UAE to form an independent National Human Rights Authority

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the formation of an independent National Human Rights Authority.

Sheikh Mohammed did so during a cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Watan on Monday, December 14.

Via the new human rights authority, the UAE aims to develop a network of individuals and institutions around the world that empowers vulnerable segments of society.

The authority will be granted financial and administrative independence to carry out its tasks, reported news agency WAM.

“Women, children, labourers, the elderly, people of determination and the vulnerable have rights that must be safeguarded. The authority will advance our country’s efforts in protecting human rights,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

The authority will follow the Paris Principles for the National Human Rights Institutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

During the cabinet meeting a number of other ministerial resolutions and new structures for federal institutions and government councils were also defined.

National Entrepreneurship Council
The cabinet decided to restructure the SME Council and also form a new National Entrepreneurship Council which will be headed by the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs.

Emirates Competitiveness Council
Meanwhile the Emirates Competitiveness Council has also been restructured. The competitiveness council will oversee the implementation of initiatives and plans related to the country’s competitive fields, and evaluate national competitiveness ensuring partnerships between the public and private sector.

“We approved the restructuring of the Emirates Competitiveness Council to begin the new year with a new vision and plan to boost the UAE’s competitiveness. 2021 will be the year of recovery and our government will accelerate the process to no limits,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

The competitiveness council will be headed by the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and will include the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Health and Prevention, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister of Education, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, Minister of Justice, Minister of Community Development, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications and Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, alongside heads of executive offices and representatives across the Emirates.

Executive Regulations of the Federal Law on Antiquities
In another decision made at the meeting, the cabinet approved the issuance of the Executive Regulations of the Federal Law on Antiquities to protect antiquities in times of crises and disasters, and identify archaeological sites.

The move aims to regulate trading of antiquities and to oversee the commitment of city planning departments and municipalities in preserving archaeological sites when designing, planning and implementing projects. It will also monitor the role of relevant entities in training national cadres in excavations and archaeology.

“We adopted the executive regulations of the federal law of antiquities with full commitment of city planning departments to preserve and protect our archaeological sites and train qualified personnel in excavation and archaeology,” stated Sheikh Mohammed.

New organisational structures
The cabinet also adopted new organisational structures for a number of bodies including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

It adopted the formation of the Executive Office of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. Recently, the UAE stated that it will establish a new court to focus on cases related to money laundering and tax evasion crimes.

Read: UAE to establish new court to combat money laundering and tax crimes

The UAE also renewed its commitment to combatting climate change through approving contributions in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.

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