NEW YORK, 14th July, 2016 (WAM) – The UAE will collaborate with the United Nations (UN) to address human rights issues around the world, a government official has said.

Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Legal Affairs, was delivering a statement during a high-level thematic debate organised by the United Nations General Assembly under the theme, “United Nations After Seventy Years: Human Rights at the Heart of the Global Agenda.”

The state presented its outstanding experience in the area of protection of human rights based on the principles of tolerance, respect for cultural and religious diversity, with support of the rule of law, as well as strong institutions and good governance, he said.

The UAE presented four recommendations aimed at strengthening the United Nations response to the challenges facing the issue of human rights.

The UAE official referred to the state’s conviction that human rights should be based on the principles of tolerance, respect for cultural and religious diversity with the support of the rule of law, strong institutions and good governance.

He underscored that the UAE’s constitution guarantees the rights and freedom, and supports the framework and mechanism that has been developed to ensure human rights through enacting and reviewing of laws and creating national bodies to undertake and supervise human rights.

The UAE adopts the principle of religious tolerance, which ensures for all the freedom to worship in churches, temples and mosques, he stated.

Dr. Al Awadi touched on the issue of gender equality, which he said is the cornerstone of sustainable and peaceful societies, stressing that Emirati women are well represented as partners on an equal footing in all spheres of the economy and society. He noted that women constitute 20 percent of the Federal National Council, and 30 percent of the UAE Federal Cabinet.

He also explained that the state has doubled its care on the child rights issues, adding that a law came into force in June to protect children and strengthen the legal framework for child protection according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Dr. Al Awadi also spoke on the procedures taken by the UAE to protect rights of multinational workers, citing new executive reforms in labour law with effect from January. These laws ensure that the labour contracts will be concluded voluntarily. They also included clear provisions on the termination of contracts between two parties, and making it easier for job transfers.

He stressed that the UAE, since its inception in 1971, has made significant progress in the areas of promotion and protection of human rights, and added that it was ranked No. 41st in the UN Human Development Index.

“We are well aware that the promotion of human rights requires constant review, and therefore the UAE follows up on recommendations to strengthen national mechanisms and institutions in accordance with the Paris principles.”

At the international level, Dr. Al Awadi noted that the UAE will continue to support the High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as UN Women, through the establishment of a liaison office in Abu Dhabi. He added that as a member of the Human Rights Council, the UAE is keen to lead international efforts to adopt a resolution on the equal rights of girls in education.

He said that the 2030 agenda represents a collective commitment of the international community to ensure peace, security, human rights and sustainable development throughout the world.

Concluding his statement, Dr. Al Awadhi proposed four recommendations aimed at strengthening the UN’s response to the challenges facing the issue of human rights. These proposals include doubling of efforts of human rights bodies to support constructive dialogue and technical co-operation, development and sharing of best practices, holding regional seminars and training to strengthen the implementation of human rights on the ground, while ensuring cultural and religious respect, and understanding and sensitivity in the area of human rights.

He noted that any approach that does not respect exclusivity and privacy would not succeed. The UAE official stressed that focus should be on the fight against discrimination, and ethnic and religious intolerance, including the fight against Islamophobia.

The UAE official urged the international community to exert more efforts to ensure the protection of Palestinian people, who have been living under the occupation for nearly 50 years. “This is a source of much suffering and grievances,” he said.