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NHRI Chairperson announces ‘100-day plan’ for institutional and organisational workings

ABU DHABI, 13th January, 2022 (WAM) — Maqsoud Kruse, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), said that human beings in the UAE have been the main focus of all its developmental efforts throughout its 50-year journey.

Kruse added that the issuance of Federal Law No. (12) of 2021 establishing the National Human Rights Institution, which coincided with the UAE’s celebration of years of achievements, underscored the UAE's future and consistent approach in supporting all efforts aimed at promoting and preserving human rights and dignity.

He explained that the National Human Rights Institution is established as an independent entity that has its own legal personality and enjoys financial and administrative autonomy, in line with the Paris Principles. "Its work methodology is built on objective and impartial legal and human rights approaches and professional mechanisms that take into consideration both international human rights standards and local specificities."

This came during the first media briefing of the NHRI, which was held today at the Emirates News Agency (WAM) headquarters in Abu Dhabi, to introduce the NHRI, elaborate on its functions and mandate, and to review the outcomes of the first inaugural meeting of the NHRI Board of Trustees and relevant developments in the coming period.

The media briefing was attended by Hamad Al Kaabi, Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad, Abdulrahim Al Bateeh Al Nuaimi, Acting Director-General of Abu Dhabi Media, and representatives of a number of local and international media outlets.

The NHRI Chairperson reviewed the outcome of the first inaugural meeting of the NHRI Board of Trustees for the 2022-2026 term, held on Wednesday. The meeting saw the approval of the "100-day plan" for the institutional and organisational workings.

The 100-day plan includes holding a meeting of the Board of Trustees every (21) days throughout the 100-day period to supervise and follow up on the pace of achievement during the foundational stage, provided that the Board of Trustees meeting schedule is reviewed after the 100-day period has elapsed.

He added that the inaugural meeting featured a session to organise an NHRI Deputy Chairperson election at the second meeting of the Board of Trustees, which will be held on Wednesday, 2nd February, 2022. The board also tasked the NHRI Secretary-General with drafting the main administrative, organisational and financial structures and regulations to be submitted to the Board of Trustees, and reviewed and approved at the second meeting.

The board approved the formation of a temporary "Advisory Committee" to review, audit and advise on all matters related to all drafts, proposals and projections submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval during the 100-day period, provided that the committee's status is reviewed after the 100-day period has elapsed.

Kruse further explained that board approved the titles of six main committees concerned with the basic issues and topics that will be in focus for 2022, noting that the NHRI's second meeting will feature a session to elect committee chairs from members of the Board of Trustees. The names of the six approved committees are as follows; the Civil and Political Rights Committee, the Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights Committee, the Complaints, Monitoring and Field Visits Committee, the International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Committee, the Committee for the Promotion of Human Rights Culture, and the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee.

The NHRI Chairperson said that the board approved the NHRI's "visual identity" and the inauguration of its "Media Centre", in addition to the rollout of the campaign to launch the NHRI's official website and social media accounts during the board's second meeting.

He continued, "We have just begun a task that has no limits, and all issues and topics are open for discussion. Our slogan is "Know your rights", as we believe that every human being has rights. We are working around the clock to build partnerships and bridges, launch initiatives, and organise field visits and various meetings, to establish constructive communication with everyone, with the goal of promoting the protection of human rights and ensuring the implementation of best human rights practices across all fields."

Responding to WAM's questions regarding the launch of a multilingual platform to enable community contribution and promote human rights, Kruse said that the NHRI will include in its official website and social media accounts an interactive portal to empower community members of all segments and those interested in human rights protection to work together and submit inquiries, remarks and recommendations. "This will enable us to constantly improve our performance," he added.

He added that the NHRI will collaborate with all segments of society, especially youth, and seeks, through the Committee for the Promotion of Human Rights Culture, to develop the programmes and initiatives required to reach all segments of society.

Speaking of the NHRI drawing on the 'Principles of the 50' document, the NHRI Chairperson said that the NHRI's establishment is but a reflection and extension of this vision, which is dedicated to driving the UAE's development in all fields. "However, the NHRI's main mission is enhancing the UAE's human rights track record, promoting human rights protection, raising awareness levels and ensuring the integration of such practices into institutional frameworks."

Kruse said that the enhancement of the human rights culture will not be limited to seminars, lectures and programmes, as it will be further supported by the publications that NHRI is working on, as well as the virtual library and other information sources that will be developed in the coming period.

Regarding the NHRI's issuance of periodic reports, Kruse said that according to the law, the NHRI will prepare its annual report, which will first be referred to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then to the Cabinet and finally to the Federal National Council, and made available to the public.

He added that the report would reflect the NHRI's evaluation of the human rights situation in the UAE, through constant monitoring and drafting of the relevant recommendations.

Kruse indicated that the NHRI will cooperate with relevant local and global organisations on all reports and remarks received to conduct an assessments in line with the NHRI's work methodology and mechanisms, which are based on objectivity, professionalism and impartiality.

He also stated, "Our doors will always be open to all international organisations wishing to cooperate with the NHRI."

Regarding the NHRI's field work, Kruse said that Federal Law No. (12) of 2021 lists up to 14 items, which constitute the NHRI's jurisdiction, and a set of objectives, including holding field visits through the Complaints, Monitoring and Field Visits Committee. These include several establishments, such as punitive and correctional facilities, shelters, labour complexes and other facilities requiring field visits to determine the human rights situation and submit relevant recommendations and proposals.

Kruse stated that, as part of its approach to dealing with various issues, the NHRI is currently developing mechanisms, procedures, and official platforms to enable everyone to submit complaints, appeals, observations and other proposals, and the NHRI teams to evaluate and develop relevant work plans.

