The UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) hosted 750 Ambassadors, senior UN officials and prominent New York City community leaders on Monday to celebrate the 43rd UAE National Day.

The celebration was held at New York Public Library’s iconic Astor Hall and featured an exhibition of contemporary Emirati photography. Among the guests were UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and the President of the 69th General Assembly Sam Kutesa, who praised the UAE’s support for the important work of the UN during his remarks.

In her remarks, UAE Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, spoke about the UAE’s strong relationship with the City of New York, through partnerships like NYU Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Museum on Saadiyat Island, and New York’s GlobalFoundries and Mubadala. These social and economic links between New York and the UAE are reinforced by the 70-plus direct flights per week that connect the two locations. Ambassador Nusseibeh also talked about the UAE’s priorities at the UN, including sustainable development, humanitarian aid and renewable energy, as well as a range of initiatives to empower women and girls.

Ambassador Nusseibeh introduced the photo exhibition, entitled Ruh al Itihad – Spirit of the Union – which featured stunning imagery from UAE archives as well as emerging and established Emirati photographers, reflecting the timeless beauty of the landscape and the country’s unique ecosystem. “This exhibit is a timely reminder that there can be peace, tolerance, hope, and prosperity in the Middle East. The wisdom and long-term vision of our leadership centers around protecting our nation’s culture and heritage while embracing modernity and driving social and economic development.” Ambassador Nusseibeh ended her remarks by expressing thanks on behalf of HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, to Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Coordinator for her efforts and leadership at the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

During President Kutesa’s remarks, he thanked His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, for his commitment to the issues of great importance at the UN, including the UAE’s leadership in the field of renewable energy. He also commended the UAE’s contribution to the global development agenda.

The reception was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Faisal Al Qassmi as well as senior UN officials, including Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Lakshmi Puri.