Photo by Ryan Miglinczy on Unsplash
A Coalition of Non-governmental organisations has praised UAE under the leadership of President Bin Zayed, on making big strides on human rights, writes Manel Msalmi.
The United Arab Emirates will present its universal periodic review to the United Nations on May 8th , 2023.During its review, the UAE will explain the developments and efforts it has made to enhance respect for and compliance with human rights and the implementation of international obligations.
According to a coalition of 53 non-governmental human rights organizations concerned with monitoring human rights conditions, and following up on the results and outputs of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism for countries that have made remarkable contributions and achievements in the field of human rights, the UAE has topped the countries in the region.
This follows, what was monitored by the International Coalition for UAE’s leadership in globalisation and in devoting commitment to principles on high human values. The coalition had submitted to the United Nations its report on the universal periodic review of the UAE, and the information dealt with the efforts and achievements made by the UAE in the field of promoting respect for human rights.
The coalition launched its report during an international event devoted to reviewing the journey of human rights development in the UAE. 11 international experts spoke, and more than 100 participants representing experts, researchers, and academicians attended. The efforts and achievements of the UAE over the last 50 years were reviewed, especially in the field of promoting civil, political, and economic rights.In addition to advancing civil liberties such as freedom of opinion and expression, strengthening the justice system, protecting prisoners and detainees, and enhancing community protection through the establishment of counseling, reform, and rehabilitation centers.
The country also works on promoting collective rights and developing national mechanisms concerned with the protection and promotion of human rights. During the symposium, the UAE’s care for national strategies for promoting and advancing human rights at the national, regional, and international levels was also praised, especially regarding women’s rights, children’s rights, and vulnerable groups. Experts highlighted the achievements made by the UAE in the fields of protecting workers’ rights, combating human trafficking, tackling extremism and terrorism, and promoting the discourse of tolerance and human coexistence. They noted UAE’s efforts specifically in promoting world peace and common human coexistence, which are represented in the Document of Human Fraternity and the establishment of the Abrahamic Family House in the Emirates.
The coalition also organized an international symposium in Geneva, parallel to the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, which discussed the challenges of pioneering and shaping the future of human rights in the UAE.Eight international experts in the field of human rights spoke at the symposium, reviewing many aspects of the leadership achieved by the UAE, especially in the area of human rights, civil, political, and economic climate protection, achieving peace, promoting tolerance and human coexistence.The UAE’s challenges on enhancing global leadership through global efforts to achieve zero neutrality and strengthening international efforts to protect the climate and the environment in the light of the principles of justice and equality, is a great example of leadership.The country is concerned with achieving climate justice in the world, which has been adopted as a basis on the United Nations and the Paris Climate Agreement.
During the symposium, the efforts and achievements of the UAE were emphasized in many areas related to the promotion of world peace, combating extremism and terrorism, developing justice systems, and upgrading correctional institutions, rehabilitation centers. Participants also examined UAE’s counseling centers to achieve community protection and enhance the chances of individuals to return to their communities positively.UAE was recognised for achievements in sustainable development and strengthening international efforts related to the implementation of requirements of the United Nations.
The country also pays attention to fundamental rights and freedoms and creates many initiatives on promoting individual rights in a way that guarantees individual and collective rights and liberties. During the symposium, the UAE’s initiatives and leadership were praised for strengthening the system of the rights and liberties in the country and upgrading the national, legislative, and institutional systems that the UAE initiated to establish and activate .These qualitative initiatives that target the human being and depend on the United Nations Development Charter, urges that the human rights are the focus and foundation of development. The coalition of international human rights organisations participated in the work of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council.
During its participation, the coalition of international human rights organisations presented many written statements to the Council, reviewing the UAE’s achievements in the field of achieving climate justice and organizing the climate conference in a comment under the third item.The statement praised the efforts and achievements of the country in the field of climate justice, protecting the climate, achieving zero neutrality, as well as reducing harmful human practices, stressing the leadership of the UAE in this field, and calling for international benefit from it in promoting climate justice.
While the UAE’s leadership and progress in the field of strengthening national strategies for human rights were praised in a statement presented by the Coalition to the Council under Article Eight, the coalition mentioned the UAE’s leadership in this field and called for the need to be guided by it regionally and globally in a way that enhances respect and promotion of human rights in the world.
The coalition concluded its participation in the work of the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council by issuing a written statement under the ninth item of the work of the Council, in which it praised the UAE’s strategy for spreading tolerance, combating discrimination and racism, and combating extremism and terrorism.The achievements made by the UAE in the field demonstrate the importance of establishing the Abrahamic Family House in the Emirates and issuing the Human Fraternity Document as well as the initiative to choose February 4th as a date adopted by the United Nations as an International Day for Human Fraternity.
The coalition of human rights organisations also submitted two statements under the eighth item, in which they praised the efforts and leadership of the UAE in promoting women’s rights and global leadership, honoring the experience of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the Supreme Council for Women, and the efforts concerned with empowering women, achieving global and regional leadership and progress for them, as well as advancing their path of justice and equality that they seek through empowerment and leadership.
The coalition ended its participation with a statement presented under Item IX of the Human Rights Council in the context of the general debate, in which the efforts of the President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, was praised for achieving peace, promoting tolerance and human coexistence, devoting human brotherhood, and establishing the Abrahamic Family House.
They stressed In their statement the importance of upgrading regional and international practices in a way that enhances the chances of benefiting from the pioneering Emirati experience in the field of protecting collective rights, improving the quality of life, and achieving justice and equality for all without discrimination.
The Author , Manel Msalmi, is an International Affairs Advisor to the European Peoples’ Party at the European Parliament and a prominent human rights activist.