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FNC to take up range of issues with government

Response to EU’s prejudiced view on human rights and education issues in focus

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The government is to be quizzed on Tuesday by members of the Federal National Council on a number of issues ranging from the European parliament’s criticism of the UAE’s right record to efforts to create more jobs for citizens and the Ministry of Education’s role in strengthening national identity among private school students.

Dr Abdul Rahim Al Shaheen, a member from Ras Al Khaimah, will put a question to Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs, on a resolution by the European Union parliament taking a critical view on human rights in the UAE, which was received with shock by the House.

The FNC had earlier expressed hope that the EU parliament had not been hurried into taking its stand and viewed the issue with neutrality and objectivity while giving the competent authorities in the UAE the full opportunity to explain their viewpoint instead of giving in to biased reports that contain baseless allegations and inaccurate information about the human rights situation in the UAE.

Dr Al Shaheen will seek to know what measures and actions have been initiated by the government to respond to the EU parliament’s resolution and whether there are plans to address similar concerns regarding human rights.

The FNC took exception to the “prejudiced” decision and said the EU position “underlines the lack of objectivity on the part of the established EU institution which has apparently fallen under the influence of certain elements that have their own agenda seeking to mar the long-standing historic bonds between the EU and the GCC countries in general and the UAE in particular”.

“The UAE achievements in the past four decades stand testimony to its respect for human rights for both its nationals and non-nationals. High development rates have also drawn commendation from all,” the FNC said. On his part, Dr Gargash had described the EU resolution as a “biased and prejudiced resolution”.

He added: “The statement by the European parliament is biased and prejudiced and throws unsubstantiated accusations without viewing the facts on the ground that have been proven by international organisations regarding human rights, especially in the area of foreign workers and the overall social welfare and empowerment of women.”

Another question that is to be put to Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, minister of higher education and scientific research, seeks to know why it is obligatory for students of the UAE University who wish to major in Arabic language and Islamic studies to pass an English language exam. Shaikh Nahyan will also be questioned on mixing of male and female students at the Higher Colleges of Technology.

Humaid Al Qutami, minister of education will have to reply to a question on the ministry’s role in strengthening national identity in private scchools. In his capacity as chairman of the Emirates Transport and Services Authority, Al Qutami will also be questioned on the role of the authority in providing jobs to Emiratis as bus drivers.

Another question that is to be put to Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, minister of labour, seeks answers on what the ministry has done regarding the bank surety collected from companies backed by youth and Emiratisation funds.