UN Commission Ends Qatar-UAE Conflict: No Conciliation Reached


The ad hoc Conciliation Commission established by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has decided to end its work. The Commission was set up to offer good offices to settle the interstate dispute concerning Qatar against the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As requested and agreed upon by both Qatar and the UAE, the ad hoc Conciliation Commission decided to bring to an end the proceedings at its meeting held on 26 January. In 2022, another ad hoc Conciliation Commission established to resolve an inter-State complaint lodged by Qatar against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also terminated its operation due to the agreement of both States parties.

“I hope that the consensus found by Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia to discontinue the proceedings is the result of a genuine dialogue between the parties to end the dispute which arose in 2018 concerning allegations of racial discrimination,” said Verene Shepherd, Chair of the Committee.

For the first time in the Committee’s history, CERD in March 2018 received two interstate communications submitted by Qatar respectively against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates under article 11 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Qatar claimed that sanctions imposed by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, including the blockade of its borders and political and economic sanctions, were directed against Qatari citizens solely based on their nationality, without legitimate justification.

Having determined that it had jurisdiction over Qatar’s complaints, CERD set up two ad hoc Conciliation Commissions in February 2020 and appointed their respective members in cooperation with the States parties concerned. Both Commissions held various meetings to elect their Chairs, establish procedural rules and discuss the complaints.

The Committee commends all States parties concerned for their cooperation with the respective Commissions in the process of reaching an amicable settlement to the disputes with regard to racial discrimination. “Such cooperation demonstrates States parties’ steadfast engagement to the collective enforcement of the Convention,” Shepherd added.

The Committee has registered another interstate case, the State of Palestine against Israel, which is still pending.

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