The UAE, 52nd Union Day and the “Year of Sustainability” 2023
· The UAE commemorates its Union Day on December 2, which marks the formation of the federation and the initiation of the unification of the Emirates in 1971. On this date in 1971, the leaders of the Emirates signed an accord to unite the seven Emirates, transitioning from independent states into a single prosperous nation.
· His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, has announced 2023 as the “Year of Sustainability” with the theme “Today, for Tomorrow” to underscore the country’s commitment to sustainable practices.
· The “Year of Sustainability” is centered on intensifying awareness of environmental issues, fostering positive lifestyle shifts, and engaging the public in three critical domains: endorsing mindful consumption, advancing environmental preservation endeavors, and driving collective efforts to counter climate change.
· The Year of Sustainability on underscoring the UAE’s dedication to fostering international cooperation to tackle challenges related to sustainability and its influential role in pioneering innovative solutions for a more thriving future for the global community.
Today’s Economy for Tomorrow
· The United Arab Emirates has emerged as a leading model in the field of sustainable economic development on the global stage. It adopts ambitious strategies aimed at achieving a balance among economic growth, prosperity, and environmental preservation. The nation has achieved an unprecedented milestone in its foreign trade during the first half of 2023, hitting over AED 1.239 trillion and marking an increase of 14.4% in comparison to the previous year.
· The UAE is actively pursuing the establishment of a knowledge-driven and diversified economy, buttressed by scientific and technological advancements. It is committed to bolstering the economy’s resilience and sustainability while seeking novel opportunities, based on the conviction that robust partnerships are instrumental in fostering regional prosperity and unlocking extensive economic possibilities.
· To realize this forward-looking vision and ambitious goals, the UAE has formalized comprehensive economic partnerships with several active global economies, including India, Indonesia, Israel, Turkey, Georgia, and Cambodia. Moreover, the UAE is in the process of negotiating additional partnerships with a number of countries to be finalized by the year’s end.
· The UAE has solidified its commitment to space exploration, celebrating astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi’s significant space mission as the first Arab astronaut to conduct a lengthy stay and spacewalk on the International Space Station.
· These space endeavors follow the landmark achievements of Hazza AlMansoori, the first Emirati in space, and the successful deployment of the Hope Probe in 2021, showcasing the UAE’s resolute advancement in the space sector. The United Arab Emirates demonstrates the highest levels of determination and resolve in realizing its vision to be among the leading countries in the field of space, advancing science, technology, innovation, and building a sustainable space sector.
· The upcoming 2024 launch of the “Mohammed bin Zayed SAT” (MBZ-SAT) satellite, set to be a paramount addition to the nation’s space exploration efforts, will enhance the UAE’s contributions to global space science.
· In 2023, the UAE launched the “Year of Sustainability” under the slogan “Today for Tomorrow.” One of its top priorities is to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and address the challenges associated with climate change. The country is currently hosting the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) at Expo Dubai until December 12. The conference brings together world leaders and experts in an effort to mitigate the risks facing our planet.
· Through this global conference, the UAE prioritizes accelerating sustainable development goals and expanding the scope of energy transformations. The focus is on ensuring that the outcome of this global event consists of actionable mechanisms, not just promises, by translating agreements into tangible realities and achievements.
· In the face of today’s global challenges, climate change stands as one of the most significant. The UAE remains a global leader in adopting effective policies to address these challenges. The country has undertaken a significant set of policies as part of these efforts, including economic diversification with a focus on a green economy, diversifying energy sources with an emphasis on clean and renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and sustainable urban planning, among others.
· The UAE has always viewed climate action as an opportunity to contribute practical solutions to a global issue that affects all countries. This is especially true given its economic diversification efforts and its commitment to creating knowledge, skills, and jobs for future generations.
· In alignment with the visionary leadership of the UAE, the COP28 presidency aims through its plan based on four pillars: accelerating the transition to a more organized, responsible, and equitable energy sector, developing climate financing mechanisms, improving quality of life and livelihoods, and supporting the previous pillars by fully involving everyone in the conference’s work system. The goal is to achieve significant reductions in emissions and build a sustainable future energy system. The COP28 presidency will support the increase of energy efficiency by 2030 through tripling the production capacity of renewable energy sources, doubling low-carbon hydrogen production, and providing sustainable cooling systems accessible to everyone.
· The UAE reaffirms its commitment to climate and sustainability issues, not only at the local level but also on the international stage. This commitment is aimed at preserving the environment and ensuring a better future for generations to come. The UAE actively seeks to lend a helping hand to countries and communities worldwide in facing the challenges associated with climate change.
· As part of its ongoing pursuit of sustainable development, the UAE places significant importance on supporting climate change mitigation programs. This enables communities to continue their economic and social progress without being adversely affected by climate challenges. To ensure the success of these efforts, the UAE shares its expertise and experiences with other countries, in addition to providing technical assistance to ensure the best outcomes.
Protecting cultural and natural treasures for achieving sustainability
· The UAE diplomatic efforts are grounded in culture, education, and innovation, seeking to adopt innovative and effective diplomatic strategies that align with challenges and opportunities. This has contributed to enhancing its position in the Soft Power Index, reflecting the increasing influence of the UAE on the international stage.
· The efforts and commitments made by the UAE regarding the protection of human heritage, such as its recent partnership with the African World Heritage Fund to support the preservation of cultural and natural heritage of exceptional global value in Africa, highlight the country’s dedication. This partnership focuses on sites affected by climate change and capacity-building programs for community members.
