Ministry of Foreign Affairs Report on 44th National Day

ABU DHABI, 2nd December, 2015 (WAM) — The UAE’s foreign policy has become a dynamic, effective and successful example thanks to the wise vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The UAE has built a wide network of strategic relationships and partnerships countries around the world. These relationships have influenced the UAE’s national economy, strengthening its presence and position on both regional and international levels.

Since its establishment in the early 1970s, the UAE has pursued a foreign policy based on a number of well-established principles, including mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, peaceful settlement of disputes, promotion of peace, stability, and security in the regional and international arenas as set forward by the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in addition to establishing the principles of dialogue and coexistence between different civilisations, cultures, religions and peoples based on tolerance and openness, refraining from confrontation, extremism, intolerance, and tendencies, as well as taking care of the humanitarian dimension, providing support and assistance to people in need, particularly during and after crises, disasters and wars.

The UAE recognises that the challenges arising throughout the region and the world are partly due to the absence of the culture of coexistence, the spread of extremism and violence. Therefore, the UAE calls, in various regional and international fora, for the need to develop strategies for enhancing constructive dialogue between cultures, respecting beliefs and religions and spreading the culture of peace in order to challenge the attempts to distort the values of religions and provoke religious hatred.

The UAE supports all regional and international efforts to achieve security and strengthen peace and stability in the region and the world. Hence, the UAE’s vital role in this regard is highly commended and appreciated by countries all over the world. The UAE is seen both regionally and globally as an example of promoting values of harmony and coexistence between different cultures and civilisations.

Development Aid is an integral part of the UAE’s foreign policy in its relation with other countries. The UAE’s aid extends to various regions throughout the world and covers all countries in urgent need of support, whether providing support to counter poverty, aid in epidemics or during natural disasters, or facing the scourge of political disputes and armed conflicts.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since its establishment, has represented Emirati society and has been its window to the outside world, where through the UAE leadership views and visions are disseminated, seeking to emphasise the importance of brotherliness between human beings and always calling for the relieving of the suffering of people, regardless of their origin or religion, emphasising the importance of cementing the values of global peace and resolving conflicts peacefully and through dialogue.

Through its various embassies, departments and mission worldwide, and via its ambassadors, representatives, and diplomats, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acts as a link between the UAE’s wise leadership, and people around the world. The Ministry is working towards strengthening the friendship and cooperation relationships between the UAE and other countries at various levels of political, economic and cultural fields. MoFA adopts the principles of its leadership which aim to preserve mankind raise its intellectual, ideological and cultural standards, developing the concepts of human evolution and civilisation. In addition to supporting the factors of economic and cultural development and renaissance, laying the foundations of peace and brotherhood in the world. These principles infuse UAE nationals with great respect and appreciation wherever they go outside the UAE, and add brighter signs to the image of the UAE on both regional and international arenas.

On February 10th, 2015, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stressed that the United Arab Emirates progress and openness to the world stems from its Arab and Islamic identity. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah stressed that despite the UAE’s small size, it has a large impact on the course of world development. The UAE was only a desert in the past, but today it is germinating many good things, it is a land with high buildings, renaissance and modern landmarks.

In his speech on the second day of the 2015 government summit held in Dubai, entitled, “We the Emirates”, and covering all aspects of modern progress in various fields of the UAE, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah also reiterated that “The UAE citizen is a peaceful and descent person. This in fact has enabled the UAE to make friendships with various nations in the world”. H.H. noted that the UAE’s current diplomatic relations extend to more than 187 countries around the world. Sheikh Abdullah also noted that anyone who comes to live and work in the UAE would enrich his experiences through interacting with UAE people, and by the same token, the UAE people will enrich their experiences through interacting with him and benefit from his experience.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also stressed that the UAE, through its good relations with various countries, has succeeded in building an integrated system for a brighter and better future. H.H. said that based on the positive foreign policy of the UAE, building bridges of cooperation between the UAE people and various nations have contributed to strengthening the UAE’s ability to attract the best people from around the globe. H.H. Sheikh Abdullah pointed out the distinctive attendance of a large number of world leaders at the government summit.

