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UAE shines in spotlight from shadow report on human rights



Kuumar Kavita Shyam

Leading voices from various fields and representing some well-known organisations around the world have expressed appreciation for efforts from the UAE on matters concerning aspects of human rights.

The comments came on the occasion of the launch of the shadow report on human rights in the UAE, in preparation for reviewing the official report that the UAE will submit to the UN Human Rights Council in May.
Media and human rights experts from around the world got an audience with some prominent global names through a webinar on Zoom where each cited studies or real-life examples of how the UAE has led the discussion or took charge of activities to make the world a better place.

It was worth noting, heard the forum of special invitees including, that the UAE has now been a member of the UNHRC for three terms, most recently being the current spell from 2022-2024 as it also continues to co-operate with international organisations and parties.

On September 15, 2020, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed the Abraham Accords at the White House, US, in the presence of president Donald Trump. AP

The panelists spoke on topics such as religious tolerance, peace, education, gender equality, domestic crime rates, terrorism, money laundering, individual freedom, etc, and how the UAE held up on such parameters.

Recent projects such as the initiation of Abraham Accords or proactiveness in getting assistance to the earthquake-affected Turkiye and Syria also came up for special highlights in championing the case for the UAE.

The shadow report is the report prepared by non-governmental bodies in response to the official report submitted by each member state of the Council periodically, with a frequency of once every four years, to the UNHRC.

Before presenting the official report, in which each country talks about its human rights record, the official authorities wishing to do so present their report on the development of the human rights situation, in what is known as the shadow report. It is a parallel report of the official report from the relevant countries.

More than 13 Arab, European and international human rights organisations and 17 experts from around the world participated in the preparation of this report.

Ayman Nasri, Head of the Arab-European Forum for Dialogue and Human Rights, an entity with an advisory capacity at the UN, shared the majoritarian view that the UAE’s track record in human rights has been praised by various quarters in the international community.

Eric Gozlan, Co-Director of International Council for Diplomacy and Dialogue, spoke about how the UAE showed courage to start the Abraham Accords dialogues with Israel, have let a synagogue to open – incidentally, media got a tour of the site at Saadiyat Island barely hours after he spoke – and visits by the Pope and Grand Imam as examples towards co-existence that impressed him.

The UAE example proves that there is no tolerance without peace, and there is no peace without tolerance, Gozlan added.

Dr Manal Masalmi, a human rights expert, discussed the UAE’s efforts to empower women, highlighting how successfully the country has integrated women into society and how it has developed a cutting-edge plan to strengthen the role of the family and its empowerment.

The president of the Bahraini Jurists Association, Dr Abdul-Jabbar Al-Tayeb, stated that the subject of human rights is connected to a variety of topics, including climate change and digitalisation, previously regarded to be unrelated to human rights.

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of Now managing editor of, part of MEMc (


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