– Gulf civil society organizations are required to hold consultations to develop the human rights system in the GCC countries
– We demand strong mechanisms to protect the human rights of the Gulf people and to avoid repeating the tragedies resulting from the blockade
– The unity of the GCC starts with preserving the unity of its people and the cohesion of the Gulf social fabric
– A year and a half of the crisis proved limited human rights and conflict resolution in the GCC
– We cannot allow other failures of the GCC system in the field of human rights and conflict resolution
Vienna: Saturday 7 December 2018
Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, called on civil society organizations in the GCC States to hold a series of consultations and meetings to develop the human rights system in the Gulf, pointing out that a year and a half of the blockade of Qatar proved the limited human rights and conflict resolution system in the GCC countries. A few hours before the upcoming Gulf summit in Riyadh, the repercussions and violations resulting from the blockade of Qatar were the focus during the discussions of Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri with a number of journalists and accredited correspondents in Vienna. Al Marri also met with the Austrian Council of Grievances, in Austria and reiterated the conviction of the National Human Rights Committee that “any results or decisions that may emerge from the forthcoming Gulf summit in Riyadh cannot succeed in achieving any progress in the course of the unified Gulf action, unless the repercussions of the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar addressed as a top priority during the discussions of leaders of the GCC”.
“The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established to confirm the unity of the Gulf people. However, the discriminatory and arbitrary measures imposed by the countries of blockade on Qatar have caused a deep blow to the social fabric of the Gulf. With each additional day going through the crisis, the gap between the Gulf states is growing, and the people are paying the biggest price of this unjust blockade. GCC leaders must understand that the unity of the GCC begins by preserving the unity of its people and the cohesion of the Gulf social fabric. We cannot allow other failures of the GCC system in the area of human rights and conflict resolution,” Al Marri added.
In response to journalists’ questions about the importance of decisions that could emerge from the Riyadh summit, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh said: “It cannot be ignored that the blockade imposed on Qatar has hurt the people more than it has harmed governments. The leaders of the GCC must agree on new procedures and mechanisms in the rules of procedure of the Council, guaranteeing respect for the principle of non-use of peoples as a leverage tool to eliminate any political disputes in the future! We, the National Human Rights Committee, will not stop our actions in this direction until the victims are redressed. We do not want the GCC to lose this historic opportunity to heal the Gulf rift at the Riyadh summit,” he said.
Responsibility of Gulf civil society organizations
The chairman of the National Human Rights Committee noted that a part of the responsibility for the human rights situation in the Gulf states is attributed to the “failure” of the human rights system in the GCC countries, calling on civil society organizations and national human rights institutions in the GCC countries to hold a series Consultations and meetings to develop the human rights system in the GCC countries.
Strengthening cooperation with the Austrian Ombudsman Council
On the other hand, the chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, in his meeting with officials of the Austrian Ombudsman Council, discussed means of enhancing cooperation between the two sides in the fields of exchange of experience and training and promotion of the culture of human rights in both countries. For their part, officials of the Austrian Ombudsman’s Council commended the achievements of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar in the field of protection and promotion of human rights locally and regionally.