JOHANNESBURG – The United Arab Emirates has vowed to continue with its assistance for refugees scattered right across the African continent.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 2nd ordinary session of the 5th parliament of the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa, guest of honour Rt. Hon. Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, who is also the president of the Federal National Council of United Arab Emirates, said the UAE accorded high importance to the issue of refugees who fled their country as a result of conflicts and unstable situations. She said his country would therefore, continue with various forms of assistance meant to alleviate the problem.
“As part of UAE’s human and moral value of tolerance, respect for all cultures, religion and human races, and of its culture of helping the needy and contributing to alleviating the suffering, UAE and UNHCR have signed a $4 million agreement to provide emergency response to Southern Sudanese refugees in Uganda, which is in line with the pledge made by UAE during the ‘Uganda Solidarity Conference on Refugees’ held in Kampala in 2017,” said Al Qubaisi.
“Moreover, the UAE has also responded to the suffering of the refugees in Somalia, Rohingya,Syria, Bosnia Herzegovina and other countries.”
Dr. Al Qubaisi also took time to express her appreciation and gratitude for the acceptance of Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates as the observing member of the Pan-African Parliament. She believed the membership would allow both parliaments as well as its parliamentarians to work closer than ever, in the process reflecting the extent to which Africa and UAE’s shared interests, history and future are intertwined.
“The Federal National council being an observing member in the Pan-African Parliament means that we have better understanding of the issues that are critical to you and we are in a better place to coordinate efforts and responses to common challenges and opportunities,” said Dr Al Qubaisi.
While some might view Africa as a development challenge, UAE’s view of Africa is that of a continent with great opportunities which can easily be unlocked by economic intergration however, for its potential to be unlocked Africa needs to be a safe place for its critical economic players.
“Africa, for so long has been seen as a development challenge, but we see in Africa an opportunity that economic intergration brings. When comes to trade, food security, environment, or energy and climate change, we see great opportunity for cooperation. However, to unlock the potential we need to work on making Africa safe, safe for its people,for its investors and its neighbours. Security is the foundation of development, and the human being is the foundation of security,” said Dr Al Qubaisi.