Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Celebrating the National Day of the State of Qatar

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Remarks of Mr. Abdullah bin Salem Al-Khawar - Chargé d'Affaires a.i
Embassy of the State of Qatar - Manila
The National Day of the State of Qatar - December 18, 2022

On this day, we are pleased to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the first modern sovereign state, based on values of dignity, originality and affiliation, by Sheikh Jasim bin Mohammed Al Thani, on December 18, 1878.

On this occasion I am honored to extend my most sincere congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar - "May Allah protect him"-, the Father Amir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani - "May Allah protect him"- to His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, Deputy Amir of the State of Qatar, and to His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar.

I also convey my warm congratulations to the noble Qatari people, as well as to all the residents in the State of Qatar. I wish Allah, the Almighty, to bless this occasion and perpetuate good health, security, stability and further progress for our people and for our beloved country,

Qatar National Day is a great occasion, where the people of Qatar show cohesion, solidarity and unity, in meanings of love for homeland, loyalty to ancestors and fathers and their unforgettable sacrifices. It is the Day of Pride for the wise leadership of H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, May God protect him, the leader of Qatar’s achievements and promising future.

The slogan of Qatar National Day 2022 (Our Unity Source of Our Strength) quoted from a speech by His Highness Sheikh/ Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, "May God Protect Him"- affirms solidarity among our people to face challenges and to achieve common objectives.

This slogan comes in connection with the country's hosting of the World Cup FIFA Qatar 2022, which began on November 11 and will continue until December 18, 2022 and everyone’s eyes from different cultures are all focused to Qatar.

The celebrations this year also express the intellectual and social bond in response to the many challenges, which the people of Qatar carried together in good and in unpleasant times.

It is the spirit of unity that made Qatar what it is now, with the strong ability to surpass every pressing issue of the country’s socio-economic, political and military hurdles over the years.

This year’s Qatar National Day is a very significant moment as it also coincides with the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Hosting this event has revealed to the world Qatar's cultural identity and its economic, security and administrative capabilities. Its tangible achievements in all fields reflect Qatar’s keenness to consolidate the national culture in the hearts of our future generations.

Hosting FIFA also opened a gate to bringing people together, with unified sentiments and affirmation that the world can unite to face major disasters and challenges that could threaten humanity.

Our hosting of FIFA Tournament is indeed exceptional in the history of sports, as it is the first time that it is being held on Arab land.

The use of modern and advanced transportation systems that converges distance of one stadium to the other makes this tournament the most environmental friendly version.

The State of Qatar is grateful to the other friendly countries and people for the support and praises conveyed to Qatar for organizing this major global humanitarian event. Qatar also affirms that this unique and inspiring experience belongs to all humanity.

On this year's celebration also includes 4,500 accompanying cultural and heritage activities that will span within 24 days to further enhance the atmosphere of loyalty, solidarity, unity and pride in the national identity.

In concurrence with the activities of the National Day and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the activities of Katara 12th Traditional Festival, were launched in Qatar last month, with the participation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the Republic of Iraq, the Yemen Arab Republic, the Republic of Türkiye, and the State of India, the Federal Republic of Tanzania.

This edition of Katara Festivals was characterized by a rich program of cultural activities and events keeping pace with the global sports event the country is witnessing. This included 40 pavilions for the participating countries, and 32 traditional loaders flying the flags of the countries participating in the World FIFA Cup.

The activities of Katara festival shed light on the customs and traditions of the fathers and grandfathers in fishing and diving trips, which contributed to preserving the cultural stock and the popular heritage rich in environmental values, and encouraged their consolidation in the hearts of generations, and pride in them.

Over the past years, the festival has achieved great success as the most important international gathering venue for cultures and heritage, restoring the maritime heritage in all its originality, arts and traditions.

With respect to the well-being of expatriate workers, the 2022 World Cup has become a channel for reform on worker’s welfare laws that is to mention raising accommodation and treatments standards for the employees, wherein the State has included programs that will ensure workers of proper care. safety , healthy condition and conducive working condition.

