International Recognition of the UAE’s Vision of Human Rights

  • 11 June 2014

The approval of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the draft presented by the UAE Parliamentary Division of Federal National Council (FNC) during the first coordination meeting of the Third Standing Committee Rapporteurs on ‘Democracy and Human Rights’ of IPU, which was held in Geneva recently, marks international recognition of the UAE’s vision of human rights and how to improve it. This vision is founded on ethical considerations and doesn’t carry any political dimension. It aims to uphold the idea of ​​human solidarity on a global level and desists from any other consideration including intervention in a country’s affairs, which adversely affects international peace and security.

The UAE’s proposal is significant not only because it is a serious attempt to balance international legal concepts of determining the nature of relationship between protection of human rights and non-interference in the affairs of countries but also because it includes a set of constructive ideas that enhance the steps being taken to improve human rights at the international level. This includes assertion of the principle of sovereign equality of all states; work on the development of the role of parliaments in strengthening the rule of law; protection of human rights; and promoting cooperation between IPU and the United Nations (UN) in the promotion of the rule of law and protection of human rights.

Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), the UAE gives top priority to human rights and takes initiatives to improve and optimize these rights. This has translated into many important steps taken by the UAE in recent years with the establishment of many departments and government agencies at both local and federal levels concerned with human rights. The FNC has also set up a standing committee on human rights to review legislations in international and constitutional human rights perspectives as well as communication and consultation with civil society organizations. The UAE is also an active member of the UN Human Rights Council and fully cooperates with it for the implementation of recommendations resulting from periodic review of human rights situation in the country. It always welcomes visits of UN officials concerned with human rights.

As a result, the UAE has become a unique model when it comes to upholding human rights. The country’s positions and initiatives have been appreciated by the international community, UN and other leading human rights organizations. It occupies top rankings in various reports and international indicators tracking human rights. The UAE topped the list of Arab countries in gender gap index 2013 released by the World Economic Forum. It was ranked first in the world in respect for women, as per the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum in April 2014. In addition, the UAE ranked first globally on the social cohesion index issued by the International Institute of Management Development in its annual World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013. All these rankings establish that the UAE has a brilliant record in human rights in all its political, economic, social and cultural dimensions.