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UAE presents its report before International Committee on Fighting Racial Discrimination

posted on 06/08/2009: 1070 views



Geneva - The UAE reviewed yesterday the achievements it has made in regard to elimination of all forms of racial discrimination before the international committee on fighting racial discrimination.

Presenting the report to the committee, Dr. Abdul Rahim Yousuf Al Awadhi, Assistant UAE Foreign Minister for Legal and International Organisations Affairs outlined steps and measures taken by the UAE to enforce the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The UAE report was presented in presence of the UAE Permanent Representative to United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, representatives from Foreign, the Federal National Council Affairs, Labour, Interior, Social Affairs, Health, Education ministries and General Women Association.

The committee welcomed the achievements of the UAE in combating all forms of discrimination whether on national legislative level or the implementation of the provisions and clauses of the agreements. Though the international committee on fighting racial discrimination welcomed the UAE's report, the committee raised some remarks, which were answered during the dialogue.

Addressing the committee, Al Awadhi said, "The UAE periodic report is a fruit of joined efforts between the public institutions and general welfare societies".

He added that the UAE since its foundation in 1971 worked for respecting and sponsoring human rights and enacted that in its constitution and internal laws. Al Awadhi noted that the UAE joined the International Committee on Fighting All forms of Racial Discrimination in 1974. "It has been adhering to the provisions of the agreement and called for the right of all to live peacefully irrespective of race, colour, lineage, nationality or ethnicity at all the regional and international forums." The UAE strove, he continued, to join other complementary agreements such as the Child Rights Agreements and other agreements which ban all forms of discrimination against women, as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Al Awadhi underscored that the UAE Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the country, has endorsed all those agreements.

He added that the UAE has proven beyond doubt its obligation to the international agreements through enacting a number of local laws to revamp them. "We assure you that all the human rights principles enjoy increased protection as they are enshrined in the UAE constitution, which ensures equality and social justice for all".

He noted that the UAE witnessed new experience in December 2006 in which half of the Federal National Council (FNC) members were elected directly. The Electoral Authority was composed of 6, 688 members, of whom 1, 189 were women.

"We are a Muslim country with Islamic values and traditions. We respect rights and freedoms of others to perform their worship. We are proud of multi-cultural community in the UAE, which contributes in the socio-economic fabric", Al Awadhi said.

He underlined that the UAE woman plays significant role whether in public or private sector in the country in contrary to ill-conceived reports that women play insignificant role in this part of the world. The women in UAE represent 30 per cent of the workforce and represent half of the registered students in the country. They represent 75 per cent of the students in UAE University. Three out of five students in the higher education in the UAE are women. Women have been appointed as ambassadors, judges, prosecutors and they represent 22.5 of the FNC members.

Al Awadhi said the UAE signed a number of Memorandums of Understanding with a number of countries, which export workforce to the UAE such as India, Pakistan, China, Philippine, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to protect the rights of workers, regulate their entry into the country and educate them about the legal system, rights and functions in the labour contract.

He added that the UAE issued federal law number 51 of year 2006, on anti human trafficking in implementation of the international commitments as a signatory to the Convention on Transnational Organised Crime to combat anti human trafficking and all other forms of exploitation, particularly sexual abuse of women and children and child labour as well. The law states that such crimes are punishable, reaching life sentence.

Al Awadhi said that the UAE National Committee to Combat of Human Trafficking was set up in 2007. The membership includes a number of ministries, competent institutions and representatives from the civil society. He added that centres have been set up to provide shelter for victims of human trafficking.

He added that the UAE welcomes visit of Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia to the country in October. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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