Concerning the prominent role of UAE diplomatic missions abroad, His Highness said, “I should, in this regard, acknowledge that the UAE has successfully established solid diplomatic relations, based on mutual respect, with many countries. Today, the number of our diplomatic missions has reached 105 around the world, playing a key role in fostering cooperation and coordination between the UAE and friendly and brotherly countries; building solid economic, political and cultural business relationships. These missions with their national cadres are the ones who pass on the UAE story to the entire world.”

In a speech delivered by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan last October at the general debate of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, His Highness said, “The UAE warned that the risks and threats posed by terrorist organisations, particularly Daesh and other groups linked to al-Qaeda, have no certain geographical boundaries, but extend beyond the whole region and pose a threat to other countries and communities.”

He applauded the active participation of the UAE in the international community’s efforts to help the affected countries to confront these dangers. He emphasized the UAE’s commitment to cooperate and coordinate with regional and international partners to deal with extremism and terrorism. His Highness praised in this context the role played by Al-Azhar Al-Sharif in confronting extremist ideology and renewing religious discourse. H.H. reiterated at the same time the principled position of the UAE in supporting the Arab Republic of Egypt, considering the achievements of its government within a short period of time as significant steps towards recovery of Egypt and recovery and stability of the entire region.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan explained the situation in Yemen, and expressed his satisfaction about the Yemeni legitimacy operation for restoring the control over Bab al-Mandab, considering this step as the starting point for ending the coup and the supporters in Yemen. H.H. reiterated the position of the United Arab Emirates in its continued quest with the international community to restore the political process according to the GCC initiative and its executive mechanisms. As well as its support for the Arab coalition in raising the capacity of the Yemeni people to restore stability in their country. H.H. reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to supporting humanitarian efforts to meet the urgent needs of the Yemeni brotherly people.

With regard to Libya, H.H. expressed the UAE’s concern about continued instability in Libya and stressed the need to lift the ban on the elected Libyan government to be able to fight the terrorist organisations and encounter transnational threats.

With regard to the Syrian crisis, H.H. called on the UN Security Council to carry out its primary role in ensuring the political transition of powers, and urged the international community to continue providing humanitarian aid to Syrian people. H.H. stressed the continued commitment of the United Arab Emirates with its national and humanitarian position in supporting Syrian people and alleviating their suffering.

H.H. also reiterated the UAE’s solidarity with Iraq, both in its efforts to combat Daesh and in supporting the humanitarian programmemes. He encouraged the government of Iraq to make comprehensive equitable and fair reforms accepted by all segments of Iraqi people.

In his speech before the General Assembly, H.H. reiterated the UAE’s position on the Iranian occupation of the three UAE islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa.

Concerning the Palestinian cause, H.H. warned that the feelings of injustice and frustration have emerged due to the continued Israeli occupation of Palestine and its violation of human rights, allowing extremist groups to exploit the serious humanitarian situation and communicate extremist ideas among young frustrated people.

On 6th May, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union signed, at the EU Council in Brussels, a bilateral agreement under which the UAE nationals are waived from the reqirements of the Schengen Visa.

The UAE is the first Arab country to have the requirement of entry visas waived for the Schengen zone countries, where UAE nationals holding diplomatic, special, mission and regular passports can travel to 34 European countries, and stay there for 6 months in each year, provided they stay for a period not exceeding 90 days per visit.

The agreement was signed by Sulaiman Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Head of UAE mission to the European Union, on behalf of the UAE side, and Ambassador Ailzay Johansson, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia to the European Union on behalf of the European side.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its diplomatic missions in Europe have exerted great efforts and conducted complicated discussions over the past three years to obtain a resolution from the European Commission concerning waiver of the UAE nationals of the Schengen visa. The UAE achievements and gains due to its wide openness to the world, have resulted in establishing strong strategic political, economic, trade, and cultural partnerships with most countries on different continents.

This historic achievement reflects the attitude of the world toward the UAE, and its foreign policy, it emphasises beyond any reasonable doubt that the image is bright and UAE is respected admired and trusted worldwide. Four decades ago, the UAE’s foreign policy marked with wisdom and moderation, peaceful coexistence and tolerance. It has been built on a well-established strategy ensuring the UAE’s enthusiasm to complying with the United Nations Charter and respecting international conventions, and laws, establishing relations with all countries based on mutual respect and mutual interests.

