GENEVA, 17th September, 2016 (WAM) --- Since its founding in 1971, and as part of its efforts to realise the right to development, the UAE has been using its oil wealth to build a prosperous and stable state, Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations (UN) and other International Organisations in Geneva, has said.

"Thanks to the insightful vision of its wise leadership, the UAE succeeded in increasing the number of schools from 20 in 1969 to 1290 in 2015. In the sector of healthcare, the UAE increased the number of public and private hospitals from seven in 1971 to 70 in 2015, in addition to more than 150 medical health centres and clinics. Comprehensive healthcare is being provided to all citizens and expatriates in the UAE. In the housing sector, citizens have the right to free or subsidised housing," Al Zaabi said in the UAE's statement delivered at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council, being held from 13th to 30th September in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UAE supports the conclusion reached by the UN's Working Group on the Right to Development urging the international community to stand in solidarity in reaching the common goals stated in the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he noted. "This solidarity can only be achieved through removing existing obstacles, namely the lack of political will in advanced nations, to make the right to development a reality. The adoption of the goals in September 2015 settled the dispute about this right and incorporated these goals into a universal framework that is globally accepted."

The Human Rights Council's session is being convened as part of a general debate of the Working Group's report on the promotion and protection of all human rights.

The UAE diplomat further said that three decades had passed since the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development, noting that the international community had to show more solidarity in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

He said that the Working Group placed great hopes in those goals, which were key to eradicating poverty and hunger, and ensuring social justice, gender equality, health and education, women's empowerment and economic growth for all.

"What revives hope is that the 17th goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development sets forth practical procedures to ensure that the right to development is no longer a topic of the useless debates over the past thirty years, and that it becomes a reality now. This is what the peoples of developing nations aspire to," Al Zaabi added.

Source: Emirates News Agency