A Global Humanitarian Initiative From Abu Dhabi

  • 24 November 2008

The United Nation's Unified Humanitarian Call for 2009, a yearly international initiative begun in 1992, will be launched today from Abu Dhabi in an effort to help millions of people around the world suffering from conflicts, crises, and disasters. Abu Dhabi's choice this time for launching this humanitarian initiative is the first in the Middle East and signifies a clear international appreciation of the UAE's vital role in global action and its insistence on positive interaction with regional and international initiatives in this regard. The organizing committee of the call has extolled the Emirates' interest in the appeal and its activities and its readiness to assist in their success and achievements. The committee especially thanked Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Aal Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Red Crescent Society, for the special preparations to make the call this year more promising and successful.

Abu Dhabi's choice to host this year's activities increases the support the UAE receives around the world not only because it is an international benefactor but also because of the humanitarian dimension in its foreign policy since its founding in 1971. The choice also signifies a special message: that humanitarian work has an international and positive impact, making the Emirates a model to be emulated in its civilized outlook. It also makes the Emirates ever-present in the fight to alleviate conflicts, crises, and disasters with no regard to people's religion, race, ethnicity, origin, or country.

In the shadow of the dangerous international economic crisis that engulfs the world and causes myriad humanitarian crises to millions of people, it becomes essential to strengthen human solidarity in the face of adversity and its negative consequences. Local, regional, and international initiatives become especially crucial because they reflect an admirable human feeling and a true translation of human integration. This gives the UN Call for 2009 an exceptional significance and makes it an important station in the history of international humanitarian and charitable action.

While the world expresses a welcome and noticeable interest in humanitarian work and works toward strengthening and supporting it, it is important to note that the UAE has been a leader in this regard. The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan, may he rest in peace, was always a symbol of goodness and assistance. His route has been followed by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Aal Nahyan who himself has many initiatives in many parts of the Arab world and the world at large.