The Sustainable Development Goals in United Arab Emirates
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in the United Arab Emirates:
12 January 2023
UN in UAE Working Together as One
Marking the UN’s 77 years of humanity, and over 51 years of strategic partnership with the UAE, “ONE UN in UAE” is a digital campaign launched to highlight the collective role of the United Nations, working together to achieve common goals in and with the UAE. The UN in the UAE is working hand in hand for a better future, with over 30 UN agencies covering the UAE. The UN in the UAE’s work spans across various areas and sectors, with all UN agencies progressing towards a better future through their collective efforts. For the past 51 years, the UN agencies in the UAE have all left their mark by providing the needed voice for cultural and educational advancements, children and women rights advocacy, as well as international reach to neighboring countries and across the globe especially during emergencies and humanitarian crises. The largest World Food Programme’s (WFP) logistics hub globally is in Dubai. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) can reach all 6 regions from the UAE, with its fast response and strategic location. The work of the UN agencies in the UAE covers many fields, from humanitarian, education, biodiversity, climate action, tourism, technology and even cultural, while keeping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of their work. The video sheds light on some of the educational and cultural efforts by UNESCO and UNICEF, while achieving their national priorities. While other UN agencies such as UNFPA and UNHCR, focus their efforts on leaving no one behind. With a focus on gender equality, UN Women and World Trade Organization are also empowering more women into their portfolios and programs. Aligning with the countries sustainability efforts and environmental policies, the preservation of native species such as the dugongs and integrating technologies in agriculture for food security are important to the work of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Recognizing the power of partnerships, the UN Global Compact convenes the private sector to deliver on their sustainability business targets through the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with over 17,000 companies across 165 countries and with a local network in UAE. Similarly, the work of the United Nations cannot be achieved without the help of its motivated and committed young volunteers, which is how the UN Volunteers extends its support to the UN system, making sure to integrate young talents with the collective work of the UN whenever needed. The work of the UN agencies in the UAE is carried out with dedication and passion towards helping the world become a better place. To know more about the UN agencies, work and progress in the UAE, watch the video series and hear directly from UN staff members who share about their work and experiences here.
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13 December 2022
United Nations, 77 years of service to humanity
Marking the UN's 77 years of service to humanity, the organization's ongoing strategic collaboration with the UAE government for more than 50 years was highlighted by the office of the UN Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates hosted a series of outreach events across the UAE. In a special media event hosted by Dubai Media City (DMC), the UN in UAE commemorated this year's UN Day by convening members and staff of the United Nations Country Team for the UAE, the media outlets, and partners such as the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra (EYSO) who stunned the audience with a special performance. The Orchestra, based in Dubai Media City and home to some of the UAE’s leading young musicians, exemplified through music, the UN’s core objective of peace. The UN in the UAE also launched a short video titled "United Nations Day in UAE," which highlights a collective celebration of the UN's Day. The event also highlighted captivating stories from UN staff members who shared their stories from the field and what it means to be a United Nations staff in service of humanity. “The UAE has always been a supporter of the UN’s global, regional and local efforts toward sustainable development. The UN in UAE continues to work together to realize our shared vision of a better world for all. We are proud to be convening the UN system and commemorating UN Day with our partners Dubai Media City and the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra. The United Nations is built on the spirit of hope; and today as we mark the UN Day, we renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity,” said Mageed Yahia, UN Resident Coordinator ad interim for the UAE, and WFP Director in the UAE and Representative to the GCC. And as part of the celebrations, the UN emblem was projected on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the ADNOC building in Abu Dhabi on the same day. The United Nations will continue its efforts around the globe and advance its prosperous relationship with the UAE and the ongoing strategic relationship for over 50 years and counting.
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25 January 2023
Reflections of Resilience: A Photographic Journey of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
Under the theme of “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls”, the United Nations Women Liaison Office for the GCC (UN Women) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) joined efforts for the 2022 campaign to produce a photo exhibition in the UAE, during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence; which is a campaign that has been active since 1991. Starting on the 25th of November of each year, coinciding with the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, the campaign continues for 16 days and ends on the International Human Rights Day on the 10th of December each year. While the fight for ending all forms of gender-based violence is an all year mission, the 16-days campaign is a reaffirmation for the world to scale its efforts, as it calls on governments, civil society, women's organizations, youth, the private sector, the media and the entire UN system to come together to address and put an end to the global scourge of violence against women and girls. “The concept of violence against women is not limited to physical or physical abuse, rather its concept extends to include all manifestations of discrimination against women and deprivation of their human rights.” “One in three women will experience violence at least once in their lifetime. And in times of crisis, these percentages increase, as shown by the COVID-19 pandemic and other humanitarian crises, conflicts and disasters caused by climate change.” Gender-based violence disproportionately affects women and girls, and in situations of displacement, their risk of exposure to gender-based violence increases. With UN Women's mandate and UNHCR’s primary purpose to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees and people who were forced to flee, both organizations strive to ensure that women and girls, and particularly those in vulnerable contexts, are protected against gender-based violence. The UN Women-UNCHR joint exhibition in Abu Dhabi, featured photographs that captured women from around the world, who were subject to different forms of violence. Through the photography lens of professional