The Workers' Welfare Standards are a set of legally binding contractual obligations that the state of Qatar uses to guarantee workers' rights to all contractors. It is applied according to an advanced audit system that includes inspections by the country's Ministry of Labor, among other levels of audit.

The State of Qatar continues to adhere to an open dialogue with international organizations concerned with labor, and has launched a number of initiatives to protect workers' rights, such as signing a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Building and Wood Worker's International Federation, to conduct joint inspection tours of stadium sites, and choose advanced refrigeration products, to give workers a more comfortable and safe environment.

A healthy nutrition program was also recently launched in cooperation with health experts in this field, from Weill Cornell Medicine in the State of Qatar, to educate workers, contractors and food supply companies, on the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

May I humbly refer to the report issued by the International Labor Organization on November 01, 2022, which praised the reforms undertaken by the State of Qatar in the field of labor. The reforms highlighted fair treatment and improvement of the working and living conditions of the migrant workers.

The State of Qatar has made great progress in its labor reforms since its technical cooperation with the International Labor Organization in April 2019, despite the many challenges that still hinder implementation procedures.

We also give emphasis on Qatar’s several changes in the Labor Law back in August 2020, which includes the abolition of the required "No Objection Certificate (NOC)" to change work or employer. This was the latest in a series of labor reforms. Since then, the Qatar Ministry of Interior has approved nearly 340,000 requests from migrant workers to change jobs.

Moreover, 14 new Visa Centers were also established in many countries, as well as the establishment of joint committees to facilitate the participation of workers in companies.

Further to issues of labor reforms, even before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2022, there were about 280,000 employees working under high temperature condition benefited from the raise on wages, overtime pay and separation service fee.

The International Labor Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Organization of Employers praised the efforts made by the State of Qatar to modernize labor laws.

It cannot be considered that labor laws are mere agreements or Memorandums of Understanding, but that they are legislation enshrined in laws. There is a system of application, represented in the labor courts that work to achieve justice for workers in the State of Qatar.

These reforms represent a new era for the Qatari labor market at the regional and international levels, and a roadmap that can be described as "reflecting the state of Qatar's commitment to granting migrant workers more freedom and protection, and providing employers with more options."

The State of Qatar is keen to support all efforts aimed at promoting civilized and cultural openness between peoples. It attaches great importance to developing its relations with countries and regional and international organizations. It also contributes to efforts to enhance international peace and security through mediation aimed at resolving disputes by peaceful means, in addition to supporting development and stability projects in various countries.

The mediation of the State of Qatar in Sudan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad and others, has also created path towards peace, stability and development, not only in those countries, but also at the regional and international levels.

The State of Qatar firmly believes that peaceful means are the best path to resolve conflicts and end wars.

I am pleased to commend the level reached by the bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of the Philippines, after the two nations celebrated last year the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The cooperation between the State of Qatar and the Republic of the Philippines has opened investment opportunities between the two countries, thus, resulting to expansion of trade exchange and frequent mutual visits of in both countries, both in government and in private sectors.

This cooperation also led to the conclusion of many joint Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, which strengthen bilateral ties, as the State of Qatar attaches great importance to the Philippines and seeks to deepen its strategic partnerships in various fields.

The celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations is an occasion to revive the bonds of people's friendship, and to establish values ​​of optimism for a bright future, especially that Qatar hosts more than 300,000 Filipinos working in various vital fields.

The State of Qatar greatly appreciates the role of the Filipino workers in the renaissance and development of the nation.

In response to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of the State of Qatar - "May Allah protect him", the State of Qatar is exerting great efforts to further intensify its ties with the Republic of the Philippines, especially under the current Philippine Government headed by His Excellency Ferdinand "Bongbong" Romualdez Marcos Jr, President of the Republic of the Philippines, who has previously expressed the same desire with the State of Qatar, especially in the field of investment and trade exchange, among other vital areas, including health, energy, education and culture.

In conclusion, I can only pray to Allah Almighty to bless our country, the State of Qatar, the friendly Philippine government and its beloved citizens.

Peace, Allah's mercy and blessings be upon you!

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