New York – The Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations in New York marked the International Day of Tolerance on 16 November.

Tolerance is a fundamental pillar of the UAE’s foreign policy, which is reflected in the UAE’s deep commitment to the principles of mutual respect, dialogue, cooperation, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, and renouncement of violence and extremism. Believing that the UN is an important forum to promote these principles at the global level, the UAE is guided by the UN Charter that calls on nations to “practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours”.

Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN, spoke about the UAE’s efforts promoting tolerance – as part of building peaceful and inclusive societies – at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, DC, on 15 November. Ambassador Nusseibeh highlighted the work of Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Tolerance, and her efforts to promote tolerance, multiculturalism, and acceptance both in the UAE, and beyond. Ambassador Nusseibeh stated that the regional impact of Sheikha Lubna’s work is more important than ever – at a time when extremists are trying to reverse decades of advances in creating peaceful and prosperous societies. 

Ambassador Nusseibeh emphasized the UAE’s model as a progressive, stable society built on the principles of inclusion and acceptance of others. She particularly highlighted the role that women have played since the founding of the country in establishing and maintaining the UAE’s successful model of moderation and peaceful coexistence, benefiting all of the more than 200 nationalities who make the UAE their home.

The panel discussion was the fourth Sheikha Fatima Lecture on the role of women in peacebuilding. The lecture series recognizes Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi, wife of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder and First President of the UAE, and her commitment to advocating for the participation of women as equal partners in building and growing the nation. Other speakers included Ambassadors Melanne Verveer and Swanee Hunt, as well as USIP President Nancy Lindborg. The event was widely attended by policymakers, academics, and members of civil society.

At the UN, the UAE is committed to advancing principles of sustainable and inclusive development, drawing on its national experience. In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development last year, the UAE and other UN Member States pledged to work towards a just, equitable, tolerant, open and socially inclusive world.

In the context, the UAE is particularly aware of the central role that youth play in preserving and advancing this agenda, and in confronting and rejecting the nihilistic ideologies propagated by Da’esh and other proponents of hatred and division. At the UN, the UAE shares its model that fosters the ambitions of youth to live up to their potential, and to contribute to social development. The UAE believes in working with youth to ensure they are offered a vision of the future that empowers them to seize opportunities and make positive choices about their lives.