The president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco has praised the comprehensive renaissance and the great development taking place in Qatar under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, underlining that the elections of the Shura Council in October represents an important step for consolidating the democratic practice in the country and region as a whole.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), he emphasised that Qatar has become stronger in many fields, and more independent in economic and social matters, and has succeeded in improving the quality of life for its citizens and residents.
He noted that his visit to Doha was very successful and achieved its goals in terms of strengthening the relations between Qatar and the IPU.
The IPU president added that he had chosen Qatar to be his first stop on the agenda of his foreign visits after his election to the IPU presidency last November given its influential and significant role in the region and international arena, and in promoting parliamentary work at the regional and international levels, represented by the Shura Council, and for the Council’s great support to him in assuming the presidency of the IPU.
He applauded the announcement of the Amir to hold free elections for the Shura Council next October, saying that it is a very wise decision for Qatar and the region as a whole, and shows the wisdom of the Amir in making the state more democratic, while affirming the importance of the people’s participation in decision-making.
He felt it showed that governance and the rule of law are what prevail in Qatar, stressing that this decision will reinforce Qatar as a democratic country where there is freedom of expression and freedom of belief. He said that Qatar is a safe and secure country, and this is another very important step for achieving better governance.
The IPU president said the meetings of the 140th IPU General Assembly and related meetings which Qatar hosted in April 2019 lived up to the aspirations and achieved its objectives, stressing the prominent status the state enjoys in the international community.
He said the IPU Assembly was held with the participation of more than 150 different delegations, more than 70 parliament speakers, and more than 35 deputy speakers, which proved and assured everyone that Qatar is able to organise such huge and successful events, and of course, the results were significant for the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
He noted that management of HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud of those meetings contributed to achieving these results, as the Speaker’s commitment was pivotal for this success. He said the Speaker of the Shura Council interacted with all the details to achieve the notable success.
“It was also not possible in the first place to host this General Assembly in Qatar without the sure will and desire to succeed and achieve the desired goals. The success that has been achieved is definitely a success for Qatar and the Shura Council,” he pointed out.
Pacheco underlined the vital role of parliaments and parliamentarians in achieving the rule of law, taking into account the interests of people and achieving their desires, holding governments accountable to correct decisions and following good policies, achieving the required change without conflict, and consolidating the democratic path to achieve a better life.
He highlighted the important role of the Shura Council in promoting democracy in Qatar and the region, and consolidating the joint parliamentary world, noting that the presidency of Qatar, represented by the Speaker of the Shura Council, of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption reflects Qatar’s commitment to strengthening anti-corruption efforts.
In this context, he said everyone knows that when there are a lot of resources in any country, there is corruption, and sometimes these resources are not used to achieve a better life for the people. Therefore, when a rich country like Qatar, which has a lot of resources appears to be fighting corruption, this means that it is possible to have resources and fight corruption, and that the wealth of the state could reach the people through improving their lives, developing education and universities, building hospitals, achieving social equality and improving the quality of life.
He said Qatar, through its work and presidency of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption is carrying out an important role in highlighting the need to combat corruption, noting that the IPU approval on the decision to establish UNOCT Programme Office in Doha, draws attention to the fact that terrorism must be fought every time and everywhere.
He underlined the need to combat intolerance, and stressed that everyone must realise that they live together in one world, noting that there might be cultural, economic, ideological and social differences and different and varied ways of life, but everyone must live together in peace, and that terrorism is something that everyone, whether in Europe, the Middle East, America or Asia, must fight.
In this regard, he stressed the need for an organisation such as the UNOCT Programme Office to collect information about extremist movements, the ways to combat terrorist financing, and the connections that terrorists establish, adding that Doha is considered an ideal place for its headquarters, because it can spread inspiration to neighbouring countries and all Asian countries.
On Qatar’s efforts to achieve harmony and peace between the parties in many countries or between some countries, Pacheco underlined that the country has strong and influential diplomacy, and high-experienced diplomats who are trusted to play a mediating role in resolving disputes, noting Qatar’s hosting of the intra-Afghan dialogue, and the positive results achieved from it, which confirm its success in these good endeavours, and earned it more respect in the regional and international arenas.
The IPU president also affirmed the importance of the Gulf reconciliation achieved recently and stressed the need to transcend differences and disputes for the interests of the region, reviewing the benefits that would result from this reconciliation, for example, restoring communication, community life and the bond between people.
With regard to Qatar hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, and the importance of the global sporting event being held for the first time in the Middle East region, the IPU president said, “I am from Portugal and we are a people who love football ... and I hope we qualify and win the tournament which is an important event not only for Qatar but for the whole region, and it shows the world that Qatar is a vibrant country and capable of organising such a huge event because some people sometimes think that small countries with a small population do not have the ability to organise such huge events. Qatar will welcome large numbers of tourists, huge delegations, and many officials from many countries within a very short time, but I am confident that Qatar will prove to everyone that the organisation will be ideal and that it is able to organise such huge events in an atmosphere of peace, security, calm and tranquillity, and for sure, all this will be a great additional success for Qatar.”
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