Qatar and the UN
Overview on Qatar’s partnership with the United Nations
Qatar was one of the first countries to ratify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1996, and has been a member of the United Nations since 1971.
In the same year, the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations in New York was created with the aim of representing Qatar and managing its relationship with the international organisation.
Her Excellency Ambassador Sheikha Alya bint Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani is the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations.
Qatar values its strategic partnership with the United Nations and has always worked towards achieving its goals, including maintaining international peace and security, supporting international development, promoting human rights, providing humanitarian assistance, and participating in collective action to address existing and emerging challenges facing the world.
Qatar’s commitment to the UN
Qatar has made – and continues to make – financial contributions to various UN bodies and entities, aimed at supporting projects in the areas of development and humanitarian aid.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of #Qatar joining the @UN. The State of Qatar is an active member of the United Nations and continues to promote its vision of achieving international peace and security. #UNGA pic.twitter.com/84BPsIpLsv
— مكتب الاتصال الحكومي (@GCOQatar) September 21, 2021
Exemplifying this, on the sidelines of the 2018 Doha Forum, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and HE the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres signed several agreements demonstrating Qatar’s active role in achieving international peace, security and sustainable development.
The agreements included a USD500 million (QAR 1.82 billion) pledge to various UN programmes and the establishment of four new UN offices in Doha. The agreement further pledged annual support to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Qatar plays an active role in UN collective action:
Qatar is also committed to the development of sustainable programmes and initiatives, in alliance with the United Nations.
As of 9 September 2020, Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and its global partners UNICEF and UNESCO marked the first International Day to Protect Education from Attack. World leaders and activists addressed the need for immediate on-the-ground action to protect education from attack, declaring that silence over the deliberate killing of children in classrooms places decision-makers on the wrong side of history.
Established by UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/74/275), following a call to action by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, EAA Chairperson and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, the International Day is a global platform for decision-makers to focus on safeguarding education during conflict and peacebuilding. It draws attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries that need urgent educational support.
In March 2021, Qatar and the UN signed multiple agreements to open new UN offices in Doha. A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office will be established as part of efforts to promote sustainable development goals at the global level, while the new UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will support the UN mission of organising global humanitarian operations through partnerships with national and international actors.
In July 2021, Qatar pledged the allocation of $100 million in support of the efforts of the United Nations World Food Programme in Yemen, supporting food security and helping prevent famine in the country.
As part of its long-standing commitment to the UN and less developed nations, the State of Qatar has signed an agreement with the United Nations in October 2021 to host the United Nations’ 5th Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5). The conference culminated in the adoption of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) for the LDCs for the Decade 2022–2031, which would help these nations address challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crises and climate change.
In October 2021, Qatar pledged an additional USD 16 million to support the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) global efforts to fight poverty, climate change and inequality across the world.
In April 2022, Qatar continues to partner with the United Nations’ various bodies. The latest of these partnerships culminated in the State’s Ministry of Sports and Youth signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UNICEF to improve co-operation on issues related to the social and economic empowerment and inclusion of Qatari youth.
More recently, Qatar has supported several initiatives, including the Sports for Peace and Development Initiative, which aims to utilise sport as an enabler of peace and development through the building of an inclusive sports environment for young people and future generations.
Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs partnered with the United Kingdom, Germany and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to co-host a “High-level Pledging Event on Supporting the Humanitarian Response in Afghanistan” as part of the Afghanistan Conference 2022. In addition, Qatar pledged an additional USD 25 million to support the international humanitarian response to the unfolding economic crisis in the country.
Qatar’s support for countries experiencing economic crises extends beyond financial aid to include rights-based advocacy and assistance. Recently, Qatar has renewed support for Afghan girls’ and children’s right to education in the country, warning that failing to guarantee children’s right to education would only undermine human rights, sustainable development and the economy, especially in conflict- and post-conflict societies.
