x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Gargash vows to further advance human rights in UAE

Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms was an 'essential component' of the UAE's values, Dr Anwar Gargash tells the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The UAE has pledged to continue working on advancing the protection of human rights.

On Wednesday, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, appeared before the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, the state news agency Wam reported.

Dr Gargash said the UAE was taking a proactive approach to improving labour regulations, human-trafficking laws, the empowerment of women, protection of children's rights and the promotion of equality.

Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms was an "essential component" of the country's values, he said.

"The UAE has achieved in this regard great gains we can be proud of, and which made our country an attractive environment for more than 200 nationalities," Dr Gargash said.

He said it was "an open and tolerant society ensuring to all its members the enjoyment of all rights and freedoms, and religious practice to all nationalities".

Dr Gargash said the political achievements made in the past years had resulted in a "giant and unprecedented leap in social, economic and cultural conditions of our people".

It is the third time Dr Gargash has appeared in Geneva this year. In January he presented a report to the HRC's Universal Periodic Review.

The HRC presented the Emirates with a list of 180 recommendations as part of the review, which included calls for improvement to the welfare of migrant and domestic workers.

Dr Gargash said he was "pleased with the useful and constructive dialogue that followed" the review and said the nation was "strongly committed to the goals and objectives for which the HRC was created".

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is expected to visit the Emirates this year.

Dr Gargash said the UAE would host the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights in the second quarter of this year.

"The UAE will continue to work with this council to advance the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad," he said.