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The State of Qatar has expressed its deep appreciation for the distinguished efforts made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, led by Mr. Filippo Grandi and all the cadres working to enhance the protection of refugees and displaced persons, seeking to provide them with a decent life in their countries or countries where they sought refuge, and to ensure that they obtain their rights.

The State of Qatar has renewed its commitment to continue strengthening and developing its strategic relations and partnerships with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and to provide the necessary support for its humanitarian, relief and development activities and programs, to alleviate the suffering of refugees and displaced persons, and to finance and implement programs aimed at strengthening their capabilities.

She indicated that the volume of government contributions made by the State of Qatar to the UNHCR during the last four years amounted to more than 53 million US dollars, and the State of Qatar also signed numerous memoranda and agreements of understanding to support the basic resources of the UNHCR, and a cooperation agreement was also signed to open an office for the UNHCR in Doha, and the State of Qatar has been keen on continuing its membership in the “twenty million or more” club, which includes the most prominent donor countries and cooperating with the UNHCR.

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This came in the speech of the State of Qatar delivered by His Excellency Ambassador Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri, the permanent representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in the public debate on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, during the 71st session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Program.

His Excellency explained that many Qatari non-governmental humanitarian institutions and organizations, such as the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, Qatar Charity, Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Fund and Silatech Foundation, have provided health, medical and humanitarian aid, and have formed important partnerships with the UNHCR, with the aim of supporting the UNHCR’s efforts in Refugee assistance and protection, and thus the Qatari private donors ranked (13) in the UNHCR 2019 Funding Overview Report.

He said, “The spread of the (Covid-19) pandemic has added an additional burden and challenge to the crises of refugees and displaced persons, whose number has reached nearly 80 million people, especially since 80 percent of them live in countries whose economy and infrastructure and health are weak.” Qatar stressed the need to strengthen international solidarity and cooperation and unite all international efforts to protect public health and protect individuals from this virus, and take into account all other aspects, whether on the social or economic level, in the response stages and the recovery period after the crisis.

He also stressed the importance of adopting a comprehensive international approach to deal with refugee issues, focusing mainly on addressing the root causes, whether conflicts, wars or natural disasters, and working to find appropriate solutions to them in accordance with the principle of sharing burdens and responsibilities.

He added: “Based on our belief that mediation is one of the most important means of resolving and preventing disputes and conflicts, as well as its important role in supporting peaceful transformations and national reconciliation, and helping to build societies, the diplomacy and foreign policy of the State of Qatar have been keen to contain many regional and international crises and conflicts. This contributed to avoiding the occurrence of asylum and displacement problems, as well as alleviating their tragic effects. “

His Excellency the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva indicated that the State of Qatar, at the legislative level, issued in 2018 the law regulating political asylum in the country, in confirmation of its humanitarian role in protecting refugees, ensuring their rights and helping them to live in a dignified manner, and added: “This law comes in the context of developing national laws and legislation aimed at promoting and protecting human rights, and is the first of its kind in the region.”

In conclusion, His Excellency reiterated the State of Qatar’s affirmation of continuing its humanitarian commitments and continuing to provide the necessary support for the activities and programs of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and continuing cooperation and partnership within the framework of the international community to face humanitarian and development challenges, and expressed the State of Qatar’s support for all efforts exerted to facilitate and support the achievement of the goals of the Charter. International Conference on Refugees, and expressed his hope that it would contribute to making a great difference and positive and sustainable progress in the lives of refugees and their host communities, especially in light of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties resulting from it.