The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has issued its decision on the Request for the Provisional Measures, submitted by the United Arab Emirates on 22 March 2019 against the State of Qatar, in the case concerning the Application of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. These provisional measures were presented by the UAE legal team before the Court last month.
The UAE requested that the court bring provisional measures against Qatar including; (i) withdraw the complaint submitted in March last year to the Committee against Racial Discrimination against the United Arab Emirates on the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, due to Qatari attempts to bring the same issue before the ICJ, unnecessarily adding to the work load of both institutions; (ii) un-blocking Qatari citizens access to the UAE website enabling them to apply for a permit to enter the Emirates; (iii) Qatar should immediately stop its national bodies and its State-owned, controlled and funded media outlets from aggravating and extending the dispute by disseminating false accusations regarding the UAE; (iv) refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute or make it more difficult to resolve.
The objective of the request by the United Arab Emirates was intended to present evidence to both the Court and the international community showing that; (i) the UAE’s dispute is not with the citizens of Qatar, but rather the destabilising and concerning actions of their government; (ii) this despite is based on Qatar’s longstanding support and financing of terrorist and extremist groups; (iii) Qatar has blocked the UAE government’s dedicated visa website aimed at helping Qatari nationals to obtain entry permits for the UAE and (iv) Qatar has used its NHRC and State-controlled and financed media outlets, such as Al Jazeera, to disseminate false information regarding the UAE.
In the oral pleadings, the UAE legal team achieved all the objectives sought in its written Request to forcing Qatar to admit that it had blocked it’s own citizens from accessing the Emirati website aimed at assisting them in obtaining a visa to enter the country, the provisional measures request enabled the UAE successfully to present evidence to the Court also showed that: (i) The lawful measures taken by the UAE were a direct result of Qatar's continued support and funding of terrorist and extremist groups, and Qatar's failure to meet its legal obligations outlined in 2013 Riyadh Agreement and Supplementary Agreements.
(ii) Qatar’s claims and allegations of racial discrimination are unfounded and not supported by evidence, despite Doha’s claims to the contrary.
(iii) The UAE terminated diplomatic relations with Qatar and has implemented a lawful visa system for Qatar citizens to enable them to continue to gain access to the Emirates; (iiii) Doha continues its policy of contradicting itself on Qatari citizens, claiming that the UAE is preventing Qatari citizens from entering the UAE, while it is Qatar who has blocked the means for them to do so.
(v) Qatar followed the same approach with Saudi Arabia by blocking the website of the Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in charge of facilitating the travel of Qatari citizens to undertake pilgrimages in an effort to hinder the travel of its own citizens to the territory of states with which it no longer had diplomatic relations with, in a similar attempt to bolster false claims that the Kingdom was denying entry to its citizens.
(vi) Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee fraudulently created falsified evidence about the supposed impact on Qatari citizens as a result of the UAE measures (vii) The Qatari National Human Rights Committee lacks independence in its work in accordance with the Paris Principles, given that it has not been subject to review since 2015. This issue was raised during the of its Universal Periodic Report on Human Rights review last month, which cast doubt on the credibility and independence of the Qatari National Human Rights Committee.
(viii) Qatar has, through its National Human Rights Committee NHRC, Al Jazeera and other media outlets controlled by the state, repeatedly spread false information about the UAE’s measures.
The case is still ongoing and will continue over the coming months, which will see further examination and scrutiny of Qatar’s continued violations of its international obligations.
The United Arab Emirates reaffirms its appreciation and confidence in the International Court of Justice and trusts that the Court will, through its insight and wisdom, affirm the UAE’s position once the case is concluded.