ABU DHABI, The Federal National Council, FNC, yesterday celebrated the 47th anniversary of its establishment as one of the country’s constitutional authorities.
The Federal National Council was formed under the Provisional Constitution of the United Arab Emirates in 1971 as a permanent component of the country’s governing structure, which also includes the Supreme Council, President, Cabinet and Judiciary.
Over the last 47 years, the FNC has discussed hundreds of issues and drafted laws concerning the people and economy of the country. Since its founding, the FNC has proven its effectiveness in demonstrating the vision of the UAE leadership and the aspirations of the Emirati people, under the framework of its legislative, monitoring and parliamentary roles in realising the country’s vision. It has also played a role in advancing the UAE’s humanitarian and cultural objectives, by promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence, openness and acceptance, rejecting violence, extremism and terrorism, providing humanitarian and development aid, achieving security and stability, and communicating with the world’s parliaments and peoples.
The FNC’s overall political experience has been a model of supporting the leadership and encouraging the participation of citizens since the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan identified its functions, during his speech at the inauguration of the first session of the FNC’s first legislative chapter on 12th February, 1972, when he stated, “In these critical and historic time, when your honourable council is meeting, the country and its people are confident that you will fulfil their hopes for development and prosperity.”
The day the speech was delivered was a historic one in the annals of the UAE and a milestone in the work of the FNC and its role in building a bright future and fulfilling the development aspirations of the Emirati people. The FNC also received support and guidance from Sheikh Zayed, who was keen to inaugurate its ordinary sessions and meet with its members to direct and guide them.
Since President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan assumed his constitutional powers on 3rd November 2004, the FNC has witnessed key milestones that have enabled it to practice its constitutional functions and discuss various topics related to the nation and its citizens.
Milestones include the “reformation stage” which saw a revised method of selecting the representatives of the emirates in the Federal National Council by combining the process of election and appointment.
In his speech marking the 34th National Day in December 2005, Sheikh Zayed said, “The coming period of our journey and the changes and reforms witnessed by the region require us to reinforce the role of the FNC as a supportive and guiding authority to the executive institution, and we shall make the FNC more efficient in solving the country’s issues and the concerns of citizens. We have decided to reinforce the role of the FNC, by electing half of its members through the councils of every emirate, and by appointing the other half.”
The first elections of Federal National Council were held in December 2006.
The FNC’s 16th legislative chapter convened in November 2015 where eight women were appointed; equalling to 20 percent of the total membership.
The strategy is based on a series of national pillars, which include the political empowerment programme that His Highness Sheikh Khalifa declared in 2005, the UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Centennial 2071, and the country’s general policies, as well as the directives and recommendations raised during a meeting between Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the FNC, and various FNC members with the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members Rulers of the Emirates, to enable the FNC to practice its constitutional, legislative, monitoring and parliamentary functions, achieve the best parliamentary performance, support development and encourage participation.
The FNC is a member of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) as well as the Arab Parliamentary Union (APU).
Source: Emirates News Agency