H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs is a man of letters. He is visionary with so many solutions to achieve regional peace and global harmony. He has pragmatic personality and always ready to produce sustainable results.
Most recently, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates delivered a remarkable well taught speech in the General Debate of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly. It reflected the salient features, national priorities/interests, regional commitments and the last not the least international role of the UAE. It covered all the confronting challenges to the world at large along with its workable solutions.
The well prepared and well executed speech pinpointed different challenges to international peace and security, strong and sustainable global economic recovery and hurdles to achievement of sustainable development. It covered the important topics of human survival on this planet i.e. attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs), coping with the negative multiplier effects of climate change and responding to natural calamities. His speech also emphasized the importance of countering terrorism and regional instability, achievement of peace in the Middle East and the last not the least, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament in the world.
Wile addressing to the General Debate of the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York he stressed the need to have a genuine political will, collective international integrated effort and relentless work in order to promote the principles and purposes of the UN Charter. According to him UN Charter upholds rules of international law, guarantee justice, and achieve common interests among nations, large and small.
United Arab Emirates Commitments
Within the Arabian Gulf region, and in the broader Arab world, the United Arab Emirates has sought to enhance cooperation and to resolve disagreement through dialogue. In his magnificent speech he reaffirmed the United Arab Emirates forward-looking role by increasing the effectiveness of multilateralism within the United Nations system and enhancing and improving its effectiveness and management of its work. UAE always supports responsible and serious efforts aimed at reforming the United Nations and its principal organs, including the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, as well as other specialised agencies and development programs. He further said that UAE also emphasized the importance of strengthening and developing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations. UAE acknowledged the role of the United Nations in the peaceful resolution of existing conflicts, in peacekeeping operations and preventive diplomacy and in promoting the culture of peace and international cooperation”, he further said.
UAE and Gulf region
During analytical speech he highlighted his country official stance on the different issues within the Gulf region and considered its security and stability as a vital priority of UAE balanced foreign policy reflecting the principles of the United Nations Charter and rules of international law of peaceful co-existence, consolidation of confidence building measures, good neighbourliness, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and resorting to peaceful resolution of existing disputes.
Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates enjoy privileged relations at all political, economic and social levels. The strong foundation of such relations that are based on deep-rooted cultural affinities, common faith and trust was laid by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan over the past four decades. It continues to be patronized by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
He reassured UAE visionary leadership and the government’s commitment towards the stability of its brotherly country Pakistan which is an essential actor for the maintenance of security and stability in the whole region. He pledged to continue his country’s continued generous contributions especially within the framework of the Group of Friends of Pakistan in order to support the efforts aimed at achieving permanent development and stability. He identified different noble deeds of his country towards the wellbeing of needy poor people in the on going national crisis in shape of flood in Pakistan. He quoted that UAE launched a campaign, at the government and people levels, to support the Pakistani people to deal with the aftermath of the recent flood. UAE donated more than US$60 million, in addition to dispatching 3 military Chinook helicopters for transport and rescue he further added. In addition to that, the UAE as an important pioneer member of the Group of Friends of Pakistan, pledged to donate US$300 million during the Tokyo Conference.
(b) Peaceful Nuclear Program and non-proliferation
Foreign Minister highlighted the diversified but integrated policy initiatives by his country on the issue of peaceful nuclear energy program in order to meet its growing energy requirements in the future, rely entirely on the highest standards of transparency, nuclear safety and non-proliferation, and carried out under the supervision of the IAEA in full cooperation with the Agency and other friendly and responsible states with relevant experience in this field. He elaborated his country commitment to the requirements of non-proliferation finalized during the last Review Conference of the Parties to Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the balanced and responsible recommendations issued by the conference. Furthermore he reiterated UAE principled position which calls for making the Gulf Region and the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons. He called upon Israel to implement the resolution adopted by Parties of the Treaty to join the NPT unconditionally. He also urged Iran to fully cooperate with the IAEA and the international community in order to assuage regional and international fears and doubts raised on the nature of its nuclear program.
(c) Occupation of three UAE islands
He condemned the continued occupation of three UAE islands i.e. The Greater Tunb, The Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa by Iran and demanded the return of these islands under its full sovereignty, including their regional waters, airspace, continental shelf and their exclusive economic zone, as integral parts of the United Arab Emirates. He called upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to the peaceful and sincere initiatives of the United Arab Emirates, which call for a just settlement of this issue, either through direct and serious negotiations between the two countries or by referring the issue to the International Court of Justice to settle this dispute in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter and provisions of international law.
Minister of Foreign Affairs talked about the situation of Iraq. He said that his country is following with great interest the developments in Iraq. He reassured his country commitments for the progress and prosperity of the people of Iraq through comprehensive national reconciliation without any discrimination. He also reiterated the necessity to respect the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Iraq, and to refrain from interfering in its internal affairs while safeguarding its Arab and Islamic identity.
