Position Paper for the General Assembly First Committee
The principles declared in the first two articles of the UN-Charter concede disarmament and security top priority. From the outset, the State of Qatar has been a fervent supporter of the United Nations with the mission to promote a Culture of Peace; thus including disarmament as our main precedence. Qatar feels highly privileged to contribute to the finding of peaceful solutions in this General Assembly First Committee through active cooperation and multilateral discussion. The State of Qatar is confident to collaborate fully with the international community in order to find consensual solutions to the following issues stated on the agenda: Illicit Arms Sales; The Control of Conflict Minerals; and The Privatization of War: Employing and Arming Independent Militias.
I. Illicit Arms Sales
The State of Qatar regards the trade in illicit arms as a decisive breeding ground for the uprising of terrorist actions which imply massive Human Rights violations. Mostly associated with the undermining of the sovereignty of states, illicit arms sales are a serious threat to the international community and to global peace. According to A/RES/50/70B, the State of Qatar believes that regional and international security is of highest priority especially to those states affected by illegal arms trade in order to guarantee political and social stability. Qatar highly appreciates the effort that has been taken by the international community to implement the United Nations Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (PoA) for its important underlying principles to take serious action against the illegal trade in arms. In this context the State of Qatar stresses the utmost importance of Article 51 of the UN-Charta believing in the utter self-determination of each nation to contribute to the finding of peaceful solutions.
In compliance with international laws the State of Qatar has promulgated law no. 14 of the year 1999 in order to regulate the acquisition, possession and trade in weapons and ammunition. The policies maintained by the Qatari Armed Forces and Security Forces function as guarantor for a trustworthy and secure handling of weapons of any kind. In conformance Qatar has established a National Weapons-Ban Committee. This meets the international conventions in relation to the banning of weapons and the illicit trade of arms therein. In addition, Qatar has always rejected terrorism in all its forms and has been a convinced advocate of procedures aiming at eradicating terrorism. Due to the fatal link between terrorist actions and the illicit trade in arms, the State of Qatar has acceded many of the counter-terrorism conventions and ambitiously continues its cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee in accordance with S/RES/1373. “Our belief in Human Rights is the cornerstone of our fight against terrorism”, stated H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Ambassador of Qatar. Qatar has always considered the eradication of crisis at their origins as key priority. Worthy of particular attention is that there is neither weapon manufacturing nor non-governmental disposal of any kind of arms in the State of Qatar.
The State of Qatar highly appreciates all the efforts that have already been taken by the international community to implement the PoA. As H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Ambassador of Qatar, said, “governments are duty bound to tighten controls in order to prevent arms smuggling to and from their territories”. The State of Qatar wants to stress the importance of the international law as universal guideline to combat the illicit arms sale and its widespread consequences; because they deprive myriads of people of their innate right to live in peaceful, stable and secure conditions. In conformance with A/RES/62/47 the State of Qatar devotes considerable energy to deepen the scope of mutual respect and cooperation between countries and societies.
II. The Control of Conflict Minerals
The State of Qatar is highly aware of the global importance to eliminate violations of Human Rights, violations of International Humanitarian Law and violations amounting to crimes under International Law concerning the exploitation of natural resources. Qatar as a host of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) conference in Doha in February 2009 supports EITI in the fight against corruption and encouraging good governance in the developing world. According to the A/RES/57/2 Qatar believes that The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is a precise approach of new political framework in order to encourage sustainable peace and development on the African continent.
In accordance to Article 41 Chapter VII of the UN-Charter, the Security Council declares its authority to impose restrictions on economic relations as a means to maintain or restore international peace and security. The State of Qatar does not approve of the extended authority of the Security Council to cover state resources by linking natural resources to issues of international peace and security. Every nation has the undiminished right of selfdetermination and full sovereignty over its natural resources. Therefore, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council are supposed to act according to their mandate to enable developing countries to control their own natural resources without foreign trusteeships or interference. The United Nations strongly supports a variety of non-governmental organizations to strengthen regional and sub-regional arrangements to prohibit the conflict over natural resources. Therefore, the State of Qatar agrees on A/RES/62/274 and its importance to recognize voluntary initiatives, including EITI. In addition, the state-run company “Qatar Petroleum” will become an EITI supporting business.
The State of Qatar pleads for a stronger role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) resulting from A/RES/60/180 to ensure efficient partnership with national Government that are under stress and at risk sliding towards state collapse. Qatar believes that a strong spirit of cooperation needs to be built between mineral exporting nations and buyer countries in order to adhere to International Humanitarian Law concerning the exploitation of natural resources.
III. The Privatization of War
The violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law caused by relative operations of Private Military Companies (PMC) and Private Security Companies (PSC) are a source of grave concern to the international community, which hamper the tender seed of peace to grow in conflict areas and thus depriving people of living in dignified, secure and sustainable conditions. The State of Qatar firmly believes in the universality of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law and profoundly condemns any form of noncompliance to these fundamental standards. A/RES/44/34 ranks the service of Private Military and Security Companies on the same level as Mercenaries; consequently the foundation and necessity is laid by the international community to take serious action against violations of Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law which have been related to PMC and PSC deployment within the last two decades.
H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Ambassador of Qatar, pointed out that peace, development and security are inextricably linked together. At this point it is highly worth mentioning that the UN-Charter with its Art.1 and 2 is based on the columns of peace and security. As a steadfast advocate of every peoples´ and nation's right to self-determination and development, the State of Qatar has supported the solid principles of the International Red Cross to protect those highest rights which pertain to all of us people. Furthermore, the State of Qatar is a genuine proponent of the “Working Group” which is in accordance with our firm believes and convictions to protect the dignity of human beings.
The State of Qatar is convinced that the commitment to international guidelines as they are appointed in the Montreux Doctrine is a very important step to address Human Rights abuse in relation to PMC and PSC; thus enabling the international community to monitor, control and prevent the offence of the universal Human Rights related to the deployment of PMCs and PSCs. Qatar believes that clear global principles are the only approach to reverse shadow zones of lawlessness in order to prosecute any violation of Human Rights or the International Humanitarian Law. Therefore, the State of Qatar calls upon the international community to reaffirm the sanctity of human dignity and pave the way for peace. “The effort to improve the human condition is not a task for the few. It is the task of all nations, societies and communities”, as said by H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Ambassador of Qatar, mirrors our profound convictions.