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Gargash Chairs first meeting of National Human Rights Committee

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The National Human Rights Committee held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and in the presence of representatives of numerous government agencies to discuss the latest human rights issues in the country.
At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Gargash underscored that the Committee’s establishment comes as part of efforts to strengthen the national human rights framework as a central mechanism following up on human rights developments in the UAE. Moreover, it plays a vital role in supporting national efforts to promote human rights, as well as reinforce regional and international partnerships.
During the meeting, the Committee reviewed the latest developments in human rights files in the UAE and discussed preparations for the national human rights plan that will serve as a comprehensive and integrated national human rights framework.
The Committee was also briefed on the establishment of the Independent National Human Rights Committee in accordance with the Paris Principles.
He noted in this regard that the Interim Committee entrusted with developing the structural and legal framework completed the draft law on its establishment and is pending the completion of procedures for the issuance of the law, after which the project is to be presented before the Federal National Council.
The Committee also reviewed the UAE’s obligations under international human rights conventions and adopted the fourth draft report on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The Committee followed up on the implementation of recommendations accepted by the UAE as part of the Universal Periodic Review for human rights in January 2018 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In this context, Dr. Gargash stressed the UAE’s keenness to strengthen cooperation with various UN human rights bodies to fulfill its international obligations.
The Committee will organise a number of programmes, activities, and workshops to increase education, raise awareness, and build capacity in the human rights field.
The establishment of the National Human Rights Committee came at the discretion of the Council of Ministers in October 2019. The Committee was launched 10 years after establishing the Permanent Committee to follow up on the UAE Comprehensive Human Rights Report in 2010. This change reflected efforts to keep pace with human rights developments and requirements as part of the UAE’s commitment to strengthening national human rights mechanisms.
It will liaise between all human rights bodies in the country and supervise the implementation of a comprehensive national plan while developing policies and programmes to raise awareness and build capacity in the human rights field. It will also work on strengthening cooperation with regional organisations, UN human rights bodies, and other countries in this regard.
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Dubai Chamber, DAFZA collaborate to connect digital services

DUBAI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Dubai’s ease of doing business is expected to improve further following the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s announcement that it is cooperating with the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority, DAFZA, to connect the digital services of both organisations.

Under the terms of the new partnership, companies can register as Dubai Chamber members, or renew their existing membership, through DAFZA’s digital platform.

The strategic move will expand digital services available to Dubai Chamber member companies and the wider business community in Dubai amid heightened demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the collaboration supports the Chamber’s efforts to boost the emirate’s attractiveness as a global business hub.

The announcement was made after a meeting held by the two entities, which was attended by Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of the Dubai Chamber, and Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director-General of DAFZA, and other officials and directors.

During the meeting, representatives from the Dubai Chamber and DAFZA discussed existing synergies between the two organisations and prospects for future cooperation, in addition to new ways to best utilise their potential to drive sustainable economic growth in Dubai and ensure the business continuity.

“Our cooperation with DAFZA is a major step forward in our efforts to advance Dubai’s digital transformation and contribute to the Dubai Paperless Strategy. The move strengthens our Smart Chamber approach, which has resonated with our members as we have seen significant improvements in customer satisfaction after shifting more of our services online,” Buamim said.

“The DAFZA is a pioneer in adopting cutting-edge digital solutions that contribute to providing services to customers, taking into consideration the global orientations of different economic and business sectors. Our cooperation with Dubai Chamber reflects the commitment of DAFZA to continuing on its distinguished digital journey,” Dr. Al Zarooni said.

“Considering the current situation because of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected many global economic sectors, our priority is to support businesses to the best of our capacity and ensure their operational effectiveness. This aligns with government objectives to limit the impact of this pandemic, ensure the continuity of businesses and underline Dubai’s position on the economic map as a rewarding destination for investment,” Al Zarooni added.

The Chamber’s announcement follows a similar collaboration with Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority, JAFZA, under which membership services were offered through the Dubai Trade portal.

