UAE elected to UN Human Rights Council for third time

Dr Anwar Gargash said success highlights UAE's commitment to safeguarding human rights

The UAE has been elected to the UN's Human Rights Council for the third time.

The Emirates secured 180 votes from nations belonging to the Asia-Pacific group during a secret ballot among members of the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

It will serve a three-year term on the council from 2022 to 2024.

Dr Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to President Sheikh Khalifa and chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, said the achievement was testament to the crucial work being carried out in the UAE to bolster human rights.

"The UAE's track record in this highly significant international file is not confined to the protection and promotion of political, economic and social rights, but also covers the state's successful model in areas like women's empowerment, religious and ethnic tolerance, judicial system, labour rights, combating human trafficking and other key related issues," Dr Gargash said.

"The UAE society is founded on such core values as balance, and support for justice, where more than 200 nationalities co-exist together and enjoy the freedom of practising their civil rights under an efficient judicial system that ranks first regionally according to relevant international indices."

UAE develops wide-ranging human rights strategy

The success comes as the UAE's long-term vision to champion human rights takes shape.

In August, President Sheikh Khalifa set out plans to establish a National Human Rights Institution in the UAE.

He issued a federal law to set up the independent body, which will have its headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

The body will help to develop a national action plan.

It will help to foster a culture of human rights and raise public awareness through seminars, conferences and panel discussions.

As part of its blueprint for the future, the institution will provide information to authorities on whether national laws are aligned with international treaties and conventions on human rights to which the UAE is a signatory.

It will track human rights breaches and report them to relevant authorities.

In July, Dr Gargash highlighted the work being carried out to bolster human rights in the UAE.

Dr Gargash is playing a pivotal role in developing the country's National Human Rights Action Plan.

In December, the National Human Rights Committee launched the first stage of a consultative process to prepare the plan.

In April, the Federal National Council approved a law establishing the National Commission for Human Rights in the UAE.

Dr Gargash called it an "important step towards strengthening the human rights file in the country and a building block on the road to celebrating the 50 years" since the UAE was founded.

The UAE was selected for two consecutive terms on the Human Rights Council between 2013 and 2018.

Members of the council, made up of 47 countries, serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Updated: October 16th 2021, 8:22 AM