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UAE wins its Category-B membership in the IMO Council for third consecutive time

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DUBAI, 10th December, 2021 (WAM) — The UAE has been re-elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in the Category B membership for the third time, following comprehensive efforts and an intensive election campaign leading up to the elections.

Through its landmark initiatives, the country continues playing an active role in strengthening the national maritime sector, while contributing to the growth of the global maritime and logistics industry.

The results of the election were announced earlier today during the 32nd session of the IMO Assembly in London, which was will conclude on 15th December 2021.

On being re-elected, the UAE received international praise for its pivotal role in developing strategies, policies and agreements that enhancing maritime safety standards, protecting the marine environment and enhance the efficiency of the global industry.

Expressing his delight on the occasion, Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said, "The UAE has reaffirmed its leading status as a vital maritime centre in the world with this achievement. Our re-election to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the third consecutive time has further strengthened our active role in developing the sector and enhancing maritime safety standards, as well as protecting the marine environment globally. Through our efforts, we have been ranked as one of the most influential countries in developing the maritime industry."

Al Mazrouei added, "It is encouraging to see our efforts being recognised internationally. Even after our election in 2017, we made huge strides within the sector locally, with a focus on catering to regional and global maritime needs in terms of providing the best infrastructure and top-class services. Our competencies have helped us gain the status of being a key global maritime hub, and today our efforts have actualised. The sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP is AED90 billion annually. Our ports handled over 15 million TEUs during 2020, and there were over 25,000 port calls in the UAE during the same year. UAE’s national fleet capacity stands at 21 million DWT. Our national fleet in 2020 consisted of 970 vessels. The re-election has further encouraged us to continue our work with member states to advance the global maritime sector by achieving the safety, security, and efficiency of maritime transport."

The UAE has been a frontrunner in several global competitiveness indicators in the maritime sector. The country was ranked 3rd in transport services trade and Bunker Supply Index. It ranked fifth as a key competitive maritime hub and 13th globally in Port Performance and Efficiency Index. The country’s ports rank among the top 10 internationally in the volume of container handling. There are over 27,000 maritime companies in the UAE and the country's ports rank among the top worldwide.

Hassan Mohamed Juma Al-Mansoori, Undersecretary for the Infrastructure and Transport Sector at the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure , said, "The UAE is, without doubt, a leader in the maritime world, and has immensely contributed to the growth of global trade and shipping, while making major contributions to the industry by taking pioneering steps to protect and safeguard their interests. We have the world’s best infrastructure and technology deployed at our ports. Our strategic location has contributed to its position of being a leading hub for maritime trade in the Arabian Gulf states, East Africa and the Indian subcontinent. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all ports in the UAE were kept open to facilitate maritime trade and keep the supply chains functioning. It is truly an honour to be re-elected to the Council owing to the hard work that we and our industry partners in the country have put in."

The UAE has been contributing to the maritime sector in multiple aspects. It was one of the first IMO Member States to designate seafarers as key workers during the Covid-19 pandemic and supported them by facilitating crew change, administering vaccinations and providing them access to medical care.

Apart from this, as part of its continued efforts to support the sector, the country has also established the UAE unified national single window framework and its National Committee which integrates maritime, aviation, land and railways transport sectors. This has further enhanced trade through a single digital gateway, enabling the country to operate ports in 50 countries.

It has also been championing women’s rights in the maritime sector. In this regard, the country is currently chairing the Arab Women in the Maritime Association (AWIMA), which is working with the IMO’s Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) to support women in the maritime sector to achieve the fifth UN Sustainable Development Goal of establishing gender equality. It is also one of the founding members of the IMOGENder, a network of IMO delegates working to achieve gender equality.

Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said, "It is a moment of pride for us to be elected alongside other countries that have been doing great work for the sector. With this win, the UAE has demonstrated its active role in strengthening the maritime sector through a series of initiatives, as a result of which we have received international acclaim. We have been at the forefront when it comes to women’s participation in the industry. We also contributed to drafting the IMO Assembly Resolution A.1147 (31) ‘Preserving the Legacy of the World Maritime Theme for 2019 and Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector’ which was adopted at the thirty-first session of IMO Assembly in 2019. All this has culminated in another milestone achievement for us."

Promising future

The UAE is an active contributor to the IMO activities through its positive and effective engagement and participation in all the works of the Assembly, Council, main technical committees, sub-committees, and related working groups.

Mohammed Khamis Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative at the IMO, said, "Through its membership in the IMO, the UAE will continue to contribute to developing the global maritime sector. In cooperation with the Member States of IMO, UAE has participated in a proposal to develop the best approach of regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) under the Maritime Safety Committee and Legal Committee. The UAE has recently contributed to several amendments in the IMO such as submitting a proposal to increase the members of the organisation’s council to consist of 52 members instead of 40 members, in addition to the proposal to increase the term of office of the Council to 4 years. The UAE has also contributed to the work of the Legal Committee by submitting a decision to develop new measures to prevent unlawful practices associated with the fraudulent registration and fraudulent registries of ships. It also contributed to the work of the Technical Cooperation Committee by preparing a draft decision related to funding and partnership arrangements for an effective and sustainable integrated technical cooperation programme. Our re-election has boosted our confidence and will thus prompt us to consolidate our efforts to accelerate the growth of the sector."

As part of the Council, the UAE contributed to the IMO’s efforts to the establish the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden, since its inception in 1983, through its active membership in the Board of Governors and Executive Committee, between 1983 and 1991. In addition to this, UAE has also participated in national and international forums aimed at conveying and exchanging experiences in maritime education and training.

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Emirates

UAE private sector pledges to accelerate gender balance in leadership

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DUBAI,18th January, 2022 (WAM) — In a first of its kind initiative for the UAE private sector, 18 leading local and multinational companies from diverse sectors have signed a pledge to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

This pledge by the private sector aims to increase gender balance in the workplace, with an emphasis on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions to 30% by 2025 through policy, programme, and initiative developments that are aligned with UAE government direction.

The pledge was signed during a ceremony hosted by the UAE Gender Balance Council, the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs and the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs. The ceremony was attended by Mona Ghanim Al-Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs; Shamsa Saleh, Secretary-General of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Hanan Ahli, Acting Director of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre; as well as representatives of member companies of the Private Sector Advisory Council and representatives of international organisations working on the SDGs.

Companies that signed the pledge include Majid Al Futtaim Holding LLC, Masdar, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), Dubai Holding, Unilever, Standard Chartered Bank, MasterCard, Michelin, UPS, General Motors, Schneider Electric, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, BASF, Mars, Nestle, and General Mills.

Each of the signatories committed to taking key actions before 2025 to strengthen gender balance in leadership positions, including by: ensuring equal pay and fair compensation; promoting gender equitable recruitment and promotion; mainstreaming gender balance through policies and programmes; and being transparent about progress with fellow signatories and government.

H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, commended this voluntary initiative, which reflects the unique partnership between the government and private sector in the UAE to achieve the national goals and a future vision by the wise leadership that will enable the country to be a leading global economy in the next fifty years. She stressed on the pivotal role of the private sector in supporting the government’s efforts to enhance the UAE’s global competitiveness.

She affirmed that gender balance is a key priority for the government, and that the private sector is an indispensable partner in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 5 (Gender Equality). She stressed that the pledge will be an inspiration for the region and the world.

