CAIRO, 4th September, 2016 (WAM) — A United Arab Emirates delegation attended the first Arab ministerial conference on women which opened today in Cairo.

Dr. Maytha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, is heading the UAE’s delegation to the two-day conference. The delegation also includes Mubarak Juma Al junaibi, UAE Ambassador to Cairo and Permanent Representative to the Arab League, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Mansour, Advisor of the General Women’s Union, Aysha Al Mansouri, Head of the Women and Children section at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Abdullah Al Hammadi from the UAE’s Representation Office at the Arab League.

In his opening speech, Dr. Ahmed Abu Al Ghait, Secretary General of the Arab League, said the conference affirms the Arab and international commitment to protecting women and girls from the impact of wars and armed conflicts in the Arab world.

He added that the Arab League attaches great importance to the women’s cause in the Arab world, referring to the regional strategy and action plan for protection of women and ensuring peace and security.

Addressing the opening session, Dr. Mytha Al Shamsi conveyed the greetings of 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, and her wishes of success for the conference.

She said Arab women face crucial challenges that hinder them from assuming their vital roles in the community.

Dr. Mytha Al Shamsi indicated that the conference is being held as a result of the recommendations tabled by the Arab Women’s Committee, to discuss the progress on implementing the UN Security Council’s resolutions relating to women, peace and security.

She gave an account of the initiatives adopted by the UAE to enhance women’s role and to enable them to participate in promoting peace and security.

She said the UAE took a major step to uplift women, adding that Emirati women now occupy leading positions, with increasing numbers of them becoming members of the parliament, ministers, ambassadors and judges.

She quoted a saying by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that “We do not only empower women, but we empower the whole community through women.”

Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, Head of the Arab Parliament, emphasised in his speech the role of Arab parliaments in empowering women.

Mervat Tallawy, Director General of the Arab Women’s Organisation, praised the achievements made by the UAE in women empowerment.

Other speakers included Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Maria-Noel Vaeza, Director of UN Women’s Programme Division, and the Japanese Ambassador to Cairo.

WAM/bashir