The UAE takes, on International Human Rights Day, steps to perform a national human rights plan. Indeed, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, declared in a virtual media briefing on Thursday the consultative process for preparing the UAE’s National Human Rights Plan.
Dr. Anwar Gargash, who is also the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, talked about the UAE’s role in encouraging and developing normative and institutional frameworks for human rights.
The minister related in his opening remarks: Today is International Human Rights Day, which is marked on December 10 every year since its inception by the United Nations in 1948. He also added that the UAE chose this day to launch the consultative process to prepare the national plan for human rights.
The UN chose this year to talk about the global challenges presented by the COVID-19, and this year’s slogan is Recover Better –Stand Up For Human Rights.
Gargash stated about COVID-19: These are exceptional and unprecedented circumstances in the world and these conditions are real and have been reflected in the social, economic, and political aspects of all countries of the world.
The minister reported that the UAE had consecrated its efforts to confront this pandemic, adding that it had delivered COVID-19 aid to many countries. He also said: I think we are emerging from this pandemic with a high degree of competence and optimism.
In the press briefing, Gargash declared that the UAE is preparing to launch a national human rights plan by the end of 2021. During the consultative process for preparing the country’s human rights plan, he also said that the National Human Rights Committee would discuss with the National Council; relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Justice, civil societies of the UAE, and other relevant organizations.
It’s expected that the consultative process to take about seven months, Gargash indicated, adding: The National Human Rights Plan solidifies the efforts made by the UAE government in the context of promoting human rights.
Human rights in the UAE
Gargash stated: We have been participating for over 14 years in what is known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. He also said that the UAE has done a great work concerning human rights.
The minister said: When it come issue of women’s rights, the country has expanded and strengthened what is a very positive record on the issue of women’s rights. According to him, the UAE has also had a positive document when it comes to tolerance and the right to practice religious rituals.
Regarding labor rights, particularly in sectors linked to domestic workers and construction workers, Gargash related: a lot of work has been done. He also said: All of these matters are part of a very broad system and they represent a large file of human rights in the UAE. But, he added that he does not claim it is a comprehensive human rights file, as he said that there are many aspects that could be improved.
Always according to Gargash, the post-coronavirus phase needs further reinforcement of the UAE’s position on human rights, whether it’s for citizens or residents. The UAE minister said: The general idea is that when we evaluate the consultative process and draw up the National Human Rights Plan, this plan will be like an agenda for the coming years.
He also evoked that the UAE National Human Rights Plan would be the product of a consultative process in this respect, adding: The general idea is that we will complete the plan by the end of the third quarter of 2021, preceded by a consultative process and then a technical process before adopting this plan.