By Andy Sambidge
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs says he hopes proposed legislation will be ready by 2015
The UAE said on Tuesday it is planning to draft a federal bill to regulate the activities of regional and international non-government organisations (NGOs), two years after a number of NGOs were closed in the Gulf state.
Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Federal National Council Affairs, made the announcement at the Federal National Council, news agency WAM reported.
Gargash said he hoped the proposed legislation "would be ready for application" by 2015.
In 2012, a number of foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the UAE were closed due to license violations.
In December, the Abu Dhabi office of the RAND Corporation, the American policy research institute, was closed, just months after the UAE government shuttered the Dubai office of the National Democratic Institute, a US-funded pro-democracy group and the Abu Dhabi office of German think tank the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Gargash was answering a question raised by a FNC member about efforts to regulate work of regional and international NGOs under a law that will allow them to establish branches in the UAE.
The minister said: "Regulating this process is very important and there should be a legal framework that takes into consideration aspects of sovereignty of the state.
"For the time being there is no legislation that regulates activities of government and non-government organisations if they want to do so in the state," he added in comments published by WAM.