The Protector of Refugees

  • 21 June 2010

Issues related to refugees and immigrants represent a growing challenge to the international community as its political, economic and social aftermath impacts international security and stability. Hence, initiatives to ease the suffering of these people and efforts to solve their problems have become a matter of concern to the international community. The UAE’s efforts in helping refugees and immigrants in different conflict zones across the world should be seen in this context. The statement made by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) on the World Refugee Day (June 20) reflects the attention paid by the country and its wise leadership to this humanitarian issue. His Highness said that the UAE, under the leadership of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will remain a protector of refugees and a strong pillar in their struggle for human dignity.

The role played by the UAE in strengthening international efforts against asylum and preventing its impact on millions of people around the globe have made the country a safe haven for refugees in various parts of the world. The country provides different types of assistance to the needy and helps the vulnerable survive difficult circumstances. The evidence of a prompt UAE response was seen in the urgent manner in which immigrants of Kyrgyzstan were met with a delegation from the UAE Red Crescent Authority in Uzbekistan. The authority then dispatched humanitarian aid to refugees from Kyrgyzstan who suffered as a consequence of the recent events there. The vital role that the UAE plays in helping refugees across the world is due to a number of considerations especially because it is linked to the humanitarian efforts as a main characteristic of the UAE foreign policy.

The country responds promptly to the aid of refugees to reduce their suffering so that it doesn’t transform into a challenge that cannot be tackled later. Such prompt action ensures communication and confidence among the people around the world and deepens understanding in areas of conflict. This not only helps the cause of peace and stability but also promotes international security and stability. Experience from the past suggests that a lack of action in eliminating the suffering of such immigrants eventually becomes a political and security problem for the host countries. Also, support for refugees does not end with financial help but should extend to ensuring their safe return to their home countries. The UAE has become an active player in the international efforts to help refugees and immigrants and its efforts have received wide appreciation across the world. There is no bigger evidence of this than the plaque that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) gave the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in recognition of his role in supporting the organization’s activities in the field of international humanitarian work.