Qatar underlined the importance of adhering to all conventions and treaties related to nuclear disarmament and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and warned against the phenomenon of cyberattacks, expressing its aspiration for all countries to join the agreements, in order to contribute to achieving international peace and security and preserving future generations and environmental systems from the risk of the weapons.
Addressing the general debate of all agenda items related to disarmament and international security of the First Committee of UN General Assembly at its 75th session, HE the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani said the world has become more dependent on modern information and communication technology in the field of education and business than ever before, especially in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In this context, HE Sheikha Alya noted the emergence of the phenomenon of cyber-attacks on vital institutions and facilities, and stressed that Qatar had suffered from the impact of the cyber-attack when it was subjected to it, through the hacking of Qatar News Agency, which sparked a crisis and set the stage for an unjust and illegal blockade against Qatar more than three years ago. The cyber-attack had dangerous repercussions on regional, international peace and security, and cast a shadow over regional and international co-operation.
She underlined that the increase and spread of cyber-attacks represents a serious challenge to the foundation of international relations, and its complications are reflected in the security, stability of the international community, as the misuse of cyberspace has become a serious threat to states and individuals, and has become a source of conflict and disagreement.
She noted that the threat of proliferation of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological weapons, continues to pose a threat to states, people and violates the human rights of many societies, adding that this danger increases with the possibility of terrorist groups obtaining these weapons, especially in areas affected by armed conflicts where there are no principles of legal accountability or accountability for crimes and atrocities committed.
Sheikha Alya referred to the international community’s rejection and condemnation of the use of these deadly weapons in Syria, as confirmed by various UN reports, and which requires accountability for the perpetrators of these crimes, as the use of toxic substances as war weapons is a war crime and a crime against humanity.
She said the international community’s rejection of these heinous crimes was evident, with the General Assembly establishing the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes in Syria since March 2011.
Sheikha Alya pointed out that Qatar continues to develop and update national legislation related to weapons of mass destruction in line with its obligations under the agreements it has joined.
She also referred to the close co-operation between Qatar and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), as the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons, in co-operation with the OPCW, organised from February 4-6, 2020, at the Doha Regional Center for Training on Agreements Related to Weapons of Mass Destruction, the international training course on medical management of chemical injuries at the scene of the event.