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Abu Dhabi Government unveils its Policy Agenda 2007-08

posted on 02/08/2007: 1489 views



The Abu Dhabi Government yesterday formally unveiled its comprehensive policy agenda for 2007/8.Entitled Policy Agenda 2007-08, the document outlines key goals and initiatives across all portfolios of government in the Emirate.

In a forward to the Policy Agenda, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, said that the Federation of the United Arab Emirates has relied, and will continue to rely, on the rich and diverse contributions of its true wealth, its people, who, he added, continue to make generous contributions in the country's development and progress through hard work, dedication to the principle of nationhood and true sense of belonging to the nation.

The eighty-three page agenda consists of eighteen independent policy statements providing detailed analysis of the Government's plans in areas as diverse as: planning and economy, energy, tourism, health, education, labour, civil services, culture and heritage, food control, urban planning, transport, environment, health and safety, municipal affairs, police and emergency services, electronic government, women, and legislative reform. It is published today in Arabic and English language versions.

Sheikh Khalifa re-affirmed Abu Dhabi's pivotal role in UAE federation, adding: "In order to fulfil its important role, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will continue to work towards its own comprehensive, multifaceted vision. That vision is to continue to create a confident, secured society and to build a sustainable, open and globally competitive economy".

President Khalifa added: "To ensure the realization of that vision, our government has prepared a policy agenda that reflects the vast array of integrated initiatives that are currently being implemented and that will be implemented in the future, to achieve sustainable development,".

Commenting on the new agenda, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Chairman of The Executive Council said: "For the people of Abu Dhabi, the publication of a comprehensive policy agenda will provide unprecedented understanding of the priorities and plans of the government. For the private sector, the initiatives outlined in this agenda represent huge opportunities to operate in new sectors that were previously the traditional realm of the government. For citizens and residents, the policy agenda signals a new era in accountability, transparency and government performance."

Sheikh Mohammed added, "The creation of a clear and publicly available government policy agenda will also further strengthen Abu Dhabi's ability to attract inward investment".

For his part, the General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi said the Policy agenda outlined by the Abu Dhabi Government constitutes a blueprint for all the local departments in the emirate. These plans and goals, he said, should be implemented in letter and spirit so as to bring a about greater transparency and accountability."More importantly, this policy will enhance the spirit of teamwork which will , in turn, boost government performance and improve the quality services delivered to the people", he said.

Al Bowardi noted that policies and strategies adopted by the local departments are not mutually exclusive with those evolved by the federal government.

"Rather, local and federal policies are complementary to one another. What is important here is the end result", Al Bowardi told reporters in a news conference. He stressed that Abu Dhabi emirate has long sought to deliver services to citizens across the country, thereby cementing the UAE federation at various levels. Asked about local elections, Al Bowardi said: "We believe in elections, but we are taking gradual and well-thought-out steps to ensure the success of these elections".

Khaldoun Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority in Abu Dhabi said the Policy agenda would help the emirate maintain its current competitive edge in various spheres. Asked about the progress of the re-structuring plans in the Government Departments in Abu Dhabi, Al Mubarak said the four-year plan was smoothly progressing as initially planned."As part of the re-structuring plan, we have reduced the volume of the workforce in government departments from 65,000 to 18,000. This is a significant progress, considering that this target was met in just three years" he said.

The Policy Agenda 2007-08: The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive policy agenda of its kind to be published in the region. It sets clear priorities and articulates detailed plans for each portfolio of government in Abu Dhabi. The policy agenda is the result of 12 months of intensive work involving all government departments, and is characterized by a deliberate focus on facilitating coordination and collaboration between the entities of government in Abu Dhabi. The agenda outlines the numerous areas in which interdepartmental coordination is required, and provides a whole-of-government snapshot of the Abu Dhabi public sector in action.

The policy agenda contains a statement of commitment to deliver on the Emirate's ambitious vision for the future, signed today by each member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, demonstrating their commitment to accountability and the cross-portfolio consensus that the policy agenda represents. It is intended that the government's policy agenda will be updated and published annually or as required.

Policy Agenda 2007-08: The Emirate of Abu Dhabi will be distributed to all government departments and authorities immediately, and is universally available "on-line" for download in Arabic and English from the Abu Dhabi Government portal at http://www.abudhabi.ae. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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