In General Assembly address, Qatari Amir urges action to end crisis in Syria

Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

24 September 2013 – In his statement to the 68th General Assembly’s General Debate, the Amir of the State of Qatar urged an end to the “destructive actions and horrible massacres” in Syria, and called for reform of the Security Council to more objectively deal with such global challenges.

“The…failure to impose the 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,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani told world leaders gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

He called of accelerating the process of Council reform “in order for it to be more capable of dealing objectively with global challenges and responding to the aspirations of people” and not have decisions monopolized for long periods by one or two states.

In his statement, the Amir said the ability of those responsible for the brutal crimes and massacres in Syria, “which have shocked every human conscience,” to continue enjoying impunity “questions the credibility of the human rights and international legal mechanisms of the international community”.

He said that “the issue is not whether or not Syria possesses chemical weapons... But the issue is the use of such weapons by the regime against its own people.

“The Syrian people have not risen up for putting the Syrian chemical weapons under the international supervision but for getting rid of despotism and corruption and to end the injustice it has been facing,” he added.

The Amir called on “our Syrian brothers 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.”

In a meeting earlier today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria, according to a UN spokesperson.

He also thanked the Amir for Qatar’s support to the Central Emergency Response Fund. The UN earlier this month released $50 million from the Fund to boost the efforts of humanitarian agencies assisting the growing number of Syrians affected by the crisis.

During the meeting, the two officials also discussed Qatari support for the UN-backed Alliance of Civilizations which seeks to galvanize international action against extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation.

In his statement, the Amir said that Qatar aims to be a “hub for dialogue and discussion among different parties to conflict but not to be a party in these conflicts.

“We aim also to open windows for cultural and information dialogue between peoples,” he added.

In addition, Mr. Ban and the Amir also discussed today the importance of UN political efforts in Yemen, the Israeli-Palestinian issue, sustainable development and climate change.


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