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Accession Day 2003 Feature: National Consultative Council

posted on 30/07/2003: 1331 views



As the Emirate of Abu Dhabi continues to record significant strides in various fields, President H.H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has been more than keen to ensure that citizens of Abu Dhabi are full partakers in the affairs of their own emirate through their representatives in the National Consultative Council (NCC). The NCC, which is the legislative body of the emirate has not only been watching the performance of the executive branch of the emirate but also worked hand in hand with various local departments to address public issues of the citizens.



Over the past few years, NCC members have been interacting with their respective constituencies to gain first hand knowledge on the day-to-day problems in order to debate and address them appropriately. The modus operandi of the council is " Shura” or democracy in accordance with Islamic tenets. Commenting on the performance of the council during the past few years, Abdullah Al Masood, Speaker of the NCC said the formation of the council underpinned the strong commitment of President Sheikh Zayed to the principle of Shura.



Sheikh Zayed, said Masood, believes strongly in the participation of the people in their own affairs. It is through Shura that citizens can express their aspirations and get involved in various aspects of governance, explained Masood, adding that this is exactly the role that the council has been playing.



On the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Accession Day, Masood renewed the allegiance of the council to President Sheikh Zayed and also to H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He also hailed their unfailing support to the council and pledged the council's readiness to continue cooperation with local government departments so that the UAE's progress and prosperity is sustained and further reinforced.



Masood pointed out that the support accorded to the council by the Ruler and the Crown Prince enabled it to debate a number of issues, notably education, health, and other civic issues on which appropriate resolutions were taken. In a report issued on the occasion of the Accession Day, the council praised the speech delivered by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister at the inaugural session of the 15th Legislative Chapter in November last year.



The speech reaffirmed the commitment of the leadership in the emirate to the principle of Shura as the only way of achieving a quality growth in the emirate and thereby secure a brighter future for the next generations. The speech also underlined the need to redouble efforts to face the challenges of the future rather than remaining complacent about the astounding successes that have been made over the past decades.



Enumerating the activities of the council during the previous session, the report said that the council discussed a number of issues during its 11-session term. Among these issues was the Civil Defence. After forming a committee to review the performance of the civil defence, the council recommended several measures to upgrade the level of preparedness of the civil defence so as to deal with accidents or unexpected emergencies.



The council noted that there was an increasing demand for civil defence services in view of the expansions being witnessed by the emirate. New residential and industrial areas required more safety measures which meant deployment of more civil defence equipment and personnel. The council recommended to the Ministry of Interior the provision of more safety, search and rescue operation equipment.



The council also discussed ways of integrating people with special needs into the mainstream society by providing them with adequate training and employment. A sub-committee on health in the council held meetings with the ministries of Health and Interior to assess the pace of integrating this social group into the society. Al though the committee was satisfied with the existing programmes for people with special needs, it nevertheless recommended increment of current support to the centre for people with special needs in Al Ain. The council also recommended that a branch of Al Ain centre be opened in Abu Dhabi to accommodate more people. It suggested creation of more jobs for this group.



On the development projects in the Abu Dhabi Eastern Region, the council noted with appreciation that the agricultural schemes that were ordered by President Sheikh Zayed have really changed the areas in economic terms. The council noted that more and more citizens have become engaged in farming as a result of the resources provided by the government. The Eastern region has expanded in terms of population and commercial activities, including animal production.



Owing to the growing population, the council recommended the opening of a hospital in Al Yahar to serve the area and the surrounding villages. Other recommendations included replacement of electric cables with underground network and exemption of farmers from paying electricity connection fees. One of the main topics that were debated by the council during its previous term was the problem of road networks in Abu Dhabi.



The sub-committee on municipalities raised the problem of lack of sufficient pedestrian crossings and parking lots in Abu Dhabi. The council recommended a total review of roads networks in the capital, taking into consideration the expansion and requirements of modern Abu Dhabi. The report pointed out that the NCC will continue to work closely with economic institutions in the emirate, particularly the Economic Department so as to enhance economic vibrancy. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)











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