Emirates News Agency – EU welcomes UAE’s efforts to strengthen human rights, says country’s membership in HRC shows “growing international presence”


By Hatem Hussein

DUBAI, October 23, 2021 (WAM) – The UAE’s recent election to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the third time reflects the country’s “growing international presence”, Vice President of the European Commission for the promotion of our European way of life, said.

In exclusive statements to the UAE News Agency (WAM), Margaritis Schinas described the UAE as “a hub of power, influence and inspiration.”

Schinas is in the United Arab Emirates to attend the European Union Honor Day events and activities at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be held on Saturday in the pavilions of EU member states.

“The result of the UNHRC vote is the culmination of the UAE’s efforts to strengthen human rights and freedoms and a testament to the importance the UAE places on human rights and achieving sustainable development at regional and international levels, “he said.

“The UAE’s growing international presence and the normalization agreement with Israel show that the UAE is acting as a catalyst towards increased stability in the region. The United Arab Emirates is undoubtedly a hub of power, influence and inspiration.

Among other responsibilities, Schinas is responsible for overseeing the integration of migrants and refugees. He believes that the international community can continue to “count on the contribution of the United Arab Emirates” to the current Afghan refugee crisis.

“The EU hosted a high-level forum on protecting Afghans at risk on October 7, 2021, where we announced that we will put in place a specific multi-year support program for Afghans as a contribution to global efforts,” did he declare. noted.

“I am convinced that the international community can also continue to count on the contribution of the United Arab Emirates to provide legal, secure and organized channels for Afghan nationals. I believe that the United Arab Emirates can be deeply proud of the work they have done. undertaken alongside their international partners, community to help the Afghan people for humanitarian reasons.

“The EU has also devoted all its efforts to ensuring the rapid evacuation of those in need, having managed to help almost 10,000 people to evacuate as part of our civil protection mechanism before the airport closes. “

However, the EU official expressed concern about the situation in Afghanistan despite all international efforts.

“The situation in Afghanistan remains worrying and requires a determined and concerted response to its multiple dimensions. It is clear that we cannot abandon the people in immediate danger in the country. Journalists, NGO staff and human rights defenders are among those most at risk, especially women and children. Evacuations must continue, as long as this will remain possible in the difficult circumstances that evolve, ”he said.

Speaking about Expo 2020 Dubai, Schinas said the event “offers people the opportunity to reconnect and offers new perspectives through music, food, architecture and culture.”

This global fair, he continued, “allows all of us to discuss and find solutions to the common challenges we face. As a global community, we need these opportunities to come together and create a common dynamic to tackle pressing issues like climate change.

“In Europe, we know that global challenges require global solutions. And that is why we are here at Expo 2020; to contribute to meaningful conversations and partner with partners and people around the world to address them. global challenges – in a spirit of cooperation and co-creation. “

He congratulated the Emirati authorities for “the excellent organization of this first global post-pandemic event”, saying that the Expo “reflected the ambitious vision and global aspirations of this country”.

Schinas is optimistic and hopes the event turns out to be the start of a return to normalcy following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I hope this is a marker for the shape of things to come. Europe is the most vaccinated continent in the world and the UAE has had an extremely impressive vaccination program with over 85% of the population. fully vaccinated, ”he said. .

“This is why the EU added the UAE to the list of safe third countries on October 8, which should also make traveling to Dubai and visiting the Expo easier. We are happy that the UAE is moving forward. in the process of connecting to the EU Digital Covid Certificate as it can further facilitate mobility and it is so necessary to boost our economies and the tourism sector.

“However, there is still a lot of work to ensure that vaccines reach all corners of the world. The EU is leading the way and has already exported over a billion doses to third countries and we are counting on the United Arab Emirates to team up with us in this effort. “

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