President Khalifa: Nation on track to deliver Vision 2021 #UAENationalDay45

ABU DHABI, 1st December, 2016 (WAM) — The government is confidently progressing to deliver indicators of the National Agenda leading to the UAE Vision 2021 which seeks to develop and improve conditions in areas of justice, security, economy, environment, living standards, housing, education, health and infrastructure, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, has declared.

”The government has adopted and approved national policies and strategies for innovation, creativity, excellence, reading, research and development, the future, housing, women and youth empowerment and happiness. In this respect, the Emirates Council for Youth and the Emirates Council for Scientists were set up,” said His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed in his address to the nation on the occasion of the 45th National Day.

The government, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa stated, had also taken significant strides in developing the legislative and regulatory framework to attract investment and introducing policies to promote the concept of green economy and comply with principles of sustainability, protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources. It has also approved plans to upgrade and improve educational and health services, modernise the infrastructure and qualify youths to easily enter the job market.

These efforts, the President said, had begun to pay off.

”On the micro economy, despite the sump in global economy and decline in world oil prices, our national economy has maintained vibrant performance and the Gross Domestic Product has exceeded the set target thanks to vibrancy, resilience and diversification of the economic infrastructure and high contributions of non-oil sectors,” His Highness the President added.

His Highness noted that the UAE was ranked first regionally and 16th globally, maintaining its lead among the top 20 competitive economies in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016 issued by the World Economic Forum (Davos) in Switzerland. The UAE has also retained its lead in the region in more than 100 development indicators.

Politically, the President said, “We have reshuffled the Federal Cabinet to include key components of the community and to reflect the transformations the state is going through. We have also amended the UAE Constitution to double the membership of the Federal National Council and expand its powers and we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first ever national elections within the coming days.” In the coming five years leading to UAE Vision 2021, Sheikh Khalifa explained that government efforts will focus on drawing a roadmap for the empowerment programme that steers and guides the gradual process to build a secure state based on the rule of law and justice; a competitive economy, sustainable environment, integrated infrastructure, high quality education system and world class health facilities; a state that has a coherent society founded on values of tolerance and moderation and a close-knit family built on love and understanding.

The President expressed his unflinching support for the Moral Education initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

”We hope that the educational, cultural, religious, media, youth, sports and women institutions and organisations will come together and rally behind the initiative by promoting the values of sustainability, integrity, righteousness, mercy, justice, respect of law, and spreading the culture of tolerance, co-existence, centrism, moderation, and pride and veneration of national symbols and figures.

Internationally, the President reiterated the UAE’s firm stance to remain committed to a flexible, dynamic foreign policy, whose main objective is to serve national interests, preserve the sovereignty of the state and consolidate the GCC, to defend the Arab right and solidify Islamic unity.

”We will continue our efforts to counter terrorism and extremism, settle disputes and conflicts through peaceful means, participate in international efforts for conservation of the environment and for tackling challenges of climate change, and support efforts to form a world order that is fairer and more equitable,” he stressed.

Sheikh Khalifa said the UAE is deeply concerned at the current foreign interferences in the Arab region, which rekindled sedition, stoked extremism and terrorism and threatened the territorial integrity and unity of many states.

While wishing peace, security and stability to Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the President called on the international community to fully shoulder its responsibility in changing the conditions affecting large numbers of the world populations, like poverty, hunger, disease, mounting influx of displaced persons, refugees and the marginalised and to mobilise energies in order to reach creative solutions for imminent risks to humanity.

The international community should also work together to deliver common goals and aspirations, fill gaps resulting from fall-out from crises and catastrophes, and put an end to factors causing the aggravation of refuge, displacement and climate change,” H.H. Sheikh Khalifa concluded.

Following is the full text of Sheikh Khalifa’s address: Dear citizens, “On this glorious day, on which we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of our state and announcement of our Union, we extend to you our heartfelt congratulations and appreciation of the remarkable achievements that have propelled our state into the ranks of prosperous, secure and high growth nations.

On your behalf, we also extend warm congratulations to my brothers: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, who are guiding the federal ship towards its safe destination.

