DUBAI, 20th November, 2016 (WAM)– The UAE and other members of the Co-operation Council for Arab States of the Gulf continue to be at the forefront of humanitarian action and relief efforts globally, according to participants at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) 2016 Annual Meeting, which concluded today in Boston, MA, United States.

Assistance offered by the Gulf Arab states to international efforts remain well above the goal set by the United Nations. In terms of the ODA/GNI ratio (Official Development Assistance and Gross National Income), these contributions are five times bigger than assistance offered by members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), participants noted, citing reports presented during the meeting.

MESA’s meeting is the largest gathering of academics, scholars, researchers and experts from the Middle East. This year, it marks the 50th anniversary of the association, said Dr Hanif Al Qasim, chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue.

Various political, security, cultural and social issues in the Middle East were discussed at the meeting, Al Qasim said.