 

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New drone law will help tap vast new opportunities, strengthen Dubai’s position in aviation sector: Ahmed bin Saeed

DUBAI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The Dubai Aviation City Corporation, DACC, and its affiliated corporations Dubai South and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, DAEP, welcomed the enactment of Law No. 04 of 2020 on the regulation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs, or drones by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, saying it will help generate substantial new opportunities and business streams that will further strengthen the emirate’s regional and global position in the aviation sector.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, said, “The new law represents a strategic step to reinforce the emirate’s leadership in the global smart aviation sector. DACC and its affiliated corporations are playing an integral role in creating a supportive environment for businesses in this sector as part of Dubai’s broader transformation into the world’s smartest city. As a future-ready city, Dubai is on track to becoming an international centre for drone manufacturing, smart transport, and innovation in air transport. I am grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his forward-looking vision and determination to strengthen the sector in Dubai and position the emirate as a global pioneer.”
The law will regulate the operations of unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial and government purposes in Dubai while also paving the way to attract drone companies and expertise to the emirate. The growth of this sector will revolutionise many industries and open new avenues in the fields of transportation of goods and passengers, design and manufacturing, delivery services, drone-related educational and training, and R&D.
The law, which was the result of extensive collaboration between several government entities, including Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and DACC, seeks to support His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for Dubai to become the aviation capital of the world and support the development of the futuristic ‘Dubai SkyDome’ project.
The law supports DACC’s mandate to create a conducive environment to attract investments in the aviation industry and promote Dubai as an international air transport hub. It also supports DAEP’s mandate to advance Dubai’s aviation sector by developing the world’s largest and most sophisticated aviation infrastructure.
The law will facilitate the development of the drone sector and help attract international companies specialised in drones to establish their businesses in Dubai, especially in Dubai South’s unique aerospace platform, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Aerospace. Logistics and e-commerce companies in Dubai South will benefit from the law, which provides a clear legal framework for transporting and delivering goods and packages using drones.
DAEP will be responsible for designing and supervising the construction of drone airports for the government’s use, including related facilities and infrastructure. It will also be the government arm authorised to approve engineering designs related to private drone airports and issue completion certificates for such airports.
The legal framework created by the law will provide a solid foundation for e-commerce and logistics companies to take advantage of innovation in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Comprising ten chapters and 50 articles on the regulation of drone activities in Dubai and the roles of various government entities in this regard, the law clarifies responsibilities related to the governance of drone activities and their permitted commercial, government, recreational, research and educational uses, as well as their registration process. The law also outlines guidelines for drone operations; operators and their obligations; infrastructure development related to drones, including airports, permitted fly zones, airspace design and management and air paths for drones; permitted altitudes for drones activities, and protection of data gathered by drones, among others.
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WAM NEWS

Gargash chairs first meeting of National Human Rights Committee

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The National Human Rights Committee held its first meeting under the chairmanship of Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and in the presence of representatives of numerous government agencies to discuss the latest human rights issues in the country.
During the meeting, Gargash underscored that the committee’s establishment comes as part of efforts to strengthen the national human rights framework as a central mechanism following up on human rights developments in the UAE. Moreover, it plays a vital role in supporting national efforts to promote human rights, as well as reinforce regional and international partnerships.
The committee also reviewed the latest developments in human rights files in the UAE and discussed preparations for the national human rights plan that will serve as a comprehensive and integrated national human rights framework. The committee was also briefed on the establishment of the Independent National Human Rights Committee in accordance with the Paris Principles.
The UAE minister noted in this regard that the Interim Committee entrusted with developing the structural and legal framework completed the draft law on its establishment and is pending the completion of procedures for the issuance of the law, after which the project is to be presented before the Federal National Council.
The committee also reviewed the UAE’s obligations under international human rights conventions and adopted the fourth draft report on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. It also followed up on the implementation of recommendations accepted by the UAE as part of the Universal Periodic Review for human rights in January 2018 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Dr. Gargash stressed the UAE’s keenness to strengthen cooperation with various UN human rights bodies to fulfill its international obligations.
The committee will organise a number of programmes, activities, and workshops to increase education, raise awareness, and build capacity in the human rights field. The establishment of the National Human Rights Committee came at the discretion of the Council of Ministers in October 2019. The committee was launched ten years after establishing the Permanent Committee to follow up on the UAE Comprehensive Human Rights Report in 2010. This change reflected efforts to keep pace with human rights developments and requirements as part of the UAE’s commitment to strengthening national human rights mechanisms.
The committee will liaise between all human rights bodies in the country and supervise the implementation of a comprehensive national plan while developing policies and programmes to raise awareness and build capacity in the human rights field. It will also work on strengthening cooperation with regional organisations, UN human rights bodies, and other countries in this regard.
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Over 100,000 cyber-attacks foiled in June: TRA

