DUBAI, – An exhibition at the UN Hub at Expo 2020 Dubai, titled ‘The United Nations and the United Arab Emirates: Working together for a better future’ opened on Monday, 6 December. Visitors are taken on a visual journey celebrating the UAE’s Golden Jubilee and relationship of cooperation with the UN. The exhibition includes photographic timelines of key moments, as well as facts and figures about the areas in which partnerships have been built.
Dr Dena Assaf, the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates and Deputy Commissioner General for the UN at Expo 2020 Dubai, said the UN works with the UAE in development, humanitarian aid, maintaining international peace and security, and in the fields of culture and health through UNICEF, UNESCO and many other entities.
Dr Assaf said: “We wanted to highlight to the regular visitor here at Expo who may be wondering: what is the role of the United Nations with the UAE, to give them an understanding to see some of the key areas of our cooperation. So, from working in the environment to working on women, peace, and security, or even on the partnership between the UN and the UAE on humanitarian aid.”
Dr Assaf added that the UN is working with the UAE in areas such as food security, by finding scientific solutions to promote agricultural methods compatible with a desert environment, in order to achieve sustainability. She also highlighted the significant role played by the UAE in supporting sustainable development across the world, by playing home to the world’s largest aid hub, International Humanitarian City.
Dino Francescutti, Sub-Regional Director for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen, and FAO Representative in the UAE said FAO’s partnership with the UAE has grown in many areas. “Clearly, the overriding theme is food security… and nowadays also climate change… The fact is that we will be able to have the COP28 here in the United Arab Emirates [in 2023]. We’re very excited about this. We will be working hand in hand with the United Arab Emirates.
“We feel that this partnership with the UAE has only started. There is so much more to do together. The UAE is a leader on key topics like food security, like climate change and we want to go side by side in all the challenges FAO is facing for the benefit of the country but also for the benefit of many other countries.” Muktar Farah, Head of Office United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in UAE (OCHA) underlined the long history of working with the UAE: “In 2015, we developed the first emergency manual for responding to emergencies globally and it was translated into Arabic. This was a joint work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation… OCHA has been working closely with the UAE because the government of the UAE provides humanitarian assistance globally.
“The UAE government has been [in] the top five in providing humanitarian financing through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which is a global fund that is managed by OCHA at a global level for responding to various emergencies. We have also been working very closely on the issue of protection, providing support [for issues of] gender-based violence and women empowerment in particular.” Cultural heritage and preservation also feature strongly at the exhibition. Zaki Aslan, Regional Director of The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) at UNESCO, said: “The office is working with the [UAE] Ministry of Culture and various relevant institutions with the aim of protecting Arab heritage and archaeological sites, such as in Iraq, through the restoration of Al-Nouri Mosque and Al-Hadba Minaret in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
“The office is working to [regulate] the antiquities trade through collaboration with various relevant authorities in the UAE and the region, such as customs and the police, not only to stop theft but also to update relevant national laws.” The exhibition runs until 11 December 2021 at the UN Hub in the Opportunity District at Expo 2020 Dubai.
UN-UAE exhibition takes visitors on a visual journey of years of co-operation
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