· The UAE has demonstrated its readiness to make effective contributions to the international community through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has become an integral part of the international dialogue on heritage, education, and culture. This affirms the UAE’s deep commitment to global cultural heritage issues, positioning it at the forefront of efforts to protect and preserve these cultural and natural treasures that are part of human heritage.
· The UAE’s unwavering commitment to make effective contributions to the international community through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) enhances global dialogue on the importance of protecting cultural and natural heritage worldwide.
The UAE and Human Rights
· The UAE has achieved significant milestones in the field of human rights and continues to forge ahead for the next fifty years to enhance its efforts to maintain its position as one of the best countries in the world for living and working. This is in line with its forward-looking vision and its focus on social and cultural diversity. The UAE government invests in its capabilities to modernize laws and practices that reflect this diversity while respecting its heritage and traditions. The country has made remarkable progress in several areas.
· On October 4, 2023, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the UAE’s fourth human rights report during the 54th session of the Council held in Geneva. The UAE won membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2022-2024 period for the third time in its history. The country’s election to this seat was a recognition of its ongoing efforts to enhance and protect human rights at the national, regional, and international levels.
· The UAE continuously evaluates all international treaties and agreements to ensure their alignment with its national legislation and policies, contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights. In this context, the country is currently working on developing the National Human Rights Plan, which will operationalize recommendations from its fourth periodic review, further promoting human rights.
Membership of the United Nations Security Council
· The UAE is committed to supporting mediation efforts, elevate diplomatic solutions for conflicts, and preempt challenges. It aims to achieve the objectives of the Security Council in safeguarding international peace and security.
· The UAE recognizes the importance of maintaining an international system founded on state sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. The UAE seeks to enhance international relations in accordance with international law and United Nations resolutions.
· During its UN Security Council tenure, including two presidencies, the UAE tack played a prominent role in addressing crucial challenges of our time. This included promoting peaceful conflict resolution, prioritizing humanitarian relief, safeguarding peace, addressing global health crises, harnessing innovation, developing the international framework to combat terrorism, supporting gender equality, empowering women, and enhancing their meaningful and equal participation in conflict resolution and peace processes. The UAE also emphasized the use of technology to promote peace, counter-terrorism, and respond to and recover from terrorist acts, among other issues.
· The UAE co-authored the historical Resolution No. 2686 on Tolerance, Peace, and International Security during its second presidency of the Council in June 2023 along with the United Kingdom. The resolution acknowledges for the first time the direct link between hate speech and extremist actions with the proliferation of conflicts their exacerbation and recurrence.
· On the sidelines of the general debate of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a discussion paper aimed at issuing an open global invitation to all members of the international community to work together with new methods and approaches to address the escalating global water scarcity challenge. The aim is to mobilize a coordinated global response to confront this issue, propose a new formula for effective collaboration, and launch a response capable of dealing with this multi-faceted problem, which threatens the security, stability, and prosperity of the world.
The UAE’s Membership in International Organizations
· Since the founding of the Federation, the United Arab Emirates has been keen to strengthen and expand its international relations, through close cooperation with international organizations, and has become a member of more than 150 international organizations in various sectors of international cooperation.
· Within the context of international cooperation and building partnerships that benefit the international community and future generations, in addition to the keenness to participate effectively in international forums and organizations, the UAE attended as a guest country for the second year in a row at the group’s meetings and summits, following its successful participation in the Indonesia summit last year.
· The UAE is dedicated to working with its international partners through the G20 Framework for Action to promote economic growth and equitable development around the world for the fourth time after its successful participation in the G20 in France in 2011. During the recent summit, the country’s participation in launching the Global Biofuels Alliance and establishing the economic corridor reflects its role in supporting and enhancing global trade due to its possession of one of the strongest networks of connections with seaports and decades of investment in building massive ports that allow it to serve global trade movement in a way that ensures flow. Smooth commerce shows its efforts to establish international connections and contribute to a more sustainable future.
· The UAE’s accession to the BRICS group in 2024 will reflect its keenness on multilateralism in supporting peace and development to achieve the well-being and prosperity of peoples and nations around the world, within the framework of its commitment to multilateral action and constructive dialogue that is supported by effective platforms representing developing and emerging economies at the international level.
Foreign Assistance and Development
· The UAE’s efforts in the international community reflect its balanced and responsible approach to dealing with global issues, as it continues to support people affected by crises and disasters without discrimination and works with international partners to build the capabilities of governments and people worldwide.
· In terms of national wealth, the UAE remains one of the top donors of international assistance.
· The UAE’s relief and humanitarian work is distinguished and leading for several reasons, the most notable of which is that it is an institutional work based on the advancement of many official and private bodies, the number of which exceeds 43 institutions and bodies, and its comprehensiveness, as it extends beyond providing material aid to movement to areas of humanitarian crisis, and direct interaction with their problems.
· The UAE has a unique experience in the field of relief and humanitarian work, based on continuity of influence by replacing typical relief operations with the implementation of development projects in the interest of the people of the beneficiary countries, such as building housing and hospitals, power plants, and drilling wells, which has ensured the sustainability of basic resource availability and contributed to improving living conditions in the beneficiary countries. The UAE’s positions are distinguished by its support of development issues and humanitarian cooperation at the global level, which has earned it a position among the top ten donor countries in the world.