DUBAI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The National Computer Emergency Response Team, aeCERT, of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, TRA, responded to approximately 103,408 cyber-attacks, during the month of June.
The TRA revealed that its monthly report on cybersecurity developments in the Federal Government of the UAE for the month of June 2020 showed that the cyber-attacks varied between malware (73 percent), vulnerabilities (15 percent) and phishing attacks (12 percent).
aeCERT also handled 407 cyber incidents, such as email fraud, unauthorised access and vulnerabilities which were classified as 350 medium cases, 52 severe, and 5 low incidents.
In terms of raising awareness and building capabilities, the report indicated that 2,085 awareness sessions and 105 training courses were held in June.
The aeCERT was established in 2008 to improve practices of information security, and protect the IT infrastructure in the UAE from risks and violations, in conformity with the TRA strategy that aims to support and ensure a safer cyberspace for UAE residents.
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DFM reopens its trading floor for investors as of Tuesday

DUBAI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The Dubai Financial Market, DFM, today announced that it is reopening its Trading Floor and Customer Affairs counters for investors as of Tuesday, 7th July 2020, with
the strict implementation of precautionary measures for the safety of clients and employees.
The DFM Trading Floor and Customer Affairs counters were temporarily closed mid-March 2020. The DFM has maintained its trading activities as usual in spite of the temporary closure of the aforementioned premises.
The DFM resumed work from the Trading Floor early June with a gradual return of its employees and brokers to work. As of 14th June 2020, all DFM employees returned back to office work.
Hassan Al Serkal, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Operations Division of DFM, said, “Following the UAE’s remarkable success in containing the pandemic, we are reopening the Trading Floor and Customer Affairs counters under strict precautionary measures to protect public health and safety of clients and employees alike. For instance, the measures include usage of thermal measuring
devices at the entrance of the Trading Floor, commitment to safe distance, controlling investors’ accessibility to Customer Affairs counters and guiding them to submit their applications through the
smart devices available on the Trading Floor as well as installing barriers on these counter.”
“We highly encourage market participants to continue utilising DFM’s electronic and smart platform with the same pace witnessed during the past three months. The reopening shouldn’t substitute the success achieved in terms of accomplishing transactions through DFM smart platforms developed in line with the leadership’s vision on digital transformation and as part of the Smart Borse strategy. Through these all-inclusive online and smart phone applications, investors can seamlessly accomplish all market services as well as the services of both Dubai Clearing, Settlement and Depository,
CSD, and Dubai Clear,” Al Serkal added.
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Indonesia reports highest daily tally of coronavirus deaths

JAKARTA, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Indonesia reported 82 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday in its highest daily tally, taking the toll to 3,171, Reuters quoted the Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto as saying.
Infections rose 1,607, for a total of 63,749 cases, he added.
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Russia’s coronavirus cases surpass 680,000

MOSCOW, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Russia on Sunday reported 6,736 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the nationwide tally to 681,251, Reuters said.
Russian authorities said that 134 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 10,161.
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UAQ Ruler issues Decree on Tourism and Antiquities Department fees

UMM AL QAIWAIN, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, has issued Decree No. 3 of 2020, approving fees for the Department of Tourism and Antiquities of Umm Al Qaiwain.
The Decree stipulates the approval of fees related to services provided by the Department and any fines issued. It also stipulates that the proceeds of the fees and fines shall be passed to the public treasury account of the Umm Al Quwain government.
This Decree is effective from the date of its issuance and shall be published in the Official Gazette.
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Abu Dhabi University’s new Al Ain campus announces 90% completion

