Assistant Foreign Minister Meets High Commissioner for Refugees

HE Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater met with HE United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, on the sidelines of the 2nd Antalya Diplomacy Forum.

During the meeting, they reviewed cooperation relations between the State of Qatar and the UNHCR, the condition of Ukrainian refugees on the borders of neighboring countries, and the latest developments in Afghanistan file particularly in in the health, humanitarian, developmental and women’s education aspects, as well as a number of issues of common interest.

HE Grandi, thanked the State of Qatar for its continuous efforts to achieve stability in Afghanistan and preserve the rights of the Afghan people.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs


UAE sends 30 metric tons of emergency medical and relief aid to Ukraine

As part of its emergency relief efforts to assist affected civilians in Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates today sent an aircraft carrying 30 metric tons of emergency health aid and medical supplies. This came in response to the international humanitarian appeal to support displaced Ukrainians and refugees in neighboring countries, with more than 1.2 million refugees so far.

The aircraft landed in Lublin, Poland, and the medical and relief aid were handed over to the Ukrainian authorities in Poland to be transported to Ukraine.

H.E. Salem A. Al-Kaabi, the UAE‘s Ambassador to Ukraine, said: “Sending an aircraft with medical supplies and relief aid is part of the UAE’s steadfast commitment to essential humanitarian needs in conflicts involving civilians, especially women and children, and to provide whatever assistance we can in what is a deteriorating humanitarian situation.”

His Excellency also emphasized the UAE’s commitment to adopting a humanitarian approach that supports the provision of emergency response and relief to people in need, which is a central tenet of the UAE leadership’s commitment to stand by all peoples of the world to overcome any humanitarian emergency. These values are a demonstration and extension of the approach laid down by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, that is based on giving, tolerance and serving the whole of humanity without distinction or discrimination.

His Excellency also remarked that the UAE has announced a contribution of AED 18.36 million (USD 5 million) in response to the UN’s emergency appeal and the Regional Response Plan for Ukrainian refugees, as a reflection of the UAE’s commitment to the Principles of Humanitarian Solidarity in conflicts.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation


The UAE’s vote on human rights situation in Ukraine

Within the framework of the 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation in Ukraine, the UAE voted in favour of a resolution on the human rights situation in Ukraine. The resolution was adopted following a majority vote of 32 member states in favour, 2 against, and 13 abstentions.

The resolution recalls the obligations of all states under Article 2 of the Charter to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, and to settle its international disputes by peaceful means.

His Excellency Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Jarman, Ambassador and UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, called on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to exercise restraint, de-escalate and work to end this crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means.

H.E. Al Jarman stressed the UAE’s firm position to de-escalate and work to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. The UAE supports efforts aimed at dialogue and diplomacy at all levels, to ensure a peaceful solution and the return of stability and security. H.E Al Jarman added that it would pave the way for necessary political solutions, in preparation for restoring normalcy.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation


Senior Officials Reaffirm UAE’s Commitment and Efforts to Combat Financial Crime

Senior officials have reaffirmed the UAE’s strong commitment and ongoing efforts in relation to anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CFT).

The UAE continues to implement an array of sophisticated and significant actions to combat financial crime and strengthen the effectiveness of the AML/CFT regime in line with the National Strategy for AML/CFT and the National Action Plan of the UAE. To date, the competent UAE authorities have made unprecedented progress in adopting international standards for AML/CFT and will continue to increase their efforts, including through close and ongoing inter-agency coordination, international cooperation, and collaboration with the private sector.

Senior officials underscored the UAE’s commitment at the highest level and reiterated that combating financial crime in accordance with the global AML/CFT agenda remains a strategic priority for the UAE.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said:

“The ongoing efforts to enhance the UAE’s anti-money laundering system are a testament to our strong commitment to combating this global problem as a strategic priority. I commend the tremendous efforts of the UAE’s Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Public Prosecution, Ministry of Economy, UAE Central Bank, UAE Security and Police Forces, Federal Customs Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit and all the UAE entities that are working closely and diligently together to fight financial crime. Our efforts to protect our security and economic prosperity will always come first. This means that the Ministry and the United Arab Emirates law enforcement will continue to investigate and apprehend complex criminal networks and their assets in close coordination with our domestic and international partners.”

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, said:

“The UAE is keen to accelerate the pace of the National Action Plan to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, as this file constitutes a strategic priority for the country. In my capacity as Chairman of the Higher Committee Overseeing the National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, I would like to underscore the UAE’s commitment at the highest level by strengthening our national AML/CFT framework, including by working closely with FATF, our international partners, and the private sector on a sustainable and ongoing basis. Financial crime is a concern for all major economies, and we in the UAE are approaching this matter with the utmost seriousness. By continuing with our disciplined approach, we will make a genuine difference in our ability to prevent illicit financial flows and achieve our goal of making the UAE one of the strongest and most respected economies in the modern world.”