The 2nd of December is a day on which we remember with pride the anniversary of the declaration of the Federation, a culmination of our people’s aspirations for unity, progress and national sovereignty. We also recall with gratitude the insightful lifetime of the maker and founder of our modern renaissance, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the fellow founding fathers for laying the solid building blocks of a state whose marked achievement took the world by surprise for providing its citizens with enablers of strength, dignity as well as sources and amenities of happiness and prosperity.

On the anniversary of this spectacular day, we pray to Almighty Allah to bestow His mercy on the nation’s martyrs and founding leaders and wish good health to those who are still alive for enriching our life with their sound opinion and wise advice.

Dear citizens, Your government, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is moving ahead confidently to deliver indicators of the National Agenda leading to the UAE Vision 2021 which seeks to develop and improve conditions in our state in areas of justice, security, economy, environment, living standards, housing, education, health and infrastructure, consistent with strategies to build and leverage capacities of federal entities so as to draw policies and ensure their alignment and integration with local policies.

The government has adopted and approved national policies and strategies for innovation, creativity, excellence, reading, research, the future, housing, women and youth empowerment and happiness. In this respect, the Emirates Council for Youth and the Emirates Council for Scientists were set up. The government has also taken significant strides in developing the legislative and regulatory framework to attract investment and introducing policies to promote the concept of green economy and comply with principles of sustainability, protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources. It has also approved plans to upgrade and improve educational and health services, modernise the infrastructure and qualify youths to easily enter the job market.

These efforts have actually begun to pay off. On the micro economy, despite the sump in global economy and decline in world oil prices, our national economy has maintained vibrant performance and the Gross Domestic Product has exceeded the set target thanks to vibrancy, resilience and diversification of the economic infrastructure and high contributions of non-oil sectors. The UAE was ranked first regionally and 16th globally, maintaining its lead among the top 20 competitive economies in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016 issued by the World Economic Forum (Davos) in Switzerland. The UAE has also retained its lead in the region in more than 100 development indicators.

The UAE is also taking confident steps towards its transformation into a competitive, diversified economy managed by Emirati economists with high experience and knowledge.

To achieve the highest standards of prosperity, welfare, happiness and security, the government has harnessed and employed most of its resources to deliver the best world class health, educational, social care and welfare services, improve smart government services, upgrade e-financial systems, build a modern road network, and provide and modernise water and electricity plants. The government also worked to improve infrastructure, attract local investment and foreign capital into feasible and successful industrial, trade, real estate and services projects. This will increase customer satisfaction at efforts made by both the federal and local governments.

As for political development, we have reshuffled the Federal Cabinet to include key components of the community and to reflect the transformations the state is going through. We have also amended the UAE Constitution to double the membership of the Federal National Council and expand its powers and we will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first ever national elections within the coming days.

The 2006 FNC election, followed by the second in 2011 and third in 2015, constituted an important departure towards the gradual process we adopted to empower the state and push that trend ahead. In the coming five years leading to UAE Vision 2021, government efforts will focus on drawing a roadmap for the empowerment project that promotes our special characteristics and well-established principles. This roadmap will steer and guide the gradual process we adopted to build a secure state based on the rule of law and justice; a state that has a competitive economy, sustainable environment, integrated infrastructure, high quality education system and world class health facilities; a state that has a coherent society founded on values of tolerance and moderation and a close-knit family built on love and understanding. These are the enablers and pillars of happiness and the very essence of our empowerment programme.

Dear sons and daughters, Ethics are the safety valve of nations, the spirit of the law, and foundation of progress, there will be no security, stability or sustainability without ethics. In dedication of the good virtues our people enjoy, our forefathers took the ethical factor as the adhesive for building our federal state and regulating and governing its regional and international relations.

Staying and walking the same course, we hereby declare our unflinching support for the Moral Education initiative, launched by my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. We hope that the educational, cultural, religious, media, youth, sports and women institutions and organisations will come together and rally behind the initiative by promoting the values of sustainability, integrity, righteousness, mercy, justice, respect of law, and spreading the culture of tolerance, co-existence, centrism, moderation, and pride and veneration of national symbols and figures. The astounding economic and urban achievements, along with the top rankings in human development we have achieved and the strict legislations we have introduced, would be incomplete if they were not immunised with good conduct and noble manners.

In the same context, we issued the National Law of Reading out of our firm belief that reading is a right for all members of the community. To activate this law, we instructed that immediate actions are taken to establish the Emirates National Library and develop public libraries across the country to be centres for cultural enlightenment, houses for wisdom and incubators for knowledge.

Dear Emirati men and women, The experiment has proven the soundness, efficiency and rightness of the humanitarian and ethical approach we adopted in founding this state and in forging its foreign relations. We will remain committed to this approach and to a flexible, dynamic foreign policy, whose main objective is to serve national interests, preserve the sovereignty of the state and consolidate the GCC, to defend the Arab right and solidify Islamic unity.

We will also do our best to maintain an international environment based on compliance with the United Nations Charter and international law, upholding rights and respecting principles of cooperation, coexistence, good neighbourliness, and national sovereignty. We will continue our efforts to counter terrorism and extremism, settle disputes and conflicts through peaceful means, participate in international efforts for conservation of the environment and for tackling challenges of climate change, and support efforts to form a world order that is more fair and more equitable.

This policy has enabled our state to earn a prominent international reputation and standing and maintain strong presence in regional and international arenas by hosting major international organisations, conferences and events, by launching breakthrough initiatives and by delivering developmental and humanitarian assistance, guided by the humane approach of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who infused the value of humanitarian work as an original factor in the UAE’s foreign policy.

We will continue to raise the banner of peace, development and cooperation. And here, we appreciate the GCC and Arab support for the UAE’s historic right to its three islands: Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa, occupied by Iran. We affirm that we will never give up our right to sovereignty over these islands as there will be no settlement to the issue with the occupying neighbor Iran except through directing bilateral negotiations or international arbitration in a way that considers good neighbourliness, and that augments opportunities for security and stability in the Arabian Gulf region. This situation, allied with other ongoing crises and turmoil in the region, requires the GCC to mobilise energies and work together in good faith to bolster inter-Gulf relations and unify visions so as to confront common challenges and threats, scale up strategic coordination and cooperation regarding developments of the situation in the region and the world alike.

In the same vein, we are deeply concerned at the current foreign interferences in the Arab region, which rekindled sedition, stoked extremism and terrorism and threatened the territorial integrity and unity of many states. Here, we are satisfied at the positive engagement, presence and productive results of our diplomacy in defence of our national options, enhancement of the GCC, support of the Arab just causes, including the right of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to defend its security and the safety of sacred Islamic shrines, the right of the Kingdom of Bahrain to defend its territorial integrity and unity, and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state. UAE diplomacy also backs initiatives aimed at restoring security and stability to Yemen in accordance with the Gulf Initiatives, the outcomes of the National Dialogue and the relevant UN Resolutions, and at the return of Egypt as a leading actor in the Arab world.

We also support efforts seeking to restore security to Syria, tranquility, security and peace to Libya, stability to Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. We also congratulate Lebanon for overcoming its presidential crisis by electing Michel Aoun as new President of the Republic of Lebanon. We wish him success in bringing stability and prosperity to Lebanon.

We believe in the role of the UN and its organs, notably the Security Council, in maintaining international security and peace. But, we expect these organs to play a greater role in protecting sovereignty of states, to stand against attempts to breach sovereign immunity or interfere in internal affairs, and to find lasting solutions to international crises. We also urge the international community to fully shoulder its responsibility in changing the conditions affecting large numbers of the world populations, like poverty, hunger, disease, mounting influx of displaced persons, refugees and the marginalised and to mobilise energies in order to reach creative solutions for imminent risks to humanity. The international community should also work together to deliver common goals and aspirations, fill gaps resulting from fall-out from crises and catastrophes, and put an end to factors causing the aggravation of refuge, displacement and climate change.

Dear Emirati men and women, What has been achieved over the last 45 years was remarkable and spectacular and of course you all contributed to these achievements, of which we are proud and satisfied. We are optimistic about a promising future which we all are heralding confidently with a holistic national vision; a future that is based on science, diligent work and knowledge, and which we immunise with love, loyalty, values and ethics.

We pray to Almighty Allah to make us grateful worshippers, to guide our steps to success, to aid us and our people with a strong will and fervent enthusiasm.

May Allah grant you success, and may you be well every year.”

WAM/tfaham/Moran

WAM/tfaham/Moran/Rasha

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