(e) Arab-Israeli Conflict
Foreign Minister was of the opinion that achievement of peace in the Middle East and resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict are instrumental to the entire region which could be achieved through ending the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian and other Arab Territories and its withdrawal to the line of 4 June 1967, including East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied territories in Southern Lebanon, in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy. He pledged the UAE support to the Palestinian National Authority and its people. UAE extended its support to the Palestinian people in their quest for achieving their national goals and restoring their inalienable legitimate rights. Moreover, he reinsured his country support to the Palestinian National Authority in the direct negotiations with the Israeli government based upon international legitimacy, the Road Map and the statements of the Quartet, in order to ensure that the international community, especially the United States, fulfill their commitments and promises towards establishing an independent and viable Palestinian State living in security and peace side by side with Israel. He welcomed the statement of H.E. Mr. Barak Obama, the President of the United States, before this General Assembly showing his strong commitment towards the achievement peace in the Middle East. He also strongly condemned Israeli brutal onslaught towards the innocent Palestinian people in shape of collective punishment policy and the inhumane blockade in Gaza. He demanded the stop of Israel settlement policy which caused many dimensional repercussions in the region.
(f) Security and solidarity with Lebanon
Foreign Minister declared his country’s support to the efforts of the Lebanese government towards achieving security, stability and national unity and called for respecting the sovereignty of the Lebanese state and for ceasing the repeated Israeli violations of the Lebanese airspace, waters, territories and regional safety in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 1701.
In his detailed and articulated speech he avowed UAE’s support to Yemen government as well its people alike in addressing the present challenges and problems. He showed his commitments towards the security and stability of Yemen and its territorial integrity and safety. He proudly mentioned that his country plays an effective role within the Group of Friends of Yemen. He urged the international community to stand by the government of Yemen and extend to it the necessary assistance and support, in order to enhance its capacity to fulfill the requirements of fighting terrorism, restoring security and achieving stability and development.
During his speech he endorsed the efforts and agreements reached between the Sudanese government and major actors in Darfur aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement leading to stabilisation of peace and security in the country, and advancing the process of development and reconstruction in the country.
He again called all Somali parties to settle their conflicts, put an end to the suffering of the Somali people and stop all acts of violence and hostilities, in order to pave the way for reconstruction and combating piracy in accordance with the vision agreed upon at the conference held in Istanbul last May. He mentioned the horrendous acts of piracy in the Somali coast lines, and in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman and termed it grave security threat to the regional countries. He stressed the need to have further effective regional and international cooperation to put an end to piracy.
In his speech the Foreign Minister proudly highlighted UAE’s contributions to Afghanistan, including financial contributions totalling 1.5 billion dollars since the Tokyo Conference 2009 till now. He also mentioned UAE extended support to the Afghan Government to restore security and stability in the country and alleviate the suffering of its people. He shared that his country will host an international conference by the end of October 2010 in Dubai to discuss ways and means of developing partnerships between private and public sectors to invest and execute development projects in Afghanistan. Moreover, he welcomed the declaration of Kabul Conference held last July, and called all parties in Afghanistan to cooperate in implementing that declaration.
He renewed UAE condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whenever and wherever. While he confirmed that terrorism does not recognise national boundaries or religions, he stressed the need to intensify regional and international efforts aimed at combating terrorism, implement relevant resolutions and recommendations issued by regional and international organisations and conferences, and reactivate the UN Global Strategy for combating terrorism.
(l) Climate Change
He rightly portrayed the multiplier effects of increasing ratios of climate change around the globe in shape of devastating earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts and natural disasters. He stressed the importance of increasing international cooperation efforts in order to reach effective solutions to climate change before the forthcoming conference in Mexico. He also rightly demanded the necessary financial and technical support needed for enabling developing countries to address effectively the challenges of Climate Change. He also shared different meaningful steps taken by his country in the field of alternative/renewable energy under the preview of the Convention on the Establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to cope with the serious problem of climate change.
(m) Empowerment of Women
In the recent past, the UAE’s cabinet announced a charter “Vision 2021” which indicated its political leadership’s commitment to excel in each and every filed and achieve desired socio-economic goals.
In his well appreciated speech the Foreign Minister also focused on many global issues relating to empowerment of women and gender discrimination. He proudly shared UAE commitments and strategies for the empowerment of women in his society. He mentioned different legislations for the betterment of womanhood in UAE due to which women are playing their important part in macro-economy and social development.
(n) Human Trafficking
During his speech he attached great importance to the issue of human trafficking, and emphasised the need to strengthen our collective strategic efforts to control it because it has mar on the security and stability of human societies. He highly talked about the different laws and mechanism of his country to cope with this menace. Keeping in view the severity of this issue he stressed the need to have an integrated, coordinated global strategy to combat and protect against this phenomenon, and provide care, rehabilitation and raising global awareness of human trafficking in order to reduce its victims until complete elimination.
He supported and welcomed all the efforts made by international organisations and initiatives to promote the spirit of reconciliation, interfaith harmony, peaceful co-existence, and cooperation among all religions and cultures. He deeply expressed his country’s concerns over the growing Islamophobia and campaigns targeting religions, and moreover, emphasised the importance of building a genuine global partnership for opening channels of communication and understanding, spreading culture of peace, promoting acceptance of the other, respecting other religious beliefs and closing the way to those who spread hatred, humiliation, stereotypes, and hostility among the followers of different faiths. He appreciated the activities of the Alliance of Civilizations Forum and welcomed the holding of the fourth session of the Forum in Qatar next year to promote interfaith dialogue.