Doha: International lawmakers on Monday expressed appreciation for Qatar's support for all national and international efforts to combat and eliminate terrorism and prevent the spread of extremism, highlighting Doha's relentless endeavors to enhance international peace and security, as two prerequisites for sustainable development.
This came during the opening of the third Counter-Terrorism Coordination Meeting, organized in Doha by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Doha-based UNOCT Program Office on Parliamentary Engagement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism, in cooperation with the Shura Council. The meeting aims to discuss the coordination mechanism among parliamentary organizations and federations concerned with combating terrorism.
Extending his thanks and appreciation to Qatar for its tangible anti-terrorism efforts, the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Duarte Pacheco highlighted Qatar's tangible initiatives to confront terrorism by hosting and supporting the UNOCT Program Office on Parliamentary Engagement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism, in addition to the developmental initiatives that Qatar is implementing in various countries of the world. Pacheco said that development is extremely important to instill hope in young people's hearts, at a time when losing hope feeds terrorism, extremism and violence.
He hailed the Shura Council's efforts to support combatting terrorism, and to support holding such an important event, which aims to coordinate efforts and review mechanisms to confront terrorism.
In another context, Pacheco congratulated Qatar on its successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 hosting, stressing that this success demonstrated to the world Qatar's potential to organize high-level international events.
The IPU President highlighted the scourge of terrorism and the threat it poses to societies, describing terrorism as sprawling cancer that needs all-out efforts to combat.
Warning of the danger of hate speech, Pacheco highlighted the need to devise educational programs that contribute to confronting hate speech and violence, and to allocate resources to support sustainable development programs, in a way that contributes to combating the causes of terrorism.
The Deputy Director of the UNOCT Mauro Miedico commended Qatar's support for efforts to combat terrorism and prevent extremism, appreciating the Shura Council's efforts to back the initiatives of the Doha-based Office of the Program on Parliamentary Participation in Combating and Preventing Terrorism.
Miedico highlighted the efforts of the office, which obtains the Shura Council's support, and reviewed its various initiatives and efforts in achieving the UN goals, by enhancing the role of lawmakers and involving them in anti-terrorism efforts, and developing models to support victims of terrorism.
He highlighted the need to address attacks on religious sanctities and places of worship, stressing that the UN developed an action plan to protect places of worship, by developing a program that supports governments to protect vulnerable groups and places of worship, as parts of the UN's key goals.
In turn, the Chair of the first presidency of the Coordination Mechanism Reinhold Lopatka stressed the need for cooperation to confront terrorism and violence, pointing to the important role that inter-parliamentary efforts play in formulating legislative frameworks and policies in respective states, and playing a pivotal role in the implementation of commitments, directing budgets, and exercising the needed controls.
He pointed to the need to build on strengths by involving parliamentarians in counter-terrorism efforts, by holding conferences and exchanging expertise and experiences, in avoidance of prevailing double standards.
For her part, the President of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union Mabel Memory Chinomona praised the efforts made by the UNOCT Programme Office on Parliamentary Engagement in Preventing and Countering Terrorism, and the initiatives it sponsors, for its contribution to bringing parliamentarians closer together, enhancing international cooperation, and supporting coordination between the concerned parties, to find sustainable solutions that would address the roots causes of terrorism and combating them.
She drew attention to the High-Level Parliamentary Conference on preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism, along with the role of African youth in this field, that was held in Togo, stressing that parliamentarians' response to and welcome of the initiative proved the unity not only of the peoples of Africa but among the peoples of the world, involving young people in counterterrorism efforts.
Chinomona noted the need to find solutions to the root causes of terrorism through continued discussions and cooperation, noting African women's important role and their involvement in this aspect.
The work of the 3rd Counter-Terrorism Coordination Meeting saw several working sessions and panel discussions that sought to exchange experiences and expertise among parliamentarians on topics related to regional trends and established activities, priorities and future efforts.
The meeting, in which representatives of regional and international parliamentary associations and federations participated, sought to review parliamentary assemblies' activities and initiatives, including cooperation with the United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT), as well as discussing priorities, and the geographical focus of parliamentary assemblies' potential future initiatives on counterterrorism and the prevention of violent extremism.
Scheduled to take place tomorrow on the margins of the meeting, is the Parliamentary Policy Dialogue on Border Security and Cross Border Cooperation in the Context of Counterterrorism, which seeks to better understand the international legal framework on border security and cooperation in terrorism prevention and combatting, as well as to assess key national policies, to consider ongoing good practices and to discuss the role of parliamentary assemblies and national parliaments in this regard.
Doha hosted the First Coordination Meeting of Parliamentary Assemblies in December 2021, while the second meeting was held in the Italian city of Naples in June.