UAE’s Permanent Representative to the UN emphasises Sheikha Fatima’s role in promoting gender equality

WAM NEW YORK, 5th December, 2013 (WAM) — Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, has emphasised the leading role of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in guiding national efforts aimed to promote gender equality, the advancement of women in all areas of life, and the enhancement of the role of women to become essential contributors to the country’s economic and political development.

Ambassador Nusseibeh was invited to participate as a panellist at a Stakeholders Forum Meeting convened on 4th and 5th December by UN Women, the United Nations agency dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting aimed to review the challenges in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, related to gender equality and the advancement of women.

In her statement, Nusseibeh thanked UN Women for the positive role they have played in placing women’s issues at the front and centre of the development agenda. She said that she supported Lakshmi Puri’s views in her call to accelerate the implementation of the MDGs as 2015 approaches. Ambassador Nusseibeh also stressed the urgency of providing assistance to the most vulnerable groups of women in areas of conflict, both in the Middle East region and globally.

In her statement, she reflected on the UAE’s achievements in the areas of gender equality and women’s empowerment, and noted that the U.A.E. ranks first in the region in educational parity between boys and girls, according to the World Gender Gap Report 2013, published by the World Economic Forum.

Ms. Nusseibeh said, “This success is a direct result of the vision adopted by the leadership of the U.A.E. initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, first President and founder of the U.A.E. 42 years ago. Such a vision was further developed and implemented by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak through her leadership of the General Women’s Union, and the Family Development Foundation which have played instrumental roles in the development of the necessary national legislation to empower women across all sectors.” When discussing the practical lessons the U.A.E. can offer the international community in terms of looking at the challenges of achieving the MDGs and gender equality, Ambassador Nusseibeh said, “A key lesson we in the U.A.E. can share is the necessity of having government- driven policies to translate the vision of the U.A.E.’s leadership into legislation on equality. This has been vital to achieving concrete progress on women’s rights in the U.A.E.. Challenges remain and we are working towards not only having the right legislative framework in place, but also ensuring its implementation across all sectors.” WAM/ES/CM

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