H.E. Mohamed Bin Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said:

“The UAE remains firmly committed to further strengthening efforts to uphold the stability and integrity of the financial system. We will examine the detailed recommendations received from our international partners and FATF extremely closely and ensure these are swiftly addressed and implemented in the coming period, as well as over the long term. To ensure that implementation of our National Strategy and National Action Plan for AML/CFT continues to focus on improving effectiveness in key areas, I will ensure that AML/CFT reforms remain one of the key priorities in our 2022 federal budget and future federal budgets.”

H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, said:

“The interconnectedness of international organized criminal networks, often accelerated by technological advancement, is concerning for countries around the world. In the UAE, we are fighting back through the power of intelligence, advanced analytics, technology, investigations, and public-private partnerships. Our main objective has been to equip the public and private sectors in the UAE with the tools needed to strengthen our collective defenses. This includes building the institutional capabilities set out in the UAE’s National Risk Assessment, National Action Plan, and National Strategy for AML/CTF. We have also worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to facilitate coordination with the international community on financial crime concerns, a cornerstone of embedding a sophisticated financial crime framework across the UAE economy and beyond.”

H.E. Abdullah Sultan Awad Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, said:

“The Ministry of Justice has committed to harnessing all the resources available, including the federal and local courts, to combat money laundering. We are committed to preventing financial crimes and punishing the perpetrators as a top priority, as well as strengthening all efforts to prevent financial crimes and fraud. We have made breakthrough reforms in a short period of time to bring criminals to justice and continue to work efficiently and effectively to ensure the processing of the FATF’s outcomes. To ensure proper legislation is in place to tackle money laundering typologies, the recently amended Federal Law No. 26 of 2021 and Federal Law No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Financing of Illegal Organizations were issued on September 13, 2021. The UAE will continue to build upon existing cooperation with our international partners and private sector stakeholders so that justice is always served and our future economic growth is protected in line with the UAE’s “Next 50” strategic roadmap recently established by our leadership.”

H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the UAE Central Bank and Chairman of the National Committee for Combatting Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and Illegal Organisations, said:

“The Central Bank’s regulations and policies for all licensed financial institutions in the UAE seek to address the worldwide challenge of money laundering and terrorist financing as a strategic priority. Much progress has been made in the supervisory initiatives and regulatory oversight of the financial sector to develop an effective and integrated structure to combat financial crimes of all kinds, which FATF has already recognized. As a significant regional and international financial center, we will continue to work tirelessly with our global partners in this regard. Together, we are committed to ensuring that our regulated financial industry has effective AML/CFT controls to safeguard our financial system.”

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation


UAE Announces USD 5 Million in Humanitarian Assistance for Ukraine

The United Arab Emirates has announced USD 5 million in humanitarian assistance to benefit civilians impacted by the situation in Ukraine. The contribution is made to the United Nations’ Humanitarian Flash Appeal and the Regional Refugee Response Plan for Ukraine and is a reflection of the UAE’s emphasis on humanitarian solidarity in conflict settings.

The UAE has underscored the importance of focusing on the deteriorating humanitarian situation for civilians, including by ensuring their protection, as well as preventing the unimpeded access for humanitarian agencies and actors and safe passage for those seeking to leave the country without discrimination or obstacles as stated during the UN Security Council’s meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on 28 February.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres officially launched the appeal to fund the UN’s humanitarian operations in Ukraine on 1 March 2022. According to UN reports, this assistance is critical in supporting the thousands of people suffering due to disruptions in essential services.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation


UAE participates in 49th session of UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Human Rights Council is holding its 49th session from today until 1 April 2022 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. It will start with a high-level segment until 2 March, when dignitaries representing more than 130 member states will address the rest of the council.

Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, will present the UAE’s comprehensive report that details the country’s major achievements, progress and plans to uphold and protect human rights under the framework of its current membership.

The 49th session holds special significance for the UAE, after winning membership on the UN Human Rights Council for the third time in its history. Being elected to this seat for the 2022-2024 term reflects international acclaim of the important work being carried out in the UAE to advance human rights both regionally and globally.

Previously, the UAE was elected for two consecutive terms on the council between 2013 and 2018.

The council will discuss annual reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Secretary General on upholding and protecting human rights as well as other civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation


Civilians must not pay price for military escalation, GCC tells UN

New York, The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has expressed great concern about the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and urged all participants to protect civilians and work to resolve the crisis through dialogue and diplomacy.

Speaking on behalf of the GCC, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Abdulaziz Alateek expressed the council’s support for international efforts to encourage calm and a de-escalation of tensions, and urged those involved in the conflict to begin political discussions in an effort to find a solution.

He called for the full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2202.

Alateek conveyed the GCC’s stance during a plenary session of the UN General Assembly to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

“Civilians do not have to pay the price for military escalation,” Alateek told the representatives of more than 70 countries at the meeting.