Sheikha Manal said: "The UAE is highly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 and has integrated them into its strategic plans, and prioritized them in its local and international partnerships. A national committee for these goals was established in 2017, comprising several ministries and federal agencies, which share the responsibility of implementing these goals at the national level. The UAE Gender Balance Council also launched a host of local and global initiatives to accelerate the implementation of SDG 5 (Gender Equality), in cooperation with government entities and international organisations. These efforts have resulted in remarkable progress for the UAE in global competitiveness reports on women and gender balance, leading the region in some of the most important indexes and climbing to eighteenth place globally in gender equality in a report issued by the United Nations Development Programme. We have witnessed other notable successes, which include ranking first in Middle East and North Africa in the ‘Women, Business and the Law’ 2021 report issued by the World Bank, and first in the Arab world in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021, issued by the World Economic Forum, as well as successfully ranking first globally in 9 competitive indicators related to the progress in achieving the fifth goal of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021."

She added: "I would like to thank our partners in this initiative that supports the UAE's commitment and continuous pursuit to achieve the sustainable development goals. Eliminating obstacles to gender equality is essential to achieving economic prosperity, social stability and sustainable growth. The UAE, since its establishment, has invested in the capabilities of all members of its society without prejudice or discrimination, and this direction is being reinforced by our wise leadership with pioneering legislation and policies that consolidate the rights of women, ensure equal opportunities and leadership positions in the labor market and enhance their representation in decision-making areas. We are confident that the private sector will keep pace with the achievements made in government in this field, and this initiative constitutes an inspiring model for all private institutions in the country."

Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council and Chairperson of the Global Council on SDG 5, said: "The signing of this pledge is a defining moment that deserves to be commended, as it enhances government efforts and confirms the important role that the private sector has in achieving the UAE’s vision and goals."

She added: "The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need to work together to come up with innovative solutions to some complex challenges facing our world. It has also demonstrated the extent to which women are affected by crises, noting that there are real gender gaps in leadership positions across the world, with women occupying only 22% of CEO-level leadership positions. We need to escalate efforts to increase the number of women in senior and middle management roles, as more women in leadership means stronger organisational performance and thriving economies."

She expressed her gratitude to the companies that signed the pledge and their cooperation with the government, adding that it represents a great opportunity for the rest of the private sector to join this important initiative, stressing the readiness of the UAE Gender Balance Council to provide support to the private sector to progress in this field.

Abdulla Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, and Vice President of UAE National Committee on SDGs, stressed the important role of the private sector in supporting national efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, as well as promoting national initiatives and projects aimed at consolidating gender balance across various fields.

He said: "The pledge, signed by 18 national and international pioneering companies, constitutes an important step in the UAE’s path to empowering women. Progress in gender equality started with Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the wise leadership continues to build on it because of women’s pivotal role in the advancement of countries and societies."

He added: "This initiative reflects the strategic vision of the UAE Gender Balance Council and H.H. Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Completing the sustainable development goals is a joint responsibility between the public and private sectors, and success in this field requires joint efforts to launch initiatives that empower women working in the private sector."

The pledge is the result of the tireless efforts of the UAE’s Private Sector Advisory Council on SDGs, in collaboration with the UAE’s National Committee on SDGs as represented by the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Center (FCSC) and the UAE Gender Balance Council, after a focus group discussion on SDG 5 was organised in 2019.

The result of this discussion was the Private Sector Pledge to Accelerate Gender Balance, an effort which will promote a culture that encourages all employees to realise their full potential, in line with SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Specifically, the pledge will drive the implementation of Target 5.5, which emphasizes the global importance of ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.

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Emirates

Qatari FM condemns Houthi attacks on UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received a phone call from Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar who affirmed his strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE.

He pointed out that such terrorist acts contravene all international norms and laws, expressing his sincere condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack, his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, and for continued security and stability to the UAE.

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Emirates

Maldives FM condemns terrorist Houthi attack on civil facilities in UAE in phone call with Abdullah bin Zayed

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ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2022 (WAM)– H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, received today a phone call from Abdulla Shahid, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.

During the phone call, Shahid expressed strong condemnation and denunciation of the terrorist attack by the terrorist Houthi militia on civil facilities in the UAE. He also affirmed the Maldives' full solidarity with and support for the UAE in the face of this cowardly attack.

He offered condolences over the victims of this terrorist act and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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