The resolution also stresses that the support by the leadership to the UAE’s objectives towards empowering UAE nationals, providing the means for a decent life and well-being for him and his family; not only for those within the UAE but also for UAE nationals living outside the country. The best evidence for such a trend is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ keenness to exempt UAE nationals from the Schengen visa requirements for entering the Schengen zone countries, the first country to achieve this accomplishment in both Asia and Africa.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, offered deepest congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to his brother, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their fellow members of the Supreme Council, Rulers of the Emirates, and to the people of the UAE, on the occasion of the European Parliament’s resolution on the waiver of the Schengen visa requirements.

He also asserted that this achievement is one of a series of frequent successes witnessed by the UAE in various sectors since being founded by the builder of its modern renaissance, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It is an acknowledgment by the European Parliament of the positioning and successes achieved by the UAE, which has become a source of inspiration for many countries in the region.

He said that the resolution is a great achievement for UAE diplomacy, which proved to be a model for outstanding performance characterised by its vitality and ability to move, influence, and plan integrated work, as well as the ability to achieve the supreme national objectives within UAE and abroad. He said, “This is not the first time that the UAE diplomatic policy proves its excellence; it has played an important and influential role by winning the right to host the World Energy Conference in 2019, Dubai’s successful bid to host Expo 2020, and Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the headquarters ofthe International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, in 2009.

He stressed that the European Parliament Resolution did not come from nowhere, nor was it easily achieved, but it is backed by a wise policy and the leaderships’ hard work to build its spotless image both inside the UAE and abroad. This image has become a watchword for wisdom, moderation, coexistence, peace and openness to everyone, at the same time as being a symbol of achievement at the domestic level and its focused efforts to provide the UAE national with all services. Therefore, he said, the UAE has reached this progressive position, and is a model of development experience, leading many to emulate it and take it as an example.

He also asserted that the UAE is proving day after day that it is actually a homeland of happiness. UAE nationals are entitled to feel proud of their wise leadership, which spares no effort in taking care of them, whether at home or anywhere else around the world. They should be very loyal to their country, which provides a decent life for their children, compatible with the highest international standards, and always put them on the top of the list of priorities of current and future development programmemes.

Sheikh Abdullah said the resolution involves several positive benefits to the UAE nationals as they would have the freedom to travel, and enjoy mobility in the EU, it will also spare much time, effort and money and end the long procedures for obtaining an entry visa to these countries. The resolution also allows greater opportunities for our students in closely researching European universities and identifying what suits them for their education.

He noted that the UAE is keen to establish effective relationships with significant regional communities, particularly in the European Union based on solid foundations. This comes within the framework of UAE’s active foreign policy that aims to strengthen ties with various countries around the globe which benefit the supreme national interests and enhance the UAE’s positioning and presence regionally and internationally.

In the context of strengthening European – UAE relations, His Highness noted that the EU opened a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi. The friendship group between the European Parliament and the UAE has recently been launched. These moves clearly confirm the great respect that Europe has for the UAE and the wise policy of its leadership, and ensures the ongoing keenness to build bridges of cooperation and coordination in various fields. In addition, this shows appreciation for pioneering UAE development experience at both regional and global levels.

He praised the good behaviour of UAE nationals in European countries where they were the best ambassadors for their country, reflecting the cultural and civilised standards the UAE has attained at various levels. He noted that this has played a key role in the success of Schengen visa waiver for UAE nationals project, praising the positive behavior by UAE nationals, their good morality and respect for the rules and regulations of their host countries and their abidance by the values of tolerance and openness to the cultures and peoples.

He praised the pivotal role of the Friends of the Emirates Group in the European Parliament, and ambassadors accredited to the EU member states, specialists in the MoFA and the UAE Mission in Brussels and all those who contributed to the success of this strategic task.

On 15th and 16th March, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the 9th forum for the ambassadors and heads of UAE missions abroad at MoFA headquarters. The forum is held annually under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, in the presence of Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and with participation from the leaders of the ministry, ambassadors and heads of UAE representative missions abroad.

The forum dealt with major themes in the political and economic fields, i.e. energy, and public diplomacy, in addition to reviewing a number of administrative and consular aspects and matters relating to UAE nationals abroad and development plans for visa offices in UAE missions abroad.

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attended part of the ninth forum for ambassadors and heads of UAE missions abroad meeting and listened to a number of lecturers in the forum. The forum focused on the issues of extremism and terrorism and ways to combat them, prevent, and fortify our society and people against this alien scourge, fostering the principles of the true Islamic religion, which rejects all forms, causes motives, mechanisms and ideology of extremism and terrorist groups disguised within Islam.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the idea of the forum and praised Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and all employees for their constructive ideas, which serve the public policy of the UAE and supported the cause of the UAE people and humanitarian issues in general.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stressed that the ambassadors and UAE representatives abroad should be able to deliver the message of the UAE leadership, government and people to the countries, governments and peoples of the world. The message is that we are a country of peace, coexistence and tolerant people reaching out and shaking hands with all peoples, cultures and nationalities, and only desire goodness, stability and harmony for all peoples on earth.

He added, “You, brethren, should take care of your citizens wherever they are, whether in brotherly or friendly countries, help them, whether they are students in classes, businessmen, investors, or patients who travel for treatment, and even tourists whose security and safety is your responsibility. You should follow-up on their news and conditions until they feel comfortable outside their home country. You should prove that you represent a leadership and government protecting the interests of their people and are keen on preserving the safety, happiness, and stability of its members wherever they are; May God help you to serve your country and your people.”

On 9th June, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed participated in the First Forum for Ambassadors and Heads of Representative Missions of the UAE in Africa, held in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, in the presence of Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State.

His Highness said, “These meetings between our ambassadors abroad and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials enrich diplomatic ties by exchanging views and ideas, listening to the difficulties encountered by ambassadors and finding solutions to these obstacles. The objective is to develop the diplomatic work as per our aspirations. H.H. added that “In terms of population growth, Africa is the most accelerated continent; it is able to accommodate various types of foreign investments. Due to our geographical proximity, this is an opportunity to benefit from these strategic links and activate them in several fields.”

He pointed out that the UAE aims to increase its diplomatic presence by opening new diplomatic missions in Africa in the future. He also asserted the significant and influential role played by the ambassadors in serving their country’s interests. They are implementing UAE policies and proposing initiatives and ideas that support the bilateral relations between the two countries. They are keen on paving the ground for these relations, by signing important agreements such as avoidance of double taxation agreements, investment protection, air transport, and cultural cooperation etc.. His Highness praised the significant role of the ambassadors and their distinguished relations in the workplace, building friendships with officials and looking for cooperation opportunities in order to promote and strengthen bilateral relations with Africa.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs participated in the second session of the Abu Dhabi Strategic Debat, organised by the Emirates Policy Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Atlantic Council, at the Emirates Palace. The forum covered a number of strategic issues and files concerning the Arab region in general, and the United Arab Emirates and Gulf states in particular.

The ministry, in cooperation with Dubai World, the global maritime operator of ports, hosted a forum for exploring ways to promote trade with Cuba. The United Arab Emirates and Cuba, during this first investment forum of its kind, reviewed investment opportunities in the Cuban economy.

The ministry and the Global Green Growth Institute also organised a regional workshop for exchanging knowledge and promoting green growth in the Middle East and North Africa. They discussed green growth issues and shared experiences on best practices concerning the development of environmentally sustainable economies through the transition to the concept of green growth. More than thirty experts, government officials, stakeholders, partners and key stakeholders from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, attended the workshop.

On 22nd September, the voting process was completed in 94 polling stations spread over most of the UAE’s embassies and diplomatic missions worldwide, for the Federal National Council Elections of 2015, for those living outside the UAE. The voting began in the electoral centre of New Zealand and ended in Los Angeles.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee for the Election, hailed the successful voting process in the embassies and missions abroad. He said, “Although it was the first experience of voting outside of the UAE, it has received considerable attention. The participation by members of electoral bodies in different countries around the world was effective. They travelled for long distances to cast their ballots in a great national action, confirming the unity of the UAE community and its commitment to participate in the elections, which is viewed as a national duty contributing to the persistent achievements of the UAE at all levels.”