He pointed out that the "100-day plan" aims to accelerate the completion of the organisational and administrative aspects necessary to launch the work of the NHRI institutionally. "We need to adopt the human resource and financial regulations so that we can start recruitment and form the NHRI work teams, who will help us to consider and assess all submissions made during the board's first 4-year term, which may be extended only for once.

National human rights institutions established under the Paris Principles are considered official bodies established by countries with a legal mandate to promote and protect human rights.

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UAE Press: No country is immune to the world’s growing water crisis

ABU DHABI, 24th March, 2023 (WAM) – This week’s international water conference in New York – remarkably, the first such meeting since 1977 – has achieved anything, is a wake-up call to the fact that water scarcity, and the many other serious challenges tied to it, is an issue that is certain to affect everyone on the planet, according to a UAE English daily.

" This is a call that needs to be heard. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who described humanity’s overuse of water resources as “vampiric”, the conference heard how it is cities that will bear the brunt of the crisis,” said The National in an editorial on Friday.

UN research suggests that a billion people in cities around the world already face water scarcity, with that number to more than double by 2050. According to the World Bank, nearly seven out of 10 people will be city dwellers by that time. If this trend is combined with worsening water shortages, it could spell ecological, economic and social disaster, the newspaper explained.

“Although the signs are ominous, there is a growing understanding among international bodies that water scarcity is connected to and drives many other issues. It is frequently contextualised as part of a triple crisis: that of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Each of these can fuel conflict, displacement and uncontrolled migration, creating security crises for countries that are already struggling,” the daily added.

Some national governments and the international community are serious about backing green technology. One example is CityTaps, a team based in France, Kenya and Mexico that developed a smart pay-as-you-go system that allows low-income populations to pre-pay for their water in micro amounts, avoiding debt and disconnection. Another is Solvay Solution’s Oxystrong 15 peracetic acid which disinfects waste water with a lower environmental impact, allowing it to be used for irrigation, the editorial pointed out.

Amid these high-tech solutions, the newspaper noted, there has also been a renewed focus on the wisdom of previous generations who, it seems, managed their water resources somewhat more responsibly. These so-called nature-based solutions, for example using forests, wetlands and grasslands to filter water, regulate water flow, and protect communities from floods and droughts, have been employed by indigenous communities for centuries.

“International action such as the UN’s High Seas Treaty that was signed earlier this month, and the continuing engagement on climate action before COP28 in the UAE later this year is encouraging. Hopefully, this UN water summit will lead to similarly resolute steps – but there is no more time for complacency,” the Abu Dhabi-based daily concluded.

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RAK Ruler receives Ramadan well-wishers

RAS AL KHAIMAH, 23rd March, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, today received Ramadan well-wishers, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah.

He received the greetings of Sheikhs, senior officials and heads of local government departments in the country, as well as dignitaries and Emiratis, who congratulated the Ras Al Khaimah Ruler on the occasion of the holy month and wished him good health and further progress for the UAE, as well as development for the Muslim and Arab nations.

A number of senior officials from the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah attended the receptions.

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Brand Dubai launches fourth edition of Ramadan Recipes Guide

DUBAI, 23rd March, 2023 (WAM) — Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), has partnered with Dubai-based chefs and restaurants and cafés from its “Proudly from Dubai” (PFD) network to launch the fourth edition of the Ramadan Recipes Guide, featuring 30 original recipes for 30 days.

As part of the collaborative initiative, Brand Dubai has collected and curated simple-to-prepare Ramadan recipes inspired by the menus of 10 outlets and 10 chefs to inspire culinary creativity among the community this Ramadan.

The initiative seeks to support members of the PFD network by raising their visibility and offering them a platform to connect with their audience in innovative ways.

Fatma Almulla, City Branding Executive at Brand Dubai, said, “We are extremely excited to launch another edition of the Ramadan Recipes Guide, which has now expanded in scope to feature recipes not only from restaurants and cafés from the PFD network but also from successful Dubai-based chefs who are extremely popular among Dubai’s food-loving community.

"Launched as an annual initiative, the Ramadan Recipes Guide seeks to showcase the creativity and culinary talent of our members while providing them with additional exposure among the public. Apart from highlighting the city's passion for culinary excellence, this initiative supports various entrepreneurs to contribute to the diverse and dynamic food scene in Dubai.”

The newly-launched guide, which provides delicious and traditional recipes for Iftar and Suhoor, celebrates Dubai's culinary diversity and unique cultural blend as well as its emergence as a gastronomic hub, she said.

Almulla added that many of the recipes featured in the guide this year are unique in their concept, with some blending traditional cuisines with modern twists and international flavours.

The recipes provide a detailed step-by-step guide for preparing scrumptious sweet and savoury dishes for the family, including starter plates, soups, salads, main courses, desserts, snacks and Suhoor meals. This year, the guide will also feature wholesome, nutritious recipes that are vegan and gluten-free.

The recipes appeal to a wide range of palates and are inspired by an eclectic diversity of cuisines including Mediterranean, Emirati, American, Italian, Mexican and Scandinavian.

Many of the recipes featured in the guide have been developed by celebrity chefs who have started their journey from Dubai and launched their own restaurants. The chefs, representing various nationalities, also have a huge social media following, with some even earning a Michelin star for their high-quality dishes.

“Proudly from Dubai” is an initiative of Brand Dubai that aims to tell local and global audiences the success stories of exciting and innovative homegrown businesses and talent.

It also seeks to tell the story of innovation and creativity shaping Dubai’s emerging business and entrepreneurial culture.

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