Importance of Taking a Humanitarian Stance Assignment Help
In the past, politically, the UAE has taken the position of partial neutrality (SOURCE), where it would weigh in when necessary, but other than that it tried to mainly focus on its own self-development while also developing the nations surrounding it mainly in the form of official development assistance (ODA).
Idealists, driven mainly my morality, highlight the importance of taking a humanitarian stance and argue that is it the main basis for aid (Lumsdaine, 1993). Idealists believe that in order for a country to strive, poorer countries need to be elevated in order to provide positive contributions to the world economy and political stability. To improve the quality of life in the recipient nation donor states must invest in the development, social and economic fields of those nations to ensure a complete and positive investment (SOURCE).
Proponents of realist understanding of aid giving and the dependency theory both belong to the right of the political spectrum, as they put humanitarian values and morals to be secondary to security, economic and political survival of the country. Their goal is to protect the state and increase its sphere of influence, it is best to have influence in different corners of the globe to ensure their support that can help secure the regime domestically (SOURCE). The political right attempts to be benefit oriented that drives it to constantly seek ways to increase mainly political and economic benefits.
Conversely, idealists belong to the other end of the spectrum, the left. Issues like humanitarian and environmental concerns is what the left is usually associated with. There is a greater stress on morality and justice, and those concerns are put above other political or economic interests (SOURCE). A step idealists have made is to try to limit the definition of ODA (overseas development aid) in order to separate them from financial transfers that are proclaimed to be humanitarian but tend to have political and economic interests tied to them. Whereas their counterparts, the right, fight for the expansion of the definition to make it vague and flexible to include all types of benefits from ODA. Moreover, the left is more interested to get involved in development aid projects as they elevate societies. Social democratic welfare states tend to favour development assistance (Nöel and Thérien, 1995) where non-market values are embraces like income redistribution. The main difference between the political right and left is the intentions which is the driving force for either side. Though the actions remain the same, the intentions have the power, to some degree, to dictate the outcomes through the priorities that have been set.
2.3 UAE Motivations of development aid.
I Identity solidarity and religious motivations for aid disbursement
To understand the purpose or motivation of a country, a holistic approach is necessary to uncover the purposes (Lancaster, 2008), and that is through the breakdown of the purposes. In the case of the UAE the purposes will be divided into two main subsections the first one is during the rule of the founder. Throughout this period, UAE aid was given mainly to Arab countries in the name of religion and identity solidarity. The second section will examine the changes in aid disbursement in relations to the foreign policy of the UAE.
Firstly, foreign policy does not have a unitary outlook or perspective to it, successful foreign policies usually targets economic, cultural and military programs to ensure that the goals are acquired using the maximum capacity (SOURCE). They take on the focus of different areas like human rights, humanitarian foreign aid, trade, security, and finance which to some extent fulfils the commercial interests of the donor state (and sometimes the recipient state). Initiatives are set up to serve a specific purpose, if the purpose has been served then it results in a positive outcome on the donor and the recipient. This then paves the way for stringer diplomatic relations.
In the early years since the formation of the UAE, aid was given to countries that shared the UAE’s language and religion. Aid was allocated to countries of the Levant and North Africa, in the name of solidarity. The UAE also included Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia to be part of the identity sharing countries in the Horn. According to Al Mezaini (2012), the UAE’s aid allocation was influenced by religious teachings and the personal beliefs of the late Sheikh Zayed; therefore, morality and duty are what drove the UAE into engaging in development aid in those nations which is what idealists and humanitarians agree should be the purpose of government ODA. However, the intentions of the UAE’s leader were to gain support of those nations in order to solidify and secure its newly acquired position in the international stage (Al Mezaini, 2012). He also states that this was to secure the UAE from the threat of Iranian expansion, as the more countries the UAE has relations with, will give more power to the UAE.
Religious motives for giving aid has been dominant in many societies and throughout history. In the past Christian countries were more likely to prioritise countries that share a similar faith or sect when comes to providing support. The Vatican used to support states that were Roman Catholic and would put them before any other religious affiliation (SOURCE). Similarly, Muslim Arab counties of the GCC preferred to grant aid not only to Arab countries but also non-Arab Muslims nations like Indonesia. This kind of aid comes in the form of building mosques, and educational institutions, supporting Islamic banking in
- Humanitarian motivations
The theme of humanitarian purposes to provide aid, and development aid is something that has been constant in the UAE’s aid disbursement. The UAE has provided aid to countries regardless of the political relations between the two states and in some cases aid is given purely for humanitarian causes. Western countries have taken up the initiative to reduce the commercial and economic revenue from giving aid, and Arab countries follow the same pattern with countries of less strategic importance or states that suffer from severe conditions like famine, war, or natural disasters.
The UAE has shown its dedication to engaging in humanitarian aid in both the bi-polar and uni-polar world through the support of regional and international institutions (Hellyer, 2001). In extreme cases, the UAE put aside existing political tensions with government in the name of humanity. This is usually carried out through institutions that are semi-governmental or in some way represents the country like the UAE Red Crescent. For example, while the diplomatic and political conflicts are on the rise between the UAE and Iran, the UAE through the Red Crescent sent aid to Iran when it was badly hit by a hurricane (SOURCE). This act was purely humanitarian and did not seek to either ease the political tensions nor to obtain any other form of gain. Ironically by doing so, the UAE has a better chance to enhance its reputation within the international community, even if it was not part of the goals of the aid. To sum up whether aid has underlying motives or not, the donor country will be benefit from giving aid and that is both directly or indirectly, be it in the form of enhancing diplomatic relations, increasing revenue or even boosting the donor’s status through bettering its reputation.
- Threat of Extremism
Those uprisings transformed the Middle East from a zone of entrenched autocracies into a web of conflicts that political Islamists associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, whom the UAE and Saudi Arabia view as enemies
Since the US’s launch of the war on terror, the UAE has been on-board since. The UAE has been completely intolerant of extremist behaviour and has taken serious measure to countering terrorism. This is mainly due to the concentration of the terrorist organisations in the Middle East, that can have direct impact on the country’s livelihood, especially since it has received multiple threats from different organisations throughout the years. The Arab Spring has played an important role to highlight the threats of the rise of extremism in the region, where many organisations came out of hiding and increased their activities like ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, and AQAP. All those organisations openly criticised the UAE, and even called for Jihad against the Emirati government at times. In 2014, an incident took place in the capital, Abu Dhabi, where an American teacher was murdered in the bathroom of Al Reem mall (SOURCE). The incident is believed to take place following the call of ISIS leader to fight from wherever and whenever they can, to contribute to the cause (SOURCE). This alarmed the security as the foreign problems now became domestic.
Additionally, many sleeping cells were caught in the country that were affiliated to terrorist organisation, and most significantly was the Muslim Brotherhood. The cell was planning to over throw the current government to replace it with one that complies with the Islamic laws. During the domestic crackdown following the incident the UAE arrested the individuals tied to the overthrow plot and publicised their names, part of a strategy to make them known to the public and to shame them.
Therefore, to better secure itself from the threat of extremism the UAE has taken measures to implement a more proactive foreign policy that makes it increase its activities in the wider MENA region. because the countries of the Horn of Africa are coastal, they provide a geostrategic location for the UAE to better operate in counter-terrorism through containing the enemy from afar before reaching its mainland.