Tawajudi, the “My Presence” service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, honoured winners of its “Guess the country” competition, organised in cooperation with Etihad Airways during the summer on its Instagram account. The competition was conducted within the framework of strengthening vital and constructive communication with UAE nationals overseas, and encourage them to start registering for Tawajudi, which enables the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its missions abroad to communicate with UAE nationals while they are travelling, or staying outside the UAE, in order to ensure their security and safety and protect them from any obstacles they may encounter outside the UAE. The “Guess the country” competition was widely accepted and responded to by followers of the services official account on Twitter and Instagram, becoming another method of increasing the awareness of UAE nationals with the importance of this service and the need to register before travelling.

On 7th of September, the UAE embassies and representative missions abroad lowered the UAE flags to half-mast over their headquarters to mourn the martyrs of duty and right, the brave members of the armed forces who died while performing their duties with the coalition forces in Operation Restoring Hope led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. The UAE missions abroad received condolences for the martyrs, as mourners came to offer condolences on the deaths of the UAE martyrs.

On 26th of August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a report on the occasion of UAE Women’s Day, which is marked on August 28th annually. The ministry noted that the UAE has paid great attention to the participation of women in the diplomatic corps, where the UAE has opened the door wide for the appointment of Emirati women in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as diplomats. MoFA developed measures for them to succeed in carrying their family as well as their professional responsibilities, thereby enabling women to work in the political sphere.

Currently, there are four UAE women ambassadors in Spain, Portugal, Montenegro and the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, as well as the Consul-General in Milan. Women have assumed senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are working in the diplomatic corps in United Arab Emirates missions abroad.

On the 22nd of July, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began applying the second phase of its employees health-care programme, which included provision of healthy alternative food lists. The programme aims to encourage and support staff to pursue positive health habits and methods of proper nutrition. MoFA is keen to provide employees with the best type of health care, hence, it launched the health care programme in early June. The programme comes within the framework of the implementation of the national agenda of United Arab Emirates Government and in line with its Vision 2021. It also aims to promote adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed said in a letter to all employees, “As you are at the top of our priorities, and because we believe that you are the basic building blocks and the driving force in the development process, I am about to approve a health and fitness programme in the ministry in cooperation with our strategic partners. The programme aims to achieving some of the UAE strategic objectives in order to continue boosting its position within the global competitive system, as the happiest people in the world. This could be done through increasing health awareness among employees to follow the best health practices and prevent some harmful behaviour.”

He expressed his confidence and conviction in the ministry staff that they will spare no effort in participating and cooperating with the initiative team to make it a success. They will direct their energies to achieve their objectives and work together towards the nation’s aspirations locally and globally. H.H. praised the role played by staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE and abroad. He appreciated their efforts, dedication and devotion in serving the UAE in its development march, of which they are considered the cornerstone.

On 14th of July, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan received students pursuing the overseas scholarship programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, on the sidelines of a ceremony to honour winners of the Foreign Minister’s Excellence Award.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah expressed his happiness at meeting the students. He pointed out that the meeting was aimed at checking on the students’ conditions and following up on their needs, expressing his hopes to coordinate and communicate directly with them.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the Foreign Ministry is keen to support and enable competent people, and help strengthen their efforts through the scholarship programme in order to make the UAE a beacon among nations.

He said the ministry, in cooperation with the General Command of the Armed Forces, launched the scholarship programme with an aim to build a generation of diplomats who are skilled in diverse and integrated disciplines, have the ability to understand the different and diverse cultures with whom to have communication and dialogue, thus allowing easy integration and dealings with such different peoples. The programme’s objective is also to prepare ambitious and hard-working generations who have the ability to further develop and continuously improve. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan asked the students to meet the expectations of UAE officials and always show the high morals of the UAE people and be more serious in their studies and loyal to the good performance of their duties.

For their part, the students expressed their happiness at meeting H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, promising him that they will meet the expectations of the country’s leadership in their education by reaching the highest academic certificate levels and will continue to participate in the march of progress. The students expressed their appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for supporting and helping them continue their march of success.

In the ceremony for honouring the winners of first round of Minister of Foreign Affairs Excellence Award, held in the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah stressed that excellence has become a key feature of the UAE government and people. Thanks to the support and care provided by the UAE leadership and its tireless follow-up of everything that would elevate the Union’s flag, stirring vigour and hope in the hearts of the people of the UAE to achieve better progress, prosperity and stability.

