Foreign Ministry responds to US Statement Department Report 2008

Abu Dhabi, 26 Feb. 2009 (WAM) – The Foreign ministry issued a statement today in response to the US State Department human rights report 2008.

In the statement, the Ministry said: The UAE presented a full picture of its human rights situation at the UN Council on human rights in Geneva. Our report outlined the progress and challenges of human rights in the country, describing both the achievements and hurdles that we face and identified key areas for improvement.

The UAE presented a comprehensive and balanced picture to the UN Council, measuring our progress in human rights and our shortcomings. On receiving the US State Department’s section on human rights in the UAE, we note various generalities and unsubstantiated statements. We also agree with some of the challenges that we face. The report does not however portray a comprehensive or full picture of the open and tolerant society that the UAE has developed into and many areas of the report are general and dependent on hear say.

As in many other countries, when human rights are discussed value systems are an important component of judgments and observations. Many practices in the UAE with regards to marriage, inheritance and even prisoner pardons on national occasions are part and parcel of our traditional and religious value system and as such are difficult to judge by differing value systems.

Naturally, human rights developments continue to be an urgent work in progress and we follow with interest the publication of these reports. At the same time we urge that such reports are only as good as the methodologies and substantiated evidence that they utilize in making their assessments of other countries.

The US Human rights report on UAE can be found at thus web site http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/nea/119129.htm