Daily Archives: May 19, 2018

Food safety during Ramadan is everyone’s priority

ABU DHABI, Increase in community-driven activities to prepare and serve eatables during this time heightens need for greater vigil, the English language ‘Gulf News’ daily has said.

The issue of food safety, which is a round-the-clock priority of the UAE government, gets highlighted during Ramadan owing to the spike in sales and distribution of food items. The fact that the month of fasting has been occurring in the long, hot months of the summer for some years now also calls for a more vigilant outlook on food safety as food, from its production to its consumption cycle, is more vulnerable to spoilage and contamination due to the heat.

The decision by the authorities to initiate a multi-pronged inspection programme through the month for commercial establishments of every kind, covering every aspect of food handling, packaging, transportation and distribution, will assuage public concern and shore up confidence.

Concomitant with this vigilance are the strict regulations and stiff penalties on violators.

Food safety is an extremely important issue that is at the heart of public safety and health and during Ramadan, the increase in number of community-driven activities of preparing and serving food for large contingents of people, heightens the need to ensure hygiene and adherence to rules.

Apart from the macro responsibility by establishments involved in the food chain, it is also the duty and responsibility of every individual to follow food safety rules. It is a common irony to find families unaware of the basic rules of hygiene, transport, storage and handling of various categories of food items and fresh produce from the time of purchase to preparation at home. Little heed is paid to kitchen rules and this sort of laxity can at times lead to many unpleasant, even dangerous, health consequences for people.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE participates in AI for Good Global Summit

GENEVA, The UAE participated in the 2nd edition of the AI for Good Global Summit, which was organised by ITU in Geneva on 15-17 May 2018, in partnership with other UN organisations.

Addressing the three-day event, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, spoke about the UAE’s role in leading the international drive for AI governance to serve the public interest.

He urged the international community to join forces to harness AI to deliver progress and prosperity.

He briefed the delegates about the UAE’s groundbreaking AI initiatives and projects.

The AI for Good series is the leading United Nations platform for dialogue on AI. The action??-oriented 2018 summit will identify practical applications of AI and supporting strategies to improve the quality and sustainability of life on our planet. The summit sought to formulate strategies to ensure trusted, safe and inclusive development of AI technologies and equitable access to their benefits.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Saudi Air Defence detects two ballistic missiles fired by Houthis

RIYADH, The Royal Saudi Air Defense this evening detected two ballistic missiles launched from Sa’dah, Yemen, against Saudi Arabia, according to the official spokesman for the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen The Saudi Press Agency quoted Col. Al-Malki as explaining that the two missiles were launched deliberately by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to target densely populated civilian areas in Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia and that one of them was intercepted and destroyed by the Royal Saudi Air Defense, while the other fell down in unpopulated desert area.

He continued, “No casualties were reported up to the time of this release.”

Col. Al-Malki added: “This hostile act carried out by the Iranian Houthi militia proves that the Iranian regime is still providing the terrorist Houthi armed militia with qualitative capabilities, in flagrant defiance of UNSCRs 2216 and 2231, with the main objective of threatening the Saudi Arabian, regional and international security.”

He concluded: “Launching ballistic missiles at densely populated civilian areas is a direct breach of the principles of the international humanitarian law.”

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE role in Socotra purely humanitarian, developmental: Gargash

By: Nour Salman BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, The UAE role in Socotra is purely of a developmental and humanitarian character, said Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on the sidelines of the GLOBSEC2018 Bratislava Forum, the Minister acknowledged that better communication on Socotra was needed. “Because Socotra was far away from the conflict in Yemen, we took a decision not to communicate what we were doing there. In hindsight, we should have communicated more.”

Dr. Gargash said that the UAE was involved in Socotra in a big way since 2012, with humanitarian aid efforts increasing since Cyclone Chapala struck the archipelago in 2015. “Since then over 40 aid projects involving providing subsidies to fishermen, improving harbours and infrastructure, as well as utility development have taken place.”

The most recent aid efforts involved the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, deploying three aid ships loaded with tonnes of necessary food supplies to assist the community during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Commenting on the latest events surrounding the statement issued in the name of Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmad bin Dagher, the UAE Minister said that the issue “was blown out of proportion.”

“There are elements that don’t want to see the UAE in Yemen, playing the role that it is doing successfully, with an effective military, that has been able to defeat the Houthis, pushing them out of South Yemen, and challenging them in the North, all under the umbrella of the Arab Coalition,” he explained.

Dr. Gargash added, “The criticism that we have received in Socotra revolves around the same people that will criticise the UAE time and again. Clearly, our role in Socotra is about humanitarian development, and we continue to do so to support this island community.”

“The UAE’s role in Socotra is not strategic. The UAE does not have any ambitions on the archipelago. It is a Yemeni territory,” he stressed.

The Minister went on to explain that the Socotra episode is closed. However, he said, “I assure you in a month’s time another development will arise to criticise the UAE. Why is this happening? Because the UAE has been active and effective.”

“Our commitment to the Yemeni population is genuine. Our commitment to a stable Yemeni political process is genuine. Some people are feeling worried about our effectiveness,” Dr. Gargash emphasised.

UAE efforts in Socotra are, without a doubt, of a humanitarian and developmental nature, he concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency