Expo 2020 Dubai to advocate women empowerment: Lana Nusseibeh

Dubai - For the first time ever in the history of world expos, there will be a pavillion dedicated to women and their contributions.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Thu 19 Aug 2021, 2:34 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Aug 2021, 5:38 PM

Expo 2020 Dubai will bring the issue of women empowerment to a global stage and recognise women's contributions to peace and security, Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE ambassador to the UN, has said.

As the country is determining a roadmap for the post-Covid-19 period, the UN envoy said milestones like Expo 2020 give hope. "It demonstrates that we are a nation of big dreams and indomitable spirit," she said in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times.

Speaking about how Expo will promote women empowerment, Nusseibeh said, "Expo 2020 Dubai is a unique opportunity to bring the matter of women’s empowerment to the world stage on a broader scale.”

She said the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) conference that the Expo hosts at the Women’s pavillion will recognise “women’s contributions to peace and security, while at the same time offering a platform that could help amplify their voices”.

“We are a nation that has always believed that women and men are equal partners. That is why we guarantee women’s equal rights under the law, protect the rights of women in the workplace, and facilitate women’s access to higher education and integration into the workforce,” said Nusseibeh.

Pointing out the growing body of research that demonstrates that increased participation of women in peace processes dramatically improves the likelihood of their success and sustainability, the diplomat said the UAE considers the empowerment of women “a priority for sustaining and achieving international peace and security”.

For the first time ever in the history of world expos, Expo 2020 will have a pavillion dedicated to women and their contributions. The pavillion will bring together women from all walks of life and will leverage the global platform to propel the idea that when women thrive, all of humanity thrives.”

Resembling constellations of stars to represent women and their success stories and struggles for empowerment, the pavillion will line up a number of events and exhibits to push the pro-women narrative.

Speaking about the UAE’s support for women in peace and security, Nusseibeh said the UAE will use its membership at the UN the Security Council and partner with other UN entities to contribute to the crosscutting nature of gender equality in the UN’s work more generally.

As a member of the Security Council, Nusseibeh said the UAE will pursue a “results-oriented approach” that focuses on the implementation of the WPS agenda.

“Our aim is to use the robust framework that has been established and put it into action. This begins with ensuring, for example, that any conversation taking place within the peace continuum is preceded by and based on sex-disaggregated data collection specific to the context. It is only then that relevant stakeholders – governments, international and regional organizations, NGOs, the private sector – can provide adequate solutions as to how to effectively respond to women’s and girls’ needs and their meaningful participation,” she said.

She said the UAE hopes that it can help close “significant gaps” that still exist when it comes to actually including women in international dialogue, programming, and representation.

She said the UAE has seen the launch of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace and Security Centre of Excellence recently to promote women’s role in peace and security.

The UAE is collaborating with the Khawla bint Al Azwar Military Academy for Women and since 2018, the initiative has been training women cadets from Africa, Asia and the Middle East with the main objective of increasing women’s representation in the security sector,” she added.

“Earlier this year, the UAE also adopted its first National Action Plan for the implementation of the Council Resolution 1325 (2000) with the aim of our foreign aid policy factoring in the importance of women’s and girls’ empowerment in all its aspects.”

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