UN Women inaugurates new Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi

The office will strengthen UN Women’s partnership with the GCC countries and accelerate efforts for gender equality

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016

UN Women launches UAE liaison office in UAE hosted by the General Women's Union. Photo: UN Women
UN Women inaugurates new Liaison Office in Abu Dhabi. Photo: UN Women

Abu Dhabi, 18 October—UN Women today inaugurated its Liaison Office for the Gulf region in Abu Dhabi, which aims to strengthen UN Women’s presence and ensure a robust and reinforced partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.  The Liaison Office, the first of its kind in the Gulf region, will enable UN Women to support and accelerate efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment that several Gulf States have been undertaking in the past two decades.

As a member of UN Women’s Executive Board, and a top contributor to UN Women from the Arab Region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will serve as the host of the Liaison Office. The office was opened today in partnership with UAE’s General Women’s Union, which plays a fundamental role in empowering women in the country and the region.

The opening ceremony of the Liaison Office was presided by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union (GWU) and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

A founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, UAE has positioned itself as forward looking country committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The country serves as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—a  rapidly evolving region seeking to transform itself into a modern, financial hub with national development plans, where the progress of women is being recognized as an intrinsic part of the process.

“With the new UN Women Liaison Office, we look forward to building strong partnerships within the region.  We greatly appreciate the support of the UAE for this, and the increased capacity to work closely with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This will be essential in making women’s empowerment a top priority in the region, from increased involvement in politics or in business, to the number of women graduating from universities," said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. "We appreciate Her Highness Sheikha Fatima's leadership, vision and action. We count on her support to ensure a life of purpose and dignity for all women and girls in this region,” she added. 

Recognizing the importance of advancing gender equality and empowering women at the international and national level, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak said, “We would like to call after the opening of this office to launch a solidarity campaign for gender equality, with the participation of GCC officials, university heads, academics and business people from the private sector to urge the community to make way for women to assume her natural role in the work field and participate in the development of the country.”

One of the immediate priorities of the new Liaison Office includes the development of a strategy on political advocacy with Gulf and Arab institutions. The office will also assist to advance the status of women in the region, support national governments in the Gulf Cooperation Council and strengthen collaboration on gender-responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On the regional level, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) plays an important role in rebuilding war torn countries, such as Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen and Iraq. UN Women’s expertise on peace and security issues will contribute to strengthening the efforts. 

With Headquarters in New York, liaison offices in Belgium, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland and now UAE, and 89 country offices around the world, UN Women works to remove barriers to equal opportunities for women and girls and to ensure that laws and commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment are fully implemented.