Sanitas International

Profile: Sanitas International

1- Name of NGO:

Sanitas International

2- Brief & Mission:

Sanitas International Inc specializes in delivering consulting services, encompassing a range of offerings including global strategic communications, public affairs, digital media, and political advisory consulting.

Recent revelations indicate that the non-profit organization Expo2020 Dubai has entered into a contract with Washington-based lobbying firm Sanitas International. The contract spans a duration of one year and amounts to $1.044 million

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

While the Emirati lobby has primarily directed its efforts towards security concerns such as arms sales and the Yemen conflict, a substantial portion of their endeavors has also been dedicated to cultivating a favorable image of the UAE. This comprehensive approach involves showcasing the nation’s accomplishments across economic, cultural, and scientific domains. A pivotal aspect of this reputation-enhancing strategy has been the promotion of Expo 2020 Dubai.

According to records filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), Sanitas International, a firm retained by Expo 2020 Dubai, engaged in discussions with the chief of staff to Representative Dean Phillips (D–M.N.) in October 2018 regarding “H.R. 4842.” This bill, officially known as the EXPO Act of 2019, was formally introduced by Representative Phillips a year later. The essence of this legislation was straightforward: it sought to grant authorization to the State Department to allocate funds for a United States pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

The involvement of the United States in Expo 2020 holds significant value on multiple fronts, serving as an exceptional avenue to advance both American commercial interests and public diplomacy initiatives. The act of confirming US participation in the Expo underscores the importance of the event.

In light of these dynamics, it’s plausible to consider that Sanitas International may have established direct connections with the UAE monarchy, given their role in facilitating the confirmation of US participation in the Expo and their involvement in promoting a positive image of the UAE. However, specific affiliations would require further investigation and verification.

5- Sources of Funding:

The nonprofit Expo2020 Dubai signed a one-year, $1.044 million contract with Washington lobby shop Sanitas International in April to provide “senior level counsel, international media engagement and key stakeholder outreach.” Lobbyists for the UAE itself have also been personally involved.

6- Activities:

In October 2018, Sanitas International, a firm engaged by Expo 2020 Dubai, engaged in discussions with the chief of staff to Representative Dean Phillips (D–M.N.) regarding “H.R. 4842.” This legislation, also referred to as the EXPO Act of 2019, was formally introduced by Representative Phillips a year later. The core of this legislation was straightforward: it aimed to authorize the State Department to allocate funds for establishing a United States pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The bill successfully traversed the House of Representatives, progressing to the Senate, where efforts were made by the Emirati lobby to facilitate interactions between UAE officials and key senators. Over a span of three days in November 2019, the UAE Foreign Minister held separate in-person meetings with multiple U.S. senators to deliberate on the World Expo. Notably, Ambassador Al Otaiba was also present at some of these meetings. An email sent by UAE Strategies conveyed the urgency of the situation: “As you know, time has essentially run out to build the actual building and while the UAE has moved forward with building for the US pavilion, we are doing it in hopes that the funding will come through.”

Despite the UAE’s concerted efforts, the EXPO Act of 2019 failed to pass, ultimately leading to the bill’s incompleteness.

7- NGO Leadership:

8- Controversy:

US-based firms like Sanitas are actively involved in lobbying and supporting a monarchy like the UAE, which has been accused of committing significant war crimes during different civil conflicts in the Middle East. Additionally, the UAE has a history of suppressing its own population. These circumstances bring forth substantial ethical considerations. In light of the gravity of the situation, it is imperative for firms like Terakeet to thoroughly reassess and potentially terminate their agreements with the UAE.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.sanitasint.com/
  • Address:USA
  • Email:  info@sanitasint.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

The involvement of Sanitas with the UAE government encompasses contentious undertakings. Particularly worrisome is that these initiatives are being conducted on behalf of an autocratic regime that has a track record of disregarding fundamental human rights and is striving to enhance its image in relation to the Yemen war crimes. This alignment has consequently led to Sanitas attracting attention and scrutiny, similar to Terakeet, due to their associations with the UAE government.

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