International organisations have hailed the establishment of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in the UAE as an independent entity in line with the Paris Principles to promote and ensure the protection of human rights in accordance with international best practices. The heads of these organisations have issued separate statements where they commended the formation of the NHRI and the appointment of its Board of Trustees from qualified Emirati cadres enjoying long experience in the field.
Advisor Issa Rashid Al Arabi, President of the Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR), said that the NHRI's establishment in the UAE is a major stride, noting that it reflects the keenness of the UAE's wise leadership to ensure that human rights are respected, and its firm belief in the importance of promoting human values.
He added that the move exemplifies the UAE's eagerness to strengthen and deepen its partnership with the international community towards promoting human values, and enhances the UAE’s role as a champion of human rights, especially as it prepares to assume its responsibilities as a member of UN Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 term.
The AFHR President explained that the deliberate process adopted to select the NHRI board of trustees and have it combine national and international expertise is a qualitative step that will contribute to strengthening the UAE's global position and its human rights protection efforts.
Lawyer Ala Chalabi, the Chairman of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, an entity with an advisory capacity at the United Nations, has commended the formation of the Institution, stressing that it will contribute to safeguarding human rights in the UAE and the entire Arabian Gulf region.
Dr Amjad Shamout, the former head of the Standing Arab Human Rights Committee at the Arab League, who is also the Chairman of Al-Jisr Al-Arabi Human Rights Centre in Jordan, said the establishment of NHRI is a qualitative addition to the efforts made in the human rights field in the Emirates that reflects the UAE leadership's strong will to prioritise human rights and ensure all those living in the country enjoy the same rights without any discrimination.
He added that the move corroborates the leading role the UAE plays at the regional and international levels and motivate other nations to follow suit.
Ayman Nasri, the Head of the Arab- European Forum for Dialogue and Human Rights, another entity with an advisory capacity at the UN, said the formation of the NHRI is a step forward toward reinforcing cooperation between local and international human rights agencies and organisations that will significantly contribute to establishing human rights organisations capable of communicating efficiently with the international community.
"NHRI will help present the UAE human rights file in a transparent manner to the international community and to the permanent members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as per the recognised international best practices.
"By establishing the NHRI, the UAE political leadership reaffirms the importance of empowering specialised national councils being a key tool for international organisations to assess the human rights conditions in the UN member states," he added.
Khalid Al Ajami, Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Human Rights Society, noted that the establishment of NHRI is a step in the right direction toward reinforcing the human rights-related initiatives taken by the UAE in line with the determination of their leadership to promote human rights in continuation of the efforts pioneered by the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
For his part, Mohamed Fazie', the former Chairman of the Human Rights Committee at the Arab League, congratulated the UAE on forming the NHRI, which he described as a culmination of the diligent efforts being made by the UAE for long years to protect human dignity and empower the human capital being the mainstay of sustainable development.
Dr. Abduljabbar Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Chairman of the Bahrain Jurists Society, another entity with an advisory status at the UN, said that the UAE leadership's keenness to ensure 50 percent of the NHRI members are women in line with the Paris Principles reflects the pioneering role played by women in the UAE.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued federal law No. 12 of 2021 pertaining to the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI).
Article 3 of the law stipulates that the institution shall be an independent legal entity, which has financial and administrative autonomy in the exercise of its functions, activities and competencies.
According to article 4, the NHRI aims to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms following the provisions of the UAE Constitution, laws and legislation in force in the UAE, as well as relevant international conventions.