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi University, ADU, has announced that construction work on its new Al Ain campus is now 90% complete.
Set in Al Ain’s Asharej district, the new campus is set to be delivered by Q3 of 2020 and meets One-Pearl Estidama requirements for design and operational sustainability.
ADU said in a statement that over 350 labourers have been involved in the development of the new campus, completing one million hours of work, with all construction efforts following stringent health and safety standards set by the Abu Dhabi Civil Defence.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Ali Saeed bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi University, said, “The new campus will expand student numbers and offer them a well-rounded educational environment that keeps pace with the fast-evolving era we live in.”
“ADU is a leading UAE institution, constantly recognised internationally for the quality of our education and research, and ranks the 27th best university in the Arab world and placed among the world’s top 150 universities under 50 years of age,” Al Dhaheri added.
During its first phase, the Al Ain campus is set to be home to 2,500 students, with capacity of 5,000 students in total when fully completed. The 54,000 sqm purpose-built facility that opens soon will include 137 offices for staff and faculty, 36 state-of-the-art scientific laboratories empowered by artificial intelligence, a moot courtroom, 36 classrooms and a wide variety of facilities such as a gymnasium, aerobics studio, games room and cafeteria. The final additions will consist of a library with an office for the Student Council.
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Palestine announces 237 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

RAMALLAH, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The Ministry of Health of Palestine on Sunday announced 273 new coronavirus cases and two deaths over the past 24 hours.
According to the Palestine News Agency, WAFA, the latest figures raise the total number of cases confirmed since the outbreak of the pandemic in Palestine to 4,250, with 16 deaths in total.
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UAE leaders congratulate President of Cape Verde on Independence Day

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to Jorge Carlos Fonseca, President of Cape Verde, on the occasion of his country’s Independence Day, which is marked on 5th July.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar messages to President Fonseca and to Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cape Verde, on the occasion.
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Kuwait announces 520 new COVID-19 recoveries

KUWAIT, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Kuwait announced on Sunday that 520 patients have recovered from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, reported the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA.
So far, Kuwait have recorded 40,463 recoveries from the disease, added KUNA, citing the Ministry of Health.
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TAQA credit ratings upgraded by Moody’s and Fitch

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, TAQA, announced on Sunday that international credit rating agencies Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings have upgraded its final issuer ratings by three notches to Aa3 from A3 and by two notches to AA- from A, respectively.
According to a press release issued by TAQA on Sunday, the ratings represent the fourth highest investment grade rating on each of the agencies’ rating scales and are based on solid, investment grade standalone ratings of ‘baa1’ and ‘bbb+’ assigned by Moody’s and Fitch, respectively. The standalone ratings are boosted by strong implied support from the Government of Abu Dhabi, TAQA’s majority indirect owner, to arrive at the final issuer ratings, as per the agencies’ rating methodologies.
The upgrades to TAQA’s credit ratings come within days of completing the landmark transaction between TAQA and Abu Dhabi Power Corporation, ADPower, which saw the transfer of the majority of ADPower’s power and water generation, transmission, and distribution assets to TAQA in exchange for 106,367,950,00 new shares.
Commenting on the new rating, Jasim Husain Thabet, the newly appointed CEO and Managing Director of TAQA, said, “The news of our upgraded issuer ratings demonstrates the strength of TAQA’s new position as a leading player in EMEA’s utilities sector. Our ambition to deliver and sustain strong financial performance through a fully integrated and diverse asset portfolio with strong growth prospects makes TAQA a compelling opportunity for equity and credit investors alike. To that end, we will commit to maintaining solid investment grade standalone credit ratings through proactive and disciplined financial management.”
TAQA is now the UAE’s third largest publicly traded company by market capitalisation and among the top 10 integrated utilities companies in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Moody’s announced the upgrade shortly after the news of the transfer, stating on its website, “The upgrade reflects Moody’s view that the transfer of the ADPower assets reinforces the strategic importance of TAQA for the government of Abu Dhabi (Aa2 stable). The additional assets entrench TAQA’s dominance over electricity generation, transmission and distribution and water desalination in Abu Dhabi. TAQA becomes a vertically integrated utility with total assets of around AED200 billion ($54 billion) and a more diversified energy generation mix. Indirect government ownership will increase to 98.6% from 74.1%.”
In Fitch’s official announcement, it stated, “TAQA holds a monopoly position in Abu Dhabi’s electricity and water transmission and distribution sectors, and a leading market position in generation. TAQA provides about 95% of the electricity and water consumed in Abu Dhabi. Fitch expects TAQA to have a pronounced importance to Abu Dhabi’s electricity and water markets, UAE Energy Strategy 2050, and its role in diversifying the Emirates’ generation towards renewables.”
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US announces 43,000 new COVID-19 cases, 252 deaths

