ABU DHABI / WAM
HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, on Tuesday launched the UAE National Action Plan for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The landmark launch is the first for a GCC country and signifies the UAE’s commitment to advancing the role of women in peace and security.
On this occasion, Her Highness said, “I commend the efforts of the General Women’s Union and all national entities; federal, local, and civil society organisations, for their work on the UAE National Action Plan. I would also like to commend the role that UN Women plays in meeting the global commitments towards women, peace, and security. And its position as a global champion of women and girls.”
She added, “We have never lost sight of Arab women or all women of the world in our developmental vision to build their capabilities and develop their skills in all sectors, as well as extend a helping hand to all women at every juncture. The UAE works to strengthen international partnerships and global institutional frameworks that consolidate gender equality, collaboration and partnership, and advancement of women.”
“Our nation also continues to support humanitarian organisations at regional and global levels, to advance women’s work and contribute to improving the lives of women as part of building safe and stable societies.”
HH Sheikha Fatima continued, “In this context, I would like to express my confidence in the ability of women to establish peace and security. We continue to support women, so that they can overcome all obstacles that may stand
in their way and make influential contributions to strengthen the culture of dialogue and peace, and to achieve security, stability and development for their communities and the world.”
Her Highness explained, “As we start The Year of the 50th in the UAE, we are all proud that our country is making outstanding achievements and launching pioneering initiatives to support and empower women, which has earned it a place among the most progressive countries in the world. The UAE continues to support the less fortunate around the world in line with the vision of the late Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers the rulers of the Emirates, who developed an enduring approach that rests on union, hope, optimism, good planning, and
investment of opportunities.”
Her Highness affirmed that the UAE has reached advanced levels in women’s empowerment and is a regional leader on of a number of global indicators.
“This was achieved with the enlightened vision and leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; who are all keen to integrate the protection of women’s rights and interests into the legislation of the UAE and empower women to attain leadership and decision-making positions.”
HH Sheikha Fatima went on to say, “We look forward to the UAE National Action Plan as an opportunity to discover more avenues for international collaboration, exchange of experiences, joint efforts, programmes and initiatives. Ones that contribute to narrowing the development gap between women in different countries and gives more space for women to participate and overcome the existing challenges and cross over to opportunities that achieve peace, prosperity, and progress.”
Her Highness concluded, “The UAE is committed to promoting equality between men and women as a key UAE policy and supports the important role that women play in advancing the process of sustainable development. We also affirm the UAE’s support of UN Women’s programs and initiatives that build a better future for women in the UAE and around the world.”
HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said, “The UAE believes in the important and fundamental role of women across all sectors, as one of the pillars of development that leads all societies to progress and prosperity.”
He added that the launch of the plan is an affirmation of the importance of the roles that women play in these sectors.
HH Sheikh Abdullah stated that the UAE, guided by its leadership, has a firm commitment towards achieving gender equality and enhancing the role of women in society, “We are proud that women in the UAE have become a symbol of our national achievements at various levels. ”
He also congratulated Her Highness Sheikha Fatima on the successful launch of the UAE National Action Plan.
For her part, Noura Al Suwaidi, Secretary-General of the General Women’s Union, said that the launch of the plan represents a major leap in promoting internationally recognised standards for the participation of women in the peace and security, in a way that embodies the ambition of the UAE, and its growing leadership position on the women, peace and security agenda.
She added that the UAE National Plan launch is part of the nation’s vision for the future and its endeavor to support and empower women and girls at the global level, with the support, guidance, wise leadership, and the enlightened vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak.
She noted that the plan aims to respond to gender perspectives in foreign policies, especially those related to humanitarian aid for women and girls, and to prevent and combat violent extremism, as well as plan for emergency response and crisis situations, incorporate gender analysis into the scope of international peace efforts, as well as promote gender equality in humanitarian aid.
It also aims to achieve effective participation of women in conflict prevention, increase their participation in peacebuilding, train women military officers, as well as enhance women’s participation in politics in the country. The UAE National Action Plan supports the women, peace and security agenda through national and international programs, and empowering decision-makers in the GCC and the international community to support women’s contributions to peace building.
She explained that the UAE government is working to develop and implement various campaigns to raise awareness and secure support for the objectives of the UAE National Action Plan, in addition to building the capacity of government officials on the agenda of women, peace and security.
These campaigns also include female employees in the UAE government to help them secure equal representation and ensure that women’s views are factored during the decision-making process. The UAE National Action Plan launch encourages other countries to develop their own national action plans in support of the women, peace and security agenda.
Al Suwaidi concluded by saying that the UAE supports the role of women in peace building as leaders and decision-makers within formal and informal frameworks. It is a founding member of the Women and Peace and Security Focal Points Network (WPS FPN), and one of the countries that introduced UN Security Council resolution 2242, in addition to being an international investor with more than US$US2 billion used to develop programmes related to the protection and empowerment of women and girls in 113 countries.
