For many around the world, the UAE conjures up images of tall futuristic buildings, seven star hotels and oversized shopping complexes. However, behind the glamorous façade and expensive PR campaign, there lies an increasingly authoritarian police state that contrasts greatly the flamboyant image it likes to project.
The world faces a level of instability not seen since the Cold War. To avoid further escalation of conflict and insecurity, and to ensure our country does not lose its standing in the world, we need to put human rights and the observance of international law centre stage again. The Liberal Democrats intend being one of the main actors in this revival.
Maybe we shouldn't fret. As with the old reggae producers (King Tubby et al), we've apparently got our top people in the control room when it comes to the Saudi-Yemen onslaught (Philip Hammond, you might say, is "at the controls"). No, let's stop worrying and learn to love the bombing campaign in Yemen. Now repeat after me, "We have some of the most stringent export controls ...".
Countries like Saudi Arabia aren't just buying UK arms, they are also buying political support and very often silence about the human rights abuses they preside over. Changing this will take more than the cancellation of a few licences. It will need a complete overhaul of government foreign policy and an end to the hypocrisy at the heart of it.
As UK citizens it's important we stand in solidarity with CAAT's legal action, lending our signatures to their online petition, and lobbying our MPs to take a stand in the commons. It is clear, now more than ever, that the UK has to review this destructive trade relationship. It's time for the UK to #StopArmingSaudi.
Corbyn should take the Ambassador's comments as a badge of honour and a sign that he's doing the right thing. However, it will take the words and actions of people from across all parties and wider society if the UK is to finally change its policy and end its support for the oppressive and authoritarian House of Saud.
According to news reports, David Cameron has cancelled a deal to supply prison services to Saudi Arabia. Frankly, I don't believe it. At least, I don't believe that Cameron has stood up to the Saudi regime. If the prison deal has been cancelled, I am sure the Saudis have been offered something else instead.
The UK's attempt to justify its refusal to condemn cluster munition use on the basis of article 21 was not founded in legal analysis, but in political desperation. Although the UK argued that the language of the Dubrovnik outcome documents should be changed, states parties to the ban treaty rightly rejected the UK's objection and collectively issued an emphatic condemnation of use.
It's less than two week until one of the world's biggest arms fairs, Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI), rolls into London. The biennial event (taking place 15-18 September) will bring thousands of arms companies representatives together with mercenaries, generals and military delegations from some of the worst dictatorships in the world.
When countries like the UK sell weapons it doesn't just facilitate the attacks they are used in, it also sends a message of support to the governments that are carrying them out. For this to change it will require more than a few platitudes about human rights. It will need a complete overhaul of government priorities and an end to the hypocrisy that is at the heart of foreign policy.