“We are working tirelessly to expand opportunities for young people to engage in the sustainable development of society, and to enhance youth participation in economic and social processes in line with the plans and policies of the State of Qatar related to youth empowerment”
— مكتب الاتصال الحكومي (@GCOQatar) October 24, 2021
In February 2023, QFFD granted $20 million to support the efforts of the Education Cannot Wait Initiative (ECW), a global fund established by the United Nations to aid education initiatives in emergency and protracted crisis situations.
United Nations House Doha
Opened in March 2023, marking the first of its kind in the region – coordinates regional functions of organizations, including:
- International Labor Organization (ILO)
- United Nations Education, Sciences and Culture Organization (UNESCO)
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOTC)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
The Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Program on Parliamentary Participation in Preventing and Combating Terrorism
The UNOCT inaugurated the International Hub on Behavioral Insights to Counter Terrorism in Doha in December 2020.
In continued efforts by the State of Qatar to combat terrorism, the Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Programme on Parliamentary Participation in Preventing and Combating Terrorism (UNOCT) was officially inaugurated in Doha on 16 June 2021.
The UNOCT, a first-of-its-kind in the world, was set up following an MoU between the Shura Council and the UNOCT. The office aims to benefit parliaments around the world through its programmes and activities to support the international community’s efforts in preventing and combating terrorism.
Qatar’s security co-operation extends beyond this program to include several partnerships with the UNOCT. In January 2021, Qatar and the UNOCT launched the International Hub on Behavioural Insights to Counter Terrorism, which relies on behavioural insights to aid in the fight against terrorism. The newly-formed hub will conduct research, offer capacity-building assistance and promote communication and partnerships to inform counter-terrorism interventions on an inter-state level.
During the same month, the State of Qatar also provided generous funding to support the work of the Global Programme on Countering Terrorist Attacks against Vulnerable Targets, which has developed a Global Network of Experts on Vulnerable Targets Protection, in addition to providing technical assistance to support capacity-building efforts for several countries in Africa and Asia. The programme builds on a strategic partnership with the INTERPOL and several UN agencies.
In 2022, Qatar renewed its support for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) by allocating $15 million annually for three years (2024-2026).
Aware of the critical role of parliaments in preventing and combating terrorism, the Office will undertake major initiatives within the framework of the United Nations Program and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, establish a global parliamentary network, create and maintain a web platform, and produce materials, publications and multimedia resources to support activities to prevent and combat terrorism.
The Doha office will undertake joint initiatives to support the balanced implementation of the four pillars of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS). The Office will help draft relevant Security Council resolutions in the area of combating terrorism and violent extremism, conducting research and analysis and carrying out work to support the prevention of and combating terrorism. The Office will also enact new legislation around the world and help to formulate model parliament-led counter-terrorism legislation, policies and strategies.
Qatar’s multi-level engagements with the UNOCT extend beyond these contributions to include the hosting or co-hosting of high-level conferences and programmes aimed at consolidating member states’ counter-terrorism efforts. Such conferences include the Fourth High-Level Strategic Dialogue between the State of Qatar and the UNOCT, the High-level Parliamentary Conference on Understanding the Terrorist Threat in Africa, the Global Programme on the Promotion of Sport and Its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism, and the Annual Forum of Beneficiaries of Technical Assistance, among others.
The State of #Qatar stands hand-in-hand with global allies in the fight against extremism. By addressing the root causes of terrorism, Qatar continues to combat the violent phenomenon through initiatives aimed at educating and protecting vulnerable communities. #UNGA pic.twitter.com/bXaHqCMRd1
— مكتب الاتصال الحكومي (@GCOQatar) September 21, 2019
Qatar’s Active Participation at the United Nations General Assembly
Qatar plays an active role in the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring its commitment to advancing the United Nations’ goals.
In line with its foreign policy, Qatar remains firmly committed to upholding international law and the principles outlined in the United Nations Charter, with the aim of enhancing global security and stability.
Read here the opening address delivered by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.