Watch: UN Security Council falls silent for a minute to honour late Sheikh Khalifa

Country has lost a distinguished leader and a visionary man, Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh says

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UN Photo/Loey Felipe
UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Sahim Salim

Published: Wed 18 May 2022, 10:21 PM

Last updated: Wed 18 May 2022, 10:45 PM

The United Nations Security Council observed a minute of silence on Wednesday as a mark of respect for the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The leader, who was the second UAE President, had passed away on Friday at the age of 73.

The moment of silence was observed at the start of the council’s meeting.

Addressing the security council, Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's permanent representative to the UN, said the country had lost a distinguished leader and a visionary man.

“He was a truly kind man, who cared deeply about others. This is evident from the outpouring of grief from people of the UAE and … tributes we have heard from the stream of dignitaries who have come to Abu Dhabi,” she said.

She was referring to the support extended by leaders and top officials from the US to UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Palestine, Israel and Egypt, who travelled to the UAE to offer their respects.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the new UAE President, had earlier highlighted how the messages of support are a “source of comfort to our family”.

“This response is a testament to his far-reaching impact and the respect that was felt for him both at home and abroad,” Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed tweeted on Wednesday.

Ambassador Nusseibeh said Sheikh Khalifa devoted his life to his country and people and inspired his nation with his dedication, wisdom and humility. “He was a man of action, who leaves behind an extraordinary legacy in the country, the wider region and around the world,” she said.

The ambassador highlighted how Sheikh Khalifa was a “strong advocate for diplomacy, multilateralism and mediation”.

“He made brave decisions that opened opportunities for peace in a region that has witnessed great turmoil. Sheikh Khalifa was also a true champion of the most vulnerable, ensuring humanitarian aid and support were always extended to those most in need, regardless of their race, colour or creed,” she added.

Under his guidance, the UAE further promoted values of “tolerance, empathy and compassion globally”.


She listed out the UAE’s achievements under Sheikh Khalifa, including the young country’s successful space missions, peaceful use of nuclear energy and its hosting of millions of visitors from around the world during Expo 2020 Dubai.

She also referred to his landmark decision to allot 50 per cent seats of the Federal National Council – the UAE’s parliament – to women.

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