photographers, powerful stories of resilience are unraveled aiming to change the narrative by speaking up against it. “The costs of violence against women are very high. They include the direct costs of services for the treatment and support of women victims of abuse and their children, and for the prosecution of perpetrators of such abuse and indirect costs such as loss of work and productivity as well as psychological pain and suffering.” Along with the photographs, the exhibition included quotes that introduced the audience to the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence” campaign and its mission and objectives. The quotes also highlighted the different forms of violence that women and girls face, as it also emphasized on the harmful repercussions of violence on the lives of women and girls. It also provided solutions on ways to combat all forms of violence against women and girls. The joint exhibition was featured during a two-day high level event, under the title: “The Arab Declaration for the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women and Girls”. Organized by the UAE National Human Right Committee in cooperation with the UN Women Liaison Office for the GCC, the League of Arab States and the General Women's Union, the conference focused on exchanging best practices in combating violence against women and girls regionally. Millions of women around the world continue to suffer from violence in various forms. UN Women elaborates on how the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence awareness activities and interventions can change attitudes and influence people's behavior to prevent and eliminate violence against women at the local, national and international levels. Activities range from government campaigns to inform women about existing laws to prevent and punish violence, to holding meetings at the community and village levels on the negative effects of violence against women, to projects involving men and boys in combating violence against women. Orange the World: Do you know why orange is the official color for this campaign? Globally, the orange color was chosen for the campaign, because it symbolizes a bright future free from all forms of violence based on gender around the world. Several monuments and important buildings around the world lit up in orange each year to send a message that violence against women is unacceptable and must end now. Since 2018, UN Women in the UAE has led the coordination with government partners and other institutions such as the General Women's Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and various partners, to ensure that many iconic buildings across the UAE, such as Burj Khalifa and Dubai Frame, are lit up in orange in solidarity with the campaign. UN Women also launches an annual social media campaign inviting partners from all sectors to pledge their support and participate by taking concrete action to end violence against women and girls globally. Join the movement and learn more on how you can raise awareness.
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13 October 2022
The National: Climate change is a battle for the future of the human species, warns UN official
Climate change is a battle for the future of the human species and this is still not being grasped by many people in the Middle East and North Africa, the UN’s top official in the UAE has said. Dena Assaf, UN resident co-ordinator in the UAE, told The National that the average person may not realise the impact rising temperatures will have on them, their children or their grandchildren. Speaking on Wednesday on the sidelines of the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai, Ms Assaf said people needed to ask themselves if they wanted the human species to become extinct. The Middle East, with its already scorching temperatures, is warming faster, scientists say, meaning more drought, heatwaves and water shortages. You can be an agent for change within your circle of influence. Turn off the lights when you go to bed. Dena Assaf, UN Resident Coordinator for the UAE “The impact of rising temperatures … is worse for us here,” she said. “People ask: ‘what has it got to do with me? That’s for the government or the UN to address'. But from the UN’s perspective, it is through collective action we make the difference.” The urgency for action is clear. This year extraordinary heatwaves hit parts of the world. Temperatures exceeded 40ºC in the UK for the first time in history. Extreme heat also affected countries including India, the US, Australia, Spain, Germany and China, while devastating floods inundated Pakistan. Scientists predict that these events will become more common and deadly. “Today, I almost teared up a little bit in the venue looking at all the people and thinking to myself, 'in the end we are talking about the survival of our species',” Ms Assaf said. “Earth doesn’t care and probably would be really happy. But do we want to keep our species alive? Do we want our future generations to be like these dystopian movies we watch where they live underground or in caves and become robot-like because the environment has become so polluted? If we don’t take care of our habitat we will become extinct.” Over the next 18 months, two key climate change conferences will take place in the region. COP27 will be held in Egypt in November, while the UAE hosts COP28 next year. At the UN General Assembly on September 20, Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged countries to uphold their climate pledges made under the Paris deal. Agreed in 2015 and signed by about 200 countries, the Paris climate accord aims to limit global temperature rises to 1.5ºC, and to keep them “well below” 2.0ºC above pre-industrial levels. At COP26 in Glasgow last November, governments reiterated their commitment to keeping “1.5ºC alive.” But many say the countries are simply not moving fast enough. “Having two Cops back to back in an area where [climate change] is not a joke means we could shift dialogue to a leadership role,” Ms Assaf said. “Do we want to be extinct like the dinosaurs? It is really about our species.” But she sees signs of hope — particularly among youngsters — that the anti-environmental habits of old are being dispensed with. “As humans, we have evolved,” said Ms Assaf. “We don’t live in caves any more. I think we are going through another evolutionary change where [environmentally unfriendly practices] we thought were acceptable are becoming unacceptable. “In our lifetime, throwing a can out of a car used to not be a big deal. But not any more. It is a slow process but it represents a global revolution. If you have people moving in that direction of course it will make an impact.” With only weeks to go before COP27 takes place in Egypt, the two-day World Green Economy Summit in Dubai brings together experts, officials and ministers from several countries to drive the global sustainability agenda. The conference in Sharm El Sheikh begins more than a year of intense regional activity that places the Arab World at the center of protecting the world’s environment. For Ms Assaf, the message is simple: “You can be an agent for change within your circle of influence. Turn off the lights when you go to bed.” - - - Article originally written by John Dennehy and published by the National News online and in print. View here.
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22 March 2022
15 June 2021
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