Her Excellence Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, reflected on the UAE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic with AJC’s Jason Isaacson.
“In a world that is likely to be hit by other pandemics in the future, we need to break the cycle of ‘panic and neglect.’ That’s not an option anymore,” stressed Ambassador Nusseibeh, explaining how the lessons learned from previous epidemics that affected the UAE prompted the government to move quickly in enabling large-scale COVID-19 testing.
In discussing the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, Ambassador Nusseibeh explained how the UAE has enacted a zero-tolerance approach to incitement and hate speech. She reiterated the country’s stance that anti-Semitism and other sentiments of this kind are misdirected and unacceptable, before reaffirming the UAE’s responsibility in protecting expatriates. Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted the Abrahamic Family House Initiative as a sign of the UAE’s commitment to instilling a narrative of unity in the region.
“The Abrahamic Family House Initiative shows what is possible when human beings move away from narratives of fear of each other, and towards understanding that we and our differences represent the best in humanity,” said Ambassador Nusseibeh.
Ambassador Nusseibeh elaborated on the UAE’s international aid, highlighting the country’s air bridge operation with the UN, which saw 85% of the PPE for WHO’s global response transferred through the UAE. Since January, the country has provided over 472 metric tons of aid to over 43 countries, supporting nearly 500,000 medical professionals in the fight against COVID-19.
“Providing medical and humanitarian assistance to countries in the region and beyond is critical to curbing the spread of COVID-19, and the UAE is committed to doing all that it can to stamp out the virus,” said Ambassador Nusseibeh.