The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, today said that the UAE has demonstrated its strong commitment to the UN through its humanitarian and peace keeping missions in the region.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of the Government Summit in Dubai, the Secretary-General said, “The United Arab Emirates is one of the strongest partner countries, and an essential member of the United Nations. The UAE may be a small country but it has a big heart.” Ban Ki-moon also expressed his appreciation for UAE’s efforts in terms of regional peace and security, saying that as a GCC member, the UAE has been playing a very crucial role in responding to the region’s pressing issues. “The UAE has been playing a very important role in Yemen and Afghanistan. It has also been helping the UN a lot with its community peace missions in Somalia, other parts of Africa and the Middle East,” he said.

He commended the UAE’s substantial humanitarian aid efforts, and spoke about his visit to the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai, which is strategically located near Al Makoum International Airport. It is a large-scale logistical hub for humanitarian aid response, where millions of aid supplies are acquired, stored in warehouses, and prepared for quick dispatch and delivery to crisis-stricken areas in places like Syria, Iraq, and Africa.

“During my visit to the International Humanitarian City a couple of years ago, I was very much impressed. They were providing and sending necessary humanitarian aid to Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere at a very short notice. All these demonstrate how best the UAE contributes to UN’s work,” he added.

“When it comes to the development, the United Arab Emirates is, I think, ranked number one country in the world in providing official development assistance in terms of its GNI proportion. The development aid, constitutes 1.45 % of the UAE’s GNI. We are very much grateful,” he said.

Speaking about the Government Summit 2015, Mr. Ban said it is ‘very timely” in terms of enhancing good governance. “We need accountable governments and honest leaders.” “This is what the people really want, that leaders of their countries are people-centred, care about their people, transparent, effective and accountable. I really highly commend this initiative,” he added.

The Secretary-General went on to say that the UAE is a role model country and hoped that many countries in the world will emulate what the UAE has been doing and continuing to do. “The UAE has been really supportive of Syrian refugees, the people in Gaza, and elsewhere. Their warm and very generous support really saved lives and helped a lot of people,” he said.