Abu Dhabi: The National Human Rights Committee held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and in the presence of representatives of numerous government agencies to discuss the latest human rights issues in the country.
During the meeting, Gargash underscored that the committee’s establishment comes as part of efforts to strengthen the national human rights framework as a central mechanism following up on human rights developments in the UAE. Moreover, it plays a vital role in supporting national efforts to promote human rights, as well as reinforce regional and international partnerships.
The committee also reviewed the latest developments in human rights files in the UAE and discussed preparations for the national human rights plan that will serve as a comprehensive and integrated national human rights framework. The committee was also briefed on the establishment of the Independent National Human Rights Committee in accordance with the Paris Principles.
The UAE minister noted in this regard that the Interim Committee entrusted with developing the structural and legal framework completed the draft law on its establishment and is pending the completion of procedures for the issuance of the law, after which the project is to be presented before the Federal National Council.
The committee also reviewed the UAE’s obligations under international human rights conventions and adopted the fourth draft report on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. It also followed up on the implementation of recommendations accepted by the UAE as part of the Universal Periodic Review for human rights in January 2018 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Dr. Gargash stressed the UAE’s keenness to strengthen cooperation with various UN human rights bodies to fulfill its international obligations.
The committee will organise a number of programmes, activities, and workshops to increase education, raise awareness, and build capacity in the human rights field. The establishment of the National Human Rights Committee came at the discretion of the Council of Ministers in October 2019. The committee was launched ten years after establishing the Permanent Committee to follow up on the UAE Comprehensive Human Rights Report in 2010. This change reflected efforts to keep pace with human rights developments and requirements as part of the UAE’s commitment to strengthening national human rights mechanisms.
The committee will liaise between all human rights bodies in the country and supervise the implementation of a comprehensive national plan while developing policies and programmes to raise awareness and build capacity in the human rights field. It will also work on strengthening cooperation with regional organisations, UN human rights bodies, and other countries in this regard.