UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Regional Center for Training and Capacity Building in Combating Cybercrime, the Analysis and Communication Center of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Hub on Behavioural Insights to Counter-Terrorism in Doha. The Programme Office on Parliamentary Engagement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism was also opened.
In March 2021, the State of Qatar and the United Nations have signed an agreement to establish the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the State of Qatar.
The United Nations’ selection for the State of Qatar to open offices for its organizations, indicates that Qatar is a reliable and effective partner for the United Nations in facing challenges and their impacts in the region.
In addition to its emergency response efforts and humanitarian aid, the State of Qatar has worked to assist countries in strengthening institutional capacities in the health, education and economic sectors to build resilience, enhance disaster preparedness, and promote comprehensive sustainable development, in line with the United Nations agenda to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).