The GCC states stress the depth of their relations with all concerned parties, and from this standpoint, call on all parties to calm down, exercise restraint, and work to end this crisis as quickly as possible and through diplomatic means, he said.

This should be done in a manner that meets the interests of all parties and spares civilians the consequences of escalation and further humanitarian difficulties, he added.

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Bahrain News Agency


Qatar Participates in 49th Regular Session of Permanent Arab Committee for Human Rights

The 49th regular session of the Permanent Arab Committee for Human Rights launched on Tuesday at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, chaired by the State of Kuwait and with the participation of the concerned governmental bodies in the member states, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations enjoying observer status and the concerned authorities in the joint Arab action system.

The State of Qatar’s delegation to the session was chaired by HE Director of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Turki Al Mahmoud.

The agenda of this session includes several topics distributed among permanent items, foremost of which are the Israeli violations and racist practices in the occupied Arab territories, ways to address the dilemma of Arab prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons, and the bodies of Palestinian and Arab martyrs held by the Israeli occupation authorities in the Arqam cemetery, in addition to items proposed by member states that address issues such as equality, equity and climate change.

In her speech at the opening session, HE Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States Ambassador Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, said that since its establishment in September 1968, the Permanent Arab Committee for Human Rights has contributed to building and strengthening the pillars of the Arab human rights system, both in text and in practice, in addition to building bridges of communication with partner regional and international governmental organizations, national institutions and Arab civil society organizations working in the field of human rights.

She expressed her hope that the ratifications of the Arab Charter on Human Rights would be completed with the accession of all member states to this legal instrument, reiterating the call to open a constructive dialogue with non-party member states to work on overcoming what might prevent their accession to the charter.

She also welcomed what it described as the continuous renewal of the agenda items of the Permanent Arab Committee on Human Rights through innovative items proposed by member states such as equality, equity and climate change, calling to continue this approach, and to be guided by the items on the agenda of the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in an effort to achieve harmony between the work of the Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights and the concerns of the Arab Group in Geneva.

It is noteworthy that the Permanent Arab Human Rights Committee is one of the four mechanisms of the Arab human rights system that exists under the umbrella of the League of Arab States, in addition to the Arab Charter on Human Rights Committee, Arab Parliament Human Rights Committee and the annual conference of those responsible for human rights in the Arab Ministries of Interior.

The recommendations issued by the Permanent Arab Human Rights Committee in its 49th regular session will be submitted to the next regular session of the League Council at the ministerial level, which will be held in March – for the consideration of its adoption.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Interior Minister receives lawmaker

Manama, Interior Minister, General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, received today member of the Representatives Council, Fatima Al Qatari, in the presence of Media and Security Culture Director General, Brigadier Mohammed bin Dainah.

The Interior Minister praised the role of the Representatives Council in handling national issues, backing the security efforts and preserving national achievements.

Discussions focused on ways of boosting cooperation between the Interior Ministry and the Representatives Council.

Source: Bahrain News Agency


Iraq’s Top Court Rejects Appeal Contesting Election Results

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s top court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Iran-backed factions contesting the results of country’s parliamentary elections held in October. The development marked another boost for an influential Shiite cleric who had been confirmed as the winner of the vote.

The appeal was submitted by Hadi al-Ameri, head of a pro-Iran coalition that lost seats in the Oct. 10 vote.

Final results announced by Iraq’s electoral commission had confirmed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr secured 73 out of Parliament’s 329 seats. The results also confirmed that the faction known as the Fatah Alliance, which represents the Shiite paramilitary group known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, secured 17 seats — down from 48 in the last elections.

The Federal Supreme Court had not ratified the election results, pending the appeal filed earlier this month by al-Ameri, who heads the Fatah Coalition. Monday’s verdict read out by Judge Jassim Mohammed rejecting the lawsuit is final and cannot be appealed. The lawsuit had cited alleged technical and legal violations.

Earlier Monday, hundreds of protesters closed entrances to Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, in anticipation of the court’s decision. Military forces fanned out across the area and set up checkpoints in the city. The Green Zone hosts most foreign diplomatic missions, including the U.S. Embassy.

There were no immediate reports of violence or clashes.

Following the vote, supporters of Iran-aligned militias had pitched tents near the Green Zone in an ongoing sit-in, rejecting election results and threatening violence.

The United States, the U.N. Security Council and others have praised the Oct. 10 election, which was mostly violence-free and without major technical glitches.

But unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud have cast a shadow over the vote. The standoff with the militia supporters has also increasing tensions among rival Shiite factions that could reflect on the street and threaten Iraq’s newfound relative stability.

The election was held months ahead of schedule in response to mass protests in late 2019, which saw tens of thousands in Baghdad and predominantly Shiite southern provinces rally against endemic corruption, poor services and unemployment. They also protested against the heavy-handed interference of neighboring Iran in Iraq’s affairs through Iran-backed militias.

Source: Voice of America