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UAE stresses the need for world solidarity in containing effects of disasters

posted on 15/11/2006: 614 views

New York - The United Arab Emirates has stressed the necessity of international solidarity and cooperation to confront the after- math of disasters and contain its destructive effects, and alleviate the suffering of the affected persons and assist them in resuming their normal lives as soon as possible.

This came in a statement by Ambassador Abdulaziz Nasser R. Al-Shamsi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations before the 61th Session of the General Assembly on Item Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance, Assistance to the Palestinian people.

Following is the full text of the speech: Madam President, It gives me pleasure to extend to you and the distinguished members of your bureau, on behalf of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates, our gratitude and appreciation for your efforts in directing this meeting. I also should not fail to express our appreciation to H.E. the Secretary General for his important reports on this item.

Further, I would like to join my voice to the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The losses of lives and destruction caused by natural disasters and conflicts during the last few years, equally affecting developing and developed countries, and what was achieved by the universal sympathetic response to aid those countries , confirm to us, without any doubt, the necessity of international solidarity and cooperation to confront the after math of disasters and contain its destructive effects, and alleviate the suffering of the affected persons and assist them in resuming their normal lives as soon as possible.

In this context, the UAE emphasizes the central role of the United Nations in the strengthening of the coordination of Humanitarian and disaster relief assistance .And we value the efforts made by the organization and all those working in the field of relief and humanitarian assistance. We also affirm in this regard the importance of implementing the recommendations of international conferences on the international coordination for confronting disasters, through an international strategy that deals with natural disasters through all stages including early warning, relief assistance, rebuilding and development, as well as assisting poor countries to build their national capacities to deal with natural disasters and the aftermath of wars.

The UAE is one of the most contributing countries in the field of humanitarian and relief assistance in emergencies and for the long term. It provides assistance through donations, financial and in kind, of which the biggest portion goes to the affected countries through direct bilateral arrangements between them and the UAE. Meanwhile, the UAE fulfils its financial commitments to the UN bodies concerned with humanitarian and relief assistance such as UNRWA, Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, International Committee of the Red Cross and other development bodies of the Organization, where it has pledged to donate US$1,38 (one Million and thirty eight thousands dollar) for these bodies in 2007.

To support the coordination of international efforts in this field, the UAE joined, in May 2006, the donor group and donor support group in OCHA, which comprises the world most active countries in humanitarian donation.

In support of international efforts to respond to natural disasters, the UAE established Dubai Humanitarian City facilitate and integrate services to national and international humanitarian organizations. It attached great importance to the enhancement of the capabilities of affected countries to respond effectively to disasters and to supporting efforts and researches aimed to strengthen the ability of those countries to predict natural disasters and contain their aftermath while strengthening their infrastructure.

To reduce harmful climate changes around the world, the UAE has ratified the Kyoto Protocol to limit the green house effect and emissions, the Vienna convention for the protection of the ozone layer and Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, and has been implementing a national strategy to implement them.

The UAE Government, with the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, has contributed during 2004-2006 about 775 million Dollars to support and enhance international efforts to assist the tsunami victims, and those affected by the earth quake that hit Pakistan and south India, Hurricane Katrina in the USA and the last earth quake in Indonesia. Part of the donation went to the reconstruction of countries affected by conflicts, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Lebanon.

The value of humanitarian and relief projects carried out by the UAE Red Crescent Authority, until September 2006, in one hundred countries around the world, amounts to 275 million Dollars. And in September 2006, the UAE pledged to resume Emirates Solidarity Project in South Lebanon to remove the rest of the land mines in the area.

The United Arab Emirates attaches great importance to support and assist the Palestinian people and government and to alleviate their suffering during the humanitarian crisis created by the brutal assault brought upon them by the Israeli occupying forces. The UAE donations to the Palestinians during 2000- 2005 amounted to 829 million dollars, in addition to other humanitarian assistance and assistance presented through UN agencies, to meet their immediate needs and rebuild cities destroyed by the Israeli savage assault .

Further, the UAE, in July 2005, allocated one hundred million dollars to construct Khalifa Bin Zayed City on the ruins of evacuated Israeli Settlements in Gaza. Meanwhile, UAE Red Crescent Authority relief and services projects carried out in Palestine, has exceeded 122 millions dollars, in addition to other assistance in kind.

The UAE is deeply concerned over the aggravated humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian land resulting from the economic, political and military blockades imposed by the Israeli occupying forces, which denied the people access to humanitarian and economic assistance. This in addition to the massacre, collective punishment, incursion of cities and villages, confiscating of farm lands and water resources, destroying properties and the construction of the separation wall, all of which has caused the killing of thousands of civilians and maiming tens of thousands, doubling the number of displaced persons and inflicting huge losses on the economy as a result of which more than two thirds of the population live under the line of poverty and half of the children suffer from diseases of malnutrition, a situation that threatens to explode leading to a serious human disaster.

From here, we call upon the United Nations, especially the Security Counsel, to undertake their responsibilities for protecting the Palestinian people and compel Israel, the occupying power, to stop its aggression and crimes immediately, lift its blockade of the occupied Palestinian territories, halt the construction of the illegal expansionist wall and dismantle what was constructed of it in compliance with the legal international resolutions and the provisions of the international humanitarian laws . Further, it should resume the peace negotiations on the basis of relevant international resolutions and the Arab Peace initiative adopted in Beirut.

We further emphasize the necessity to the UNRWA to continue discharging its responsibilities for providing services for the refugees in all regions of its operations and the necessity to maintain financial support for regular and urgent activities of the agency. We further urge donor countries to resume their assistance to the Palestinian people and government in order to alleviate their suffering until the end of the Israeli occupation of their land, and the establishment of their independent state of Palestine with Alquds Asharif its capital. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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