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Al Qasimi calls for more empowerment for women

posted on 01/10/2006: 1155 views

New York - The Minister of Economy, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, has called for more empowerment for women by providing education and economic opportunities at a global and grass root levels through innovative ideas.

Speaking at the launch event of the Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF) on September 26 at Columbia University in New York, Sheikha Lubna said that education, building a solid economic foundation and fostering respect for different cultures and religions are various ways to boost security, and enable us to live in peace and empathy.

"The United Arab Emirates is an example of that" she said and added that "in the UAE plenty of our nationals gain a level of education or work experience abroad, but tend to come back to the UAE rather than migrate because they see both economic growth and the related security as reasons to stay."

In her speech at the event, titled the "Security in the 21 Century: Women Leaders and Global Challenges" that marks the beginning of a unique endeavour linking women around the world through intercultural and intergenerational networks and to bridge global divides, Sheikha Lubna spoke also of changes to achieving a more secured people and more secure world. She said that access to fundamentals -education at the top of the list, health care plus a determined and cheerful acceptance that people are different in many ways but all human in the end can bridge the security divide in the world.

The September meeting held in New York focused on four main topics (impacting women's lives) migration, violence against women, economic empowerment and culture which will be demonstrated and discussed by 40 established and emerging global women leaders.

A panel discussion of global leaders also addressed policy priorities of an integrated approach to security and also how protecting and empowering people at risk are essential to cultivating national and international security.

The panellists include H.M. Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan (by video) President Bachelet, President to Chile (by video), Kim Campbell, Secretary General, Club of Madrid , former Prime Minister of Defence, Canada, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates and others.

The Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF) is a multi-year joint initiative of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative (EGI), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Women's Learning Partnership(WLP), Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs(SIPA) , The Council of Women World Leaders (CWWL) and Markkula Centre for Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The WLIF in the launch event will articulate its vision and objectives in a public space and further develop the basis for 2007 and 2008 WLIF events.

In another development, the Economy Minister, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, in a keynote address at the Clifford Chance seminar on Demystifying the Middle East, held in New York on September 26, said that the UAE had been remarkably successful in reducing its dependence on oil (which currently accounts for 30% of its national income) by diversifying its sources of income and creating a business attraction and hub to international investments.

Sheikha Lubna pointed out that in 2005 UAE exports reached Dh425billion dirham, about US$115 billion dollar-only one third of the amount came from crude oil exports. She added that income from tourism accounted for about US$9 billion dollars in 2005, thus making the UAE among the top earners in the MENA region.

She pointed out that the UAE is a community of diversified talents creating a mixture of products and services unparalleled anywhere in the world. "This convergence of the east and west north and south has enabled in us to speak in all language and with everyone. This is a great economic resource," she stressed.

Shedding more light on the incentives to set up business in UAE, Sheikha Lubna said that the ability to retain 100% ownership and free access to repatriate profits is as generous as anywhere within the global business markets and added that other markets are stunned to know we are building 31 hotels or buying 45 A380 planes to bring in more tourists to our country and that everyone of our hotels is full and that we have 100%occupany.

Speaking about the Arab region status, Sheikha Lubna said that there is no doubt that the region does not display the most significant inspiring economies with slow governmental reform process and added that the high population growth is increasing the severity of the employment problem and hence the frustration of youth and that by 2020 we need to create 100 million jobs throughout the region.

Participants at the seminar included high profile bankers form Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and other financial institutes, members of Islamic Business Forum (including Islamists) and a number of American lawyers. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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