He also stressed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue spreading the culture of organisational excellence. He highlighted that the competition between various departments and individuals enhances the quality of work, realises government performance standards, contributes to productivity, raises performance level, motivates employees to do their best, and creates a culture of distinction among staff members. He paid tribute to the distinguished winners whether they are individual participants, teams, departments or missions, for their good efforts, both in terms of either winning the award in various categories or by simply participating.

Last July, a batch of newly appointed diplomats in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the oath of office before Sheikh Abdullah at the Ministry headquarters. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, spared no effort to pave the ways for UAE nationals to obtain state-of-the-art technologies. Following the oath-taking ceremony, Sheikh Abdullah welcomed the new 69 diplomats, 44 males and 25 females,and congratulated them on the occasion, expressing his happiness and pride at meeting them as they join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also asserted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is keen to recruit qualified UAE nationals who are able to serve their country and represent it either abroad or in the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He urged the new diplomats to work, exert efforts, and shoulder their responsibilities, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deemed an interface for the UAE, wishing them success in their work, and urged them to always be up to the expectations of the leadership. He also called upon new diplomats to communicate with senior officials in the ministry or the relevant Directors to raise any issue or any problem they may encounter. He commended the families of the diplomats for their efforts in raising and educating their sons and daughters to enable them to attain academic and practical excellence.

He also noted that it is important that all employees should have ambitions and interest in their work and be in agreement with the whole work team in order to create a favourable work environment and promote innovation.

The new diplomats expressed their happiness by joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressing that they would do their best in order to meet the expectations of the Foreign Minister. They said they would shoulder the responsibilities assigned to them and serve the UAE in international forums.

In the same month, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan opened the MoFA Diplomatic Club. The club bears the name of martyr, Khalifa Al Mubarak, UAE former Ambassador to Paris. The Diplomatic Club is located in the southern side of the main premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the old site of Emirates Diplomatic Institute, which was built in 1990 and is considered the oldest building in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed unveiled the plaque of the Diplomatic Club and toured the facilities with the attendees. The club is built on a 2,450 square meters area, consisting of a ground floor with reception galleries, gyms for women and service offices for the ministry. The first floor includes gyms for men and arcades while the upper floor offers an outdoor majlis.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and their keenness to honour UAE nationals who have done much for this beloved country, sacrificing their souls for the sake of the UAE. He pointed out that this generous motion to continue remembrance of prominent national figures is sincere and a profound expression of loyalty to that generation who devoted their lives to serving and developing the UAE. They were strong voices in international forums defending the interests and causes of their homeland.

He said that the UAE is striving to uphold their citizens, even those who are no longer with us. The message of the UAE to them is clear that they, with their sacrifices, are highly appreciated. Sheikh Abdullah noted that the late Khalifa Al Mubarak carried the UAE’s message to the world during his different tenures and made commendable efforts in establishing strong ties with the countries to which he was posted.

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak’s sons and other members of his family expressed their appreciation for this generous gesture by the wise leadership and the keenness of Sheikh Abdullah on naming the Diplomatic Club after the late Khalifa Al Mubarak, noting that it is a good sign and a great show of the appreciation and gratitude of the UAE leadership for its people.

They said that naming the building after the late Khalifa Al Mubarak is a clear message by the UAE that the country never forgets the citizens who served it with loyalty.

The building has been renovated to serve as a recreational and social club with appropriate environment for staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A contract for renovating the building was awarded to the Ministry of Public Works to reflect the architectural identity of the existing main building, and were implemented at a total cost of AED10 million.

On 15th June, nine departments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were awarded the ISO 9001 quality management system; the achievement came within the framework of the ministry’s strategy to realise its strategic vision, objectives, develop work procedures and improve the services provided to customers of different classes.

ISO certification was awarded to six departments of the Assistant Minister for Political Affairs sector, Studies and Research Department, General Secretariat for Diplomatic and Consular Corps Affairs, and Human Rights Department. The ISO was awarded after the external audit team members from Birovritas company inspected the applicable system records, and audited the main department’s procedures and processes, checked the key performance indicators for conformity with international standards set by the ISO Authority in this regard. With this achievement, the ratio of departments granted ISO 9001 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rose from 32 percent to 59 percent. The ministry aspires to qualify all MoFA departments to get the ISO 9001 certification by early 2016.