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UAE calls for increased efforts to help poor nations hit by current food and financial crisis

posted on 13/11/2008: 849 views



The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has urged the United Nations and its relevant partners to double their efforts to meet the increasing needs of the poor and deprived nations in the wake of the current combination of food and financial crisis, as well as issues of poverty, armed conflicts and serious diseases.

In a statement before the 45th plenary session of the 63rd General Assembly, debating on the ways to bolster the UN humanitarian assistance to the affected nations, Ahmed Al-Jarman, UAE's Permanent Ambassador to the UN, said the Secretary-General's reports on the Organization's humanitarian activities showed the seriousness of the challenges facing the world body in that area, as a result of the increasing number of persons needing emergency relief and humanitarian assistance due to more incidents of natural disasters, adding that the combination of the food and financial crises, as well as issues of poverty, armed conflict and serious diseases, called for the United Nations and its relevant partners to double their efforts to meet the increasing needs.

He emphasized the urgent need to supply the United Nations with the necessary financial and human resources, in order for it to discharge its growing responsibilities.

He said, besides fulfilling more than US$1 million in financial contributions and commitments to United Nations entities concerned with humanitarian and development activities, the United Arab Emirates had contributed more than US$1 billion in international assistance in the last three years, in addition to other contributions directed at reconstruction in countries affected by armed conflict. His country had also played a major role in coordinating and strengthening the international relief efforts through providing high efficient logistic facilities on their land, such as the Dubai International Humanitarian City.

He emphasized the importance of implementing the recommendations and resolutions of all international conferences on national and international strategies to deal with disasters and their aftermath through all stages. He also urged developing countries to take charge of implementing those strategies, and the developed countries to fulfill their commitments to assist them in building their national capacities to deal with natural disasters and the aftermath of armed conflict.

He pointed out that the United Arab Emirates also attached special importance to the support and assistance for the Palestinian people and their Government during the humanitarian crisis caused by the cruel hostile policies imposed on them by the Israeli occupying forces.

He stressed the urgency of compelling Israel, to, among others, stop its aggression against Palestine immediately; lift its blockade of the Palestinians; comply with the legal international resolutions; and resume peace negotiations on the basis of the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.



Below is the full text of Al-Jarman's statement:

Thank you Mr. President, Allow me at the outset to extend to you on behalf of the UAE delegation, our deep gratitude and appreciation for your work in directing this meeting. I would also like to associate myself with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of G 77 and China.

We have followed closely the SG reports on the UN Humanitarian activities, which showed the seriousness of the challenges facing the Organization in this field, caused by the increase in numbers of persons in need of emergency and humanitarian relief assistance due to more incidents of natural disasters, the impact of which and devastation are exasperated, especially, in developing and poor countries. This in addition to the global financial and food crises, which has serious repercussions on millions of people in those countries which already suffer from poverty and the negative outcomes of climate change, armed conflicts and serious diseases. All of which calls for doubling the efforts of the UN and its relevant partners to meet the increasing demands in Humanitarian needs and emphasizes the urgent need to supply the Organization with the necessary financial and human resources in order for it to discharge its growing responsibilities. In this context we wish to confirm our solidarity with the people and government of the sisterly Yemen during their ordeal caused by the recent floods and heavy rains and to renew our support of draft resolution a/63/l.21 on special economic assistance to the republic of Yemen. The UAE has started providing emergency assistance to Yemen since it was affected by the disaster last month.

Mr. President, The UAE emphasizes and commends the essential role of the UN, and its valuable efforts in mobilizing and coordinating the international efforts to provide humanitarian emergency relief assistance for millions in the affected areas. We recognize that international partnership and cooperation with the International Organization are the most effective methods to achieve the best outcomes of the humanitarian activities in different parts of the world. Hence, my country was keen on coordinating many of its humanitarian initiatives and contributions with the UN and its related agencies through bilateral partnerships and direct collaboration to implement many relief emergency and long term projects in countries affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts. And being a member in the Donor Group Support for OCHA, we a have been contributing in enhancing the work of OCHA thus in enhancing the work of the organization in the humanitarian field to achieve most efficiency in cases of relief and emergencies.

