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IPU Secretary-General: Qatar's Hosting of 140th Assembly Provided an Opportunity to Discuss Important issues of Peacebuilding

10 April 2019

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HE Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong has praised Qatar's hosting of the work of the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the accompanying meetings, which provided an opportunity to discuss important issues that are in the interest of achieving the well-being of all peoples and humankind, building sustainable peace and achieving the goals of sustainable development.

His Excellency noted that Doha Declaration, which will be issued at the end of the meetings, will represent a strong commitment by the international parliamentarians to follow up on the discussion and approach of these issues affecting the well-being and livelihood of the people.

In a joint press conference with HE Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud and President of the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) today, HE the Secretary-General stressed the importance of education as part of building peace and security, adding that the focus of the general debate of this session, parliamentarians demonstrate the need for quality education, expressing confidence that they will not disappoint young people but will work to ensure quality education for them to realize their dream and improve the world.

His Excellency reviewed the various topics and themes discussed, especially the issue of education, the problem of terrorism, international security and peace, and immunization of youth through education from falling into the grip of terrorism and extremism.

In response to a question on the rights of parliamentarians and the inhuman or illegal practices they face in their countries, such as pledges not to oppose the government, which undermines their civil and political rights, HE expressed ths IPU commitment to respect the human rights of parliamentarians, adding that IPU did not spare any effort to protect the parliamentarians and enable them to carry out their duties. However, His Excellency pointed out that parliaments and parliamentarians are not above the law, but they have their own human rights, especially in matters of governance and transparency.

Concerning not addressing the violations against Palestinian parliamentarians by Israel, which has arrested and imprisoned dozens of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and other inhumane practices against them, His Excellency explained that the Union did not deny the status of Palestinian parliamentarians in Israeli prisons and said that the Union defended human rights and parliamentarians, whether Palestinians or other nationalities.

In response to a question on the support of the Palestinian refugees' right to education, His Excellency called on parliamentarians around the world to ask their governments to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which provides great humanitarian services to Palestinian refugees, in the belief of the Union of the need to advocate humanitarian issues in the world, stressing at the same time that the Union refused to reduce allocations of UNRWA.

His Excellency praised Qatar's support for this organization with USD 500 million, calling on countries to follow the example of Qatar and support UNRWA programs.