ICRC values UAE humanitarian contributions in Yemen.

The UAE’s soft power policy is a great profile that contributes to the positive reputation boasted by the UAE outside this region, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, has said.

In an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency, WAM, ICRC President, Peter Maurer, commended the significant humanitarian role played by the UAE in Yemen.

“Over the last couple of years, we have been increasingly cooperating with the UAE. The beginning was through our presence in the Dubai Humanitarian City, then we cooperated across multiple humanitarian responses. We very much appreciate the support of the UAE for the activities of ICRC across the world, specially in Yemen. I have been specially encouraged by my meeting today with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, as well as my meeting yesterday with H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

“The meetings helped chart the way forward to cementing cooperation in areas of training and education. I am very happy and satisfied with how this kind of collaboration is progressing,” Maurer told WAM on the sidelines of an interactive discussion session yesterday on, “Effective Diplomacy in Humanitarian Action”, organised by the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Speaking of current channels of collaboration with the UAE main humanitarian aid provider, the international official said that the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, is a “valued partner of ICRC wherever we work and under whatever context we operate. We work with national societies and sometimes these societies work on their own, but ultimately they work with both the Red Crescent and Red Cross movement, which is committed to impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian work. It goes without saying that the ERC is a valued partner of ICRC throughout the world.”

The ICRC President commended the philosophy adopted by the UAE in its generous foreign aid. A philosophy, he affirmed, is not governed by politics, neither is it restricted by gender, race or religion. “This is the philosophy under which we operate. The ICRC adopts an approach of impartial and neutral humanitarian work, which is based on needs and not on any alliances, religion or culture. This is the very philosophy we adopt towards all the conflicts we address today. It is the most practical approach in today’s world. In order to work in this field, you have to respect international humanitarian law and that is the basic framework according to which international humanitarian work has to be done. We don’t do assistance work only, we also engage with ‘belligerents’, so they behave and comply with necessary rules and regulations.”

On the significance of the Soft Power Council established by the UAE government earlier this year, the ICRC President said, “As a Swiss diplomat who has been in charge of soft power diplomacy in Switzerland, I can only add a personal note which is I truly appreciate, value and cherish when a country develops soft power skills, and engages in negotiated solutions to convince conflicting parties of using non-military means to achieve stability. I appreciate every country and every political actor who is investing in, and developing, skills of soft power. I think it is a great profile which contributes to the positive reputation of the UAE outside this region and a promising way forward for a policy of a country.”

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs