International Recognition of UAE’s Humanitarian Record

  • 10 June 2013

The United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) endorsement of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on the United Arab Emirates, released in Geneva on Friday, reflects international appreciation of the UAE’s record on human rights and is a profound recognition of the country’s vision, plans and policies with regard to labor, women and children rights and practices against human trafficking. Participants at the HRC meeting lauded the UAE report on the implementation of human rights enforcement recommendations. This proves that the UAE is moving in the right direction and that local strategies are working in spite of the obstacles being created by some elements. Praise and appreciation from international organizations are bound to give greater impetus to its track record and put things in perspective.

There are four salient features of the UAE’s human rights record. To begin with, the country’s willingness to improve human rights is not triggered by any reaction or quest for recognition by some party, but rests on concrete principles. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash, who is heading the UAE delegation to Geneva’s UN HRC meeting, outlined this when he said: “The UAE’s willingness is based on our values and cultural heritage whereby justice, tolerance, equality and universal responsibility are highlighted”. Respect for human rights in the UAE is consistent with efforts to ensure religious and cultural freedom. This explains the country’s rejection of any recommendation found in violation of the Islamic Sharia (Law), values of the society or its internal affairs, legislations and systems.

The UAE’s efforts to promote human rights are based on a socio-political, economic and cultural vision, which is consistent with the strategy pursued in various fields by the UAE’s wise leadership. This is demonstrated in the UAE being placed in the ‘extremely high’ category as outlined by the UN Development Program Human Development Report. Moreover, interest in improvement of human rights is an ongoing process carried out by various organizations and the country constantly tracks its development. Respects for human rights has been a regular element of the UAE’s internal and external policies since its inception, which explains why the UAE has become a model of coexistence, tolerance, openness and stability and a country devoting to helping other countries around the world. All this is due to the pivotal role played by individuals in the country’s master development plans – a vision that is based on the fact that the Emirati national is a treasure that should be helped and developed.