The Ambassador of The European Union Delegation to the UAE, H.E Andrea Matteo Fontana presented the prize to the Director General of the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, H.E Afra Al Basti at an award ceremony in Al Fahidi Historic District in Dubai this afternoon. The Higher Committee for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi will receive their 2019 prize in 2020.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Fontana and DG Afra Al Basti gave speeches. A short film about the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children was screened after that and the event ended with the presentation of the trophy to the foundation.
“I am proud that this honourable cause has been recognized and hope that the work of the Foundation will be an outstanding example for others to follow. I cannot hide that I am thrilled the Chaillot Prize has finally come to the UAE and is being awarded to such worthy and deserving causes. This epitomizes that 2019 is truly the "Year of Tolerance".
The values of respect for human dignity and human rights are part of the EU's DNA, giving us a sense of purpose and direction. Promoting and defending human rights is at the heart of our external policy. We do that with the hope of creating a better, more just world.
At a time of increased cooperation between the EU and the UAE – we just had our first senior officials meeting in Brussels three weeks ago under the EU-UAE Cooperation Arrangement, we are standing ready to develop further partnerships in fostering a society that empowers the youth and women and tackles human rights issues of common concern such as human trafficking.” Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana
“We are proud to win the “Chaillot” Prize 2019 for the promotion of human rights from the European Union, which we consider also a tribute to the whole humanitarian and charitable system in the UAE, which would not have achieved any tangible success without the great care and support that this system received from the leadership and the government of the UAE."
Humanitarian and charitable work is a feature of the UAE people and state, as millions of people from more than 200 different nationalities, including different religions, races and cultures, have chosen to live on its land, in harmony, love and peace, and winning the “Chaillot” prize today is a new motivation for us to do more in the field of human rights and philanthropy." H.E Afra Al Basti
The awarding ceremony took place on this day to mark the 71st anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Several EU Ambassadors and other members of the Diplomatic Corps and heads of different NGOs based in the UAE attended the event.
The Chaillot Prize is given to civil society organisations and public or private institutions for actions, campaigns and projects which support human rights awareness, promotion and protection in the GCC region. The Prize is named after the Palais de Chaillot in Paris where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on 10 December 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.
Due to the exceptional work by both entities – the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children and the Higher Committee for the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, the prize was awarded to both organisations.
The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children is given the award for its tireless efforts in protecting and supporting women and children victims of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking.
The organization of the Special Olympics World Games was a ground-breaking event promoting a spirit of inclusion and tolerance by raising awareness for the people of determination and those of special needs.