UAE tells UN: Gazans treated as lesser humans

Ambassador’s address to Security Council calls for world attention to shield Palestinians from Israeli brutality

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, December 18, 2017:    Lana Zaki Nusseibeh Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations delivers one of the keynote speeches during the Gender Dimensions of International Peace and Security conference at the Ritz Carlton Grand Canal hotel in the Khor Al Maqta'a area of Abu Dhabi on December 18, 2017. Christopher Pike / The National

Reporter: Caline Malek
Section: News
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The UAE representative to the UN yesterday told the Security Council that there was a growing disregard for international law, in a strong condemnation of recent events in Palestine.

“A world without a rules-based international order is one filled with chaos and instability – one where rogue actors disregard international norms with impunity, the system of trusted relationships between countries is broken, and the most vulnerable across societies are left to suffer without recourse to justice,” said Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York.

Of the Israeli troops killing more than 60 Palestinian protesters last week, Ms Nusseibeh said: “The lives of the victims – men, women and children – are no less human than any other in this council, or any member state in this United Nations.”

She criticised the inability of the international community to take action.

“The victims have been treated by the inaction of this body as if somehow they were less human than the rest of us, and suffer less, and grieve their losses differently,” Ms Nusseibeh said.

At an open debate on upholding international law and the maintenance of international peace and security, she said that the killings breached international laws and could not be ignored by the global community.

Ms Nusseibeh said that while the UAE believed Palestinian and Israeli people had the right to secure statehood, international law and the frameworks to make it possible were weakened when the council’s resolutions were repeatedly ignored and innocent human life was taken recklessly and violently.

“Fundamentally, the rules and norms that comprise the body of international law are only as strong as the commitment of all states to defend and uphold them,” she said.

“That is why the UAE stands ready to do its part in reinforcing the pillars of international law, including improving our own efforts to try to practise what we preach.”


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The debate was hosted by Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for this month.

On Friday, a summit of Muslim heads of state in Istanbul called for an international peacekeeping force to protect the Palestinians, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of brutality comparable to the Nazis.

The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which seeks to bridge differences within the Muslim world, said that Israel had carried out the “wilful murder” of about 60 Palestinians on the Gaza border on Monday.

It called “for the international protection of the Palestinian population, including through dispatching an international protection force”.

Mr Erdogan said sending such a force was essential to help the Palestinians and stop the international community being a “spectator to massacres”.

He compared such troops to the UN forces sent to deal with the aftermath of the Balkan wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.