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UN praises UAE’s ‘positive human rights progress’

(Wam) / 31 January 2013

The UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) ended its 15th session in Geneva today. A high level UAE delegation, led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, took part in the session.

During the session, the UAE government presented a report on the progress that the UAE has made in promoting and protecting human rights. It was the second such review for the UAE since the process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was instituted in 2006.

The report outlined the work that has been done in various areas, including key laws the UAE has adopted in recent years to safeguard the rights of women, children, contract workers and people with disabilities, noting that additional and significant legislative changes are currently being prepared.

During the interactive session, ninety UN member nations welcomed the positive progress that has been made and asked questions regarding the protection of human rights in the UAE. They also made a series of recommendations on possible further action to enhance human rights protection.

Among the most prominent issues raised in questions to the UAE delegation was that of labour and the expansion of rights for the UAE’s large community of contract workers.

In the report, the UAE emphasised commitment to the principles of freedom of expression, saying it had always sought to maintain a balance between the rights and responsibilities, under a transparent judicial system and a progressive development drive.

During the final session, Dr Gargash thanked the delegations for their constructive comments and encouraging recommendations.

“The UAE is a strong supporter of the Universal Periodic Review process and believes it represents the primary legitimate forum for multilateral dialogue on a country s human rights record,” he added.

The UAE 2nd national report was developed by the Standing Committee for Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in consultation with a host of civil society actors and organizations.

The UN General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, which created the Human Rights Council, mandated the Council to undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfillment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States.

Today’s session saw the UAE report and member states comments adopted for further review by the UPR working group. The accepted recommendations will be announced during the next three months.



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