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UN Secretary-General meets members of Higher Committee of Human Fraternity in New York

NEW YORK, 9th December, 2021 (WAM) — Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres received on Monday a high-level delegation of members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF), at the UN headquarters in New York, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in promoting human fraternity.

At the beginning of the meeting, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue at the Holy See and HCHF Meeting Chair Cardinal Miguel Ayuso Guixot stated, "The work of the Higher Committee of Fraternity is to bring together and unite people of goodwill around the world, and today’s meeting is a reaffirmation of our commitment to continue to advance these efforts for the welfare of all humanity."

Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, HCHF Secretary-General, presented the committee’s initiatives and projects to promote human fraternity, namely the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, which is granted to people and institutions that are making profound contributions to coexistence and human fraternity. Judge Abdelsalam also reviewed the Abrahamic Family House initiative, a first-of-its-kind interfaith complex hosting a mosque, church, synagogue, and cultural center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Judge Abdelsalam also reviewed the Human Fraternity Youth Summit, which the committee intends to hold next year, with the aim of enabling young people to lead in the fields of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and empower them to be promoters of peace in their local communities.

For his part, Secretary-General António Guterres affirmed the full support of the United Nations for the initiatives of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, stressing his personal support for the Human Fraternity Youth Summit and the constant readiness of the United Nations to support the Document on Human Fraternity – a landmark document and the mission statement of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity.

Judge Abdelsalam affirmed the readiness of the Higher Committee to explore possible collaboration with the UN official designated to represent the cooperation between the UN and HCHF – Miguel Ángel Moratinos – and look at collaboration in strengthening the values of peace and fraternity, while also seeking ways of garnering support from UN Member States in various fields. This integration can be harnessed to serve and benefit humanity, according to Judge Abdelsalam.

UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations Miguel Ángel Moratinos welcomed collaboration with the HCHF to cooperate in implementing its inspiring initiatives, stressing his confidence that this cooperation will soon bear fruit in various fields, particularly in the field of training young people for leadership and providing them with skills of dialogue and constructive communication.

For his part, Dr. Mohamed Al-Mahrasawi, President of Al-Azhar University and member of the HCHF, expressed his aspiration to see the fruits of cooperation between the Higher Committee of Fraternity and the United Nations, stressing that the Document on Human Fraternity requires everyone to join in working to transform its provisions into a tangible reality.

"We at Al-Azhar University have realised the necessity of spreading the Document and making it known among youth – this prompted us to include it in the curricula and in master’s and doctoral theses, as well as the university’s hosting of seminars and workshops that deal with aspects of the Document in detail," he said.

Irina Bokova, member of the HCHF and former Director-General of UNESCO, said, "The United Nations and the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity share the same goals and vision in working for humanity. The Higher Committee of Fraternity believes that partnership between institutions will lead to everyone achieving these desired goals. It is time for us to unite and show the world what we can do for humanity."

Rabbi Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi of Washington Hebrew Congregation and a member of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity said: "We would like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations for this wonderful meeting, and the proposed plans and projects – to be executed as soon as possible. We believe that now is the time to bring our goals for humanity to fruition, especially after the difficult circumstances the world has witnessed due to the coronavirus pandemic."

At the end of the meeting, a delegation from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity presented the trophies of the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity 2021 to co-honorees Secretary-General Guterres and Moroccan-French activist Latifa ibn Ziaten for their efforts in furthering a culture of peace and their work promoting coexistence and human solidarity.

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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