Besides fulfilling more than one million dollar of financial contributions and commitments to the UN entities concerned with humanitarian and development activities, the government of the UAE with a number of humanitarian foundations led by the UAE Red Crescent, contributes in all the international efforts to provide assistance for people in affected areas due to natural disasters and armed conflicts in all parts of the world. Our contributions, just for the last three years amounted to more than a billion dollar, in addition to other contributions directed towards reconstruction of countries affected by armed conflicts such as Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the same time we have been collaborating with other UN major funds and programs to finance and coordinate the implementation of relief and development projects in those countries. And to mitigate the burden of increasing food prices in the global markets, we have dispatched tons of wheat and food products to many affected countries.

My country plays a major role in coordinating and strengthening the international relief efforts through providing high efficient logistic facilities on our land, such as Dubai International Humanitarian city which is listed as one of the largest global centers for the integrated logistic facilities and services available for local, regional and international humanitarian organizations and agencies. And in 2007 the UAE Red Crescent signed an agreement with the UN office for Project Services to provide logistic support to ensure a more efficient and effective delivery of relief supplies to persons affected by natural disasters and other crisis, especially in Africa and Asia. And recently we have established an office for the coordination of foreign assistance, which will be the first in the Middle East to enforce cooperation on the international level with the UN organizations and donor countries to enhance the level and speed of response to emergencies and emerging conditions in affected areas.

Mr. President, We emphasize the importance of implementing the recommendations and resolutions of all international conferences on national and international strategies to deal with disasters and their aftermath through all stages, including urging the developing countries to take charge of implementing those strategies and the developed countries to fulfill their commitments to assist those countries in building their national capacities to deal with natural disasters and the aftermath of armed conflicts. We have worked with some of the recipient countries to build their national capacities to deal with disasters through financing and supporting efforts, programs and researches aiming at enhancing their abilities to predict disasters, contain their aftermath, and strengthen their infra structure. On the national level, we took the necessary measures to implement those recommendations, such as launching the "Crisis management and emergency response" project aiming to develop an integrated mechanism for response in emergencies and environmental disasters on the local level. Also, we are committed to implement an environment strategy to mitigate carbon emission and reduce climate change.

Mr. President, The United Arab Emirates attaches special importance to the support and assistance for the Palestinian people and their government during their humanitarian crisis caused by the cruel hostile policies imposed on them by the Israeli occupying forces. My country holds a firm principled position in its support of the lawful political rights of the Palestinian people and support of its National Authority. We have translated this political and moral position with a material and economic continuous support that included emergency humanitarian, development and technical assistance. Our contributions and assistance to the Palestinians since 1994-mid 2008 is estimated to be 4.2 billion dollars including our pledges of 300 million dollars during the Paris Donor Conference to build a Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, housing cities in Gaza, Jenin and the West Bank, in addition to our pledge in Vienna to contribute in the reconstruction of Nahr El-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon. And in September of this year H.H. the president of the UAE, ordered a donation of 5 million dollars as an urgent assistance to the UNRWA to help meet the needs of refugees in the camp.

In this regard, we stress the urgency of compelling Israel, the occupying state, to stop its aggression immediately; lift its blockade of the Palestinians; comply with the legal international resolutions and resume the peace negotiations on the basis of the relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace initiative. We further urge the donor countries to strengthen their assistance to the Palestinian people and government in order to alleviate their suffering in anticipation of the end of the Israeli occupation of their land and the establishment of their independent state; Palestine with Al Quds al Asharif its capital and to continue the financial support for the regular and urgent activities of the UNRWA so it can fulfill its commitments towards the Palestinian refugees. – Emirates News Agency, WAM



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