Moreover, the percentage of foreign aid allocated to the empowerment and protection of women and girls increased during 2021. The UAE believes that this goal, achieving gender equality and empowering and protecting women and girls, is consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Dr Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of the UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC, commented, “UN Women welcomes the UAE government’s commitment to the women, peace, and security agenda. With this important launch of the UAE National Plan, the efforts of all government agencies and stakeholders are centralised and streamlined according to a specific methodology and agreed frameworks.
“This stimulates strong outcomes that support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and security, which urged all member states to implement National Action Plans (NAPs) to accelerate the efforts of all countries in empowering women in peace and security.
“Today, we are pleased that the UAE has joined the ranks of countries that launch national plans to support this important agenda. The UAE National Action Plan will enhance the role of the UAE as a pioneering country in the field of peace and security, especially through capacity building. This launch is a culmination of the UAE’s commitments towards women’s political and economic empowerment, especially during the COVID-19 response and beyond.”
The UN Women values the solid and ongoing collaboration with the government of the UAE, which resulted in many successful projects and initiatives, perhaps the most prominent of which is the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Women, Peace and Security Initiative, she said. “It is a pioneering training programme that builds capacities to advance this important agenda, directly supports the objectives of the UAE National Plan, and increasing efficiency in responding to the needs of women, not only in the UAE, but also around the world.
Officials from the National entities involved in the launch of the UAE National Action Plan for the implementation of UNSCR Resolution 1325 said the that plan brings new momentum for advancing the agenda of women, peace, and security at the regional and global levels, reflecting the UAE’s commitment to achieve equality in peace and security.
With this launch, the UAE joins 84 nations which all launched national plans in support of the women, peace and security agenda which is gaining worldwide recognition as a global priority.
Commenting on the launch, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, remarked, “As the first Gulf country to develop a National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, the UAE has reaffirmed the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace-building, peacekeeping, humanitarian response and in post-conflict reconstruction.”
“The successful development of the National Action Plan reflects the belief of the UAE leadership in the concepts of justice and equality and fundamental respect for human rights. In strengthening internationally recognised standards for peacemaking and conflict resolution under the NAP, the UAE aims to contribute to global discourse and action on women’s participation in government and society,” she noted.
In turn, Matar Salem Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, said that the UAE’s plan affirms the country’s support for the empowerment of women in all sectors, and the effective contribution and consolidation of their role in maintaining security and peace.
The UAE National plan will contribute to preparing women in the local military field, but also in many international initiatives in various areas of policymaking, which guarantee women’s rights in conflict and war zones, and their participation in the drafting of laws and peace negotiations that guarantee their rights and that of their families.
Judge Dr. Saeed Ali Bahbouh Al Naqbi, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, said that the ministry is actively participating in supporting and empowering women in the peace and security sectors, pointing out that women in the UAE are effectively half of society, as they work side by side with men in all areas of life without exception. He added that the founders of the UAE fully believed in these values that are safeguarded by the constitution, which upholds the principle of equality between women and men. In addition to the achievements of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak in empowering Emirati women.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, said that the gender balance successes achieved by the UAE globally are built on constructive collaboration between all ministries and government agencies at a state level, led by the vision of its wise leadership and its directives for the UAE to be at the forefront in all fields with a positive and effective contribution to international efforts.
The plan, which is coordinated by the General Women’s Union, is testament to this collaboration, she noted, adding that the UAE Gender Balance Council is keen to contribute effectively to these integrated national efforts to fulfill the UAE’s commitments globally, through new initiatives in addition to fruitful partnerships, locally and internationally.
Mohammed Saeed Al Niyadi, Director-General of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments, said that the UAE plan will contribute to advancing the agenda for women, peace, and security at the regional and global levels, noting that the authority supports all efforts, initiatives and directives that call for the adoption of national policies and programs that integrate women’s needs in various fields.
Major Dr. Amal Sabah Qambar, Chair of the Specialised Coordination Committee of the Women’s Police, said that the Ministry is working within an integrated governmental work system to ensure that women occupy a special importance in the areas of achieving security, stability, peace, and police work at all levels, through strengthening legislation and adopting supportive initiatives. Among them is the active participation in the formulation and implementation of the national strategy for the empowerment of women in security and peace, which was launched by the General Women’s Union.
14 national entities including federal, local and civil society institutions participated in the preparation of the UAE National Action Plan, including the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Health and Community Protection, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the Ministry of Education, the General Women’s Union, the Islamic Affairs and Endowments Authority, The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the Federal National Council, and the UAE Gender Balance Council, with technical support from the UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC.