Wed 16-08-2017 20:37 PM
ABU DHABI, 16th August, 2017 (WAM) -- Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Women’s Union, GWU, stated that the GWU has received the welcome of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and other international officials, after a UAE delegation, which included the GWU, presented its regular report to a special conference on the UAE’s exceptional record in the area of human rights, which was held in Geneva last week.
In her statement, Al Suwaidi added that H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, has always instructed them to be present at international events, to present a good image of the country and highlight its human rights efforts while pointing out that Emirati women have considerable local and international influence in this area.
"Officials have expressed their welcome for the UAE’s efforts in eliminating racial discrimination by adopting laws against these crimes, and the further advances to these laws during the past two decades," she further added.
Al Swuaidi stressed that Anastasia Crickley, President of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, met with the members of the UAE’s delegation participating in the discussion session and highlighted the importance of their participation, including the relevant national authorities and most notably the GWU and other civil community organisations, while praising the UAE’s constant development in the areas of human rights, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.
She noted that the UAE’s report, which was presented by its delegation that was headed by Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Legal Affairs and Advisor to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, gained the respect of the Committee’s members in Geneva, who listened intently to the report as the conference only allocates 30 minutes for each statement, highlighting their regard for the UAE’s success in this area.
Al Suwaidi pointed out that the GWU was an effective member in the UAE’s delegation in discussing the report of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, under the workings of the 93rd session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which is a branch of the United Nations, UN.
The UAE’s report highlighted its participation in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1974, and its subsequent commitment to its rules. It has also joined other international human rights agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, CEDAW, the Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has presented its regular reports under this framework in 2015 and 2016.
Al Suwaidi stressed that the UAE’s report also highlighted the issuing of a decree by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, under Law No. 2 (2015) regarding the fight against discrimination and hatred, which criminalises acts that disrespect religions and holy sites, and all forms of discrimination, and rejects all forms of hate speech. The law also prohibits disrespect for divine entities, religions, prophets, holy books or houses of worship, as well as discrimination against individuals and groups based on religion, creed, ideology, faith, sect, race, colour or ethnicity. The law also criminalises any verbal or physical act that causes disorder, agitation or discrimination against individuals and groups.
During the interactive discussion, Al Awadi stated that the UAE contains the values of tolerance, peace, cultural diversity and acceptance of others, and its laws, under the wise leadership, guarantees respect and appreciation for everyone. The country is also developing and strengthening its legislative and legal system and its institutional structure, to become an example and a model to follow in all areas while its efforts have not stopped at protecting the rights of its citizens, but they include all those residing on its land. These include more than 200 nationalities living and working with dignity, appreciation and harmony and enjoying justice, equality and respect in the country, he added.