WASHINGTON, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The United States on Sunday announced 252 new COVID-19 deaths over a 24 hour period, raising the total to 129,657 deaths, according to figures published by Johns Hopkins University.
According to the tracker, the number of confirmed cases that the country recorded on Saturday reached 43,000.
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China launches space-observation satellite

JIUQUAN, China, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — China has announced it launched a space-observation satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwest China on Sunday.
The Chinese state news agency Xinhua said the satellite will be used for environment study and related technology experiments.
The satellite – the second of the Shiyan-6 series – was launched by a Long March-2D carrier rocket at 7:44 a.m. (Beijing Time).
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India sees highest single-day spike of 24,850 COVID-19 cases, tally reaches 673,165

NEW DELHI, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — India on Sunday announced its highest-ever single-day spike of 24,850 COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, reported Asian News International, ANI, quoting the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
With these new cases, India’s coronavirus count now stands at 673,165 cases of which 244,814 are active cases and 409,082 recoveries.
613 deaths due to coronavirus were reported in the country in the last 24 hours taking the death toll in the country to 19,268, added ANI.
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Ghana’s President self-isolates after close person tests positive for coronavirus

ACCRA, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will self-isolate for 14 days on the advice of doctors after a person in his close circle tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters quoted the government as saying in a statement late on Saturday.
“He has, as [of] today, tested negative, but has elected to take this measure out of the abundance of caution,” the statement said, adding that the president will continue to work during the period, in compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols.
The statement did not say if the close person was a staff or family member.
Ghana has recorded 19,388 coronavirus cases, one of the highest number of cases in sub-Saharan Africa, with 117 deaths, added Reuters.
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Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 11.29 million, death toll at 529,505

LONDON, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — More than 11.29 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 529,505​ have died, according to a Reuters tally published on Sunday.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
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OFID boosts transport infrastructure and trade prospects in Mali

VIENNA, 5th July, 2020 (WAM) — The OPEC Fund for International Development, OFID, has signed a US$20 million loan agreement with the Republic of Mali to finance a road project that will improve links to economic centres and social amenities for around 2.7 million people.
The ‘Rehabilitation of the Sevare – Gao Road (Sevare – Bore Section)’ project will refurbish a 111 km stretch of road that comprises part of the National Road 16 in the Mopti region of central Mali. The project includes ancillary works, such as providing road lighting at village crossings and potable water wells, as well as the rehabilitation of rural access roads.
Opening up access and reducing travel costs will support key economic sectors that include agriculture, fishing and small business. The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the government of Mali are co-financing the project.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said, “The OPEC Fund is very pleased to support this development project, which is accorded high priority by the government of Mali. The rehabilitated road will facilitate further integration among various regions and increase trade, directly supporting Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 9 on decent work and economic growth, and industry, innovation and infrastructure, respectively.”
Including the present loan, the OPEC Fund has approved more than US$285 million for development operations in Mali, much of which has supported the transport and agriculture sectors. The partnership between the OFID and Mali dates back to the institution’s establishment in 1976 with approvals spanning all of the OPEC Fund’s finance windows – public sector, private sector and grants.
OFID was established in January 1976 by the then 13 member countries of OPEC; including the United Arab Emirates. It is the development finance institution established as a channel of aid to developing countries.