General
Logo
 

UAE Turns Down More UN Advice on Human Rights

Preeti Kannan
Filed on March 13, 2009

DUBAI - Nine more UN human rights recommendations, in a list of 74, have been rejected by the United Arab Emirates, while the final eight remain
under review.


“The nine have now been rejected because they are in direct contradiction with the UAE’s religious code, its traditional value system and national interests,” Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, saidon Thursday.

The UN recommendations were made last year at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), set up by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, after the UAE tabled its first report outlining its progress. Most of the UN recommendations focused on UAE’s labour issues, social values and freedom of expression. Some concerned freedom of expression of NGOs and human rights organisations. Thirty-six were instantly accepted, 21 rejected, and the rest kept under study.

Dr Gargash was sceptical of allowing labour unions in the Emirates. “We have to find an acceptable formula that will take in to account mechanisms such as these. At the same time, we will take in to account our demographics in the UAE, and I don’t think we have found it,” he said.

“On the issue of labour, there are certain things we can do … will do … are doing” he said. “There are certain things we consider very difficult.” Of course, the government is open and willing to tackle issues relating to human rights, he added. Independent of the recommendations, Dr Gargash said, the government is examining the possibility of amending national laws on citizenship, so children of Emirati women married to foreigners can become UAE citizens. Currently, it applies to Emirati men alone.

Regarding the freedom of publishing, mentioned in the recommendations, he said the issue is addressed in the media law draft.

The UAE, he said, respects recommendations on allowing religious conversions and doing away with the death penalty; regrettably, they do not form part of UAE’s value systems.

“It is very difficult to take the value system of a certain society and superimpose it on another society,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the formation of independent bodies like the UAE Human Rights Association was on the cards should be in place much before the UAE presents its next national report in four years. However, he warned that such bodies should have credibility and stressed independence should be synonymous with credibility.

The UAE is now formulating a national plan following the presentation of the report and will distribute it to the departments concerned, which will update the minister on their progress every six months.

“It is very difficult to take the value system of a certain society and superimpose it on another society,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the formation of independent bodies like the UAE Human Rights Association was on the cards should be in place much before the UAE presents its next national report in four years. However, he warned that such bodies should have credibility and stressed independence should be synonymous with credibility.

The UAE is now formulating a national plan following the presentation of the report and will distribute it to the departments concerned, which will update the minister on their progress every six months.

The following are the nine recommendations that were rejected and eight that have been accepted and are under review:

Recommendations Rejectedby the UAE

1. To ratify all of the most significant international human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Finland)

2. To consider aligning its legislation with the provisions of article 18 of the

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Italy)

3. To take the necessary measures to guarantee access to civil, penal and labour justice, as well as assistance and consular protection for all migrants, regardless of their migratory status, to ascertain their rights in cases of abuse (Mexico)

4. To ratify the main international instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture, and to progress in their implementation (Switzerland)

5. To step up efforts to ensure that economic, social and cultural rightsof migrant workers are fully respected (Sweden)

6. That a new law should ensure the right to freedom of expression, assembly and association, in accordance with international human rights law (Norway)

7. To protect and respect the freedom of expression and association of human rights defenders in accordance with the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and refrain from placing any unnecessary restrictions on their work (Norway)

8. To uphold freedom of expression of non-governmental organizations by amending the laws limiting it and repealing punitive administrative or judicial sanctions to that regard (Canada)

9. To consider extending a standing invitation to all special procedures of the Council (Latvia).

Recommendations acceptedby the UAE

1. To sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (France)

2. To sign and ratify the additional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (France)

3. To consider the possibility of introducing amendments to national laws on citizenship, so that female citizens married to non-citizens can pass on their nationality to their children in the same way that male citizens married to noncitizens do (Germany)

4. To continue its recent move of opening up websites with a view to bringing the regulation of Internet use into line with international law (Norway)

5. To consider the possibility of acceding to the International Covenant on Economic,

Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Brazil)

6. To reach progressively the human rights goals set by the Council in its resolution (Brazil)

7. To consider ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a timely manner. (Japan)

8. That, in order to ensure cooperation and dialogue with the international community, to submit responses to the communications by the various special rapporteurs (Japan)

preeti@khalejtims.com





ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM News
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=KT&date=20040823&category=ARTICLE&lopenr=308239967&Ref=AR&profile=1002 macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1002,1664 macro_adspot:
 
 
 
 
 
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery