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Saif bin Zayed: Positive patriotism will drive future governments

posted on 10/02/2015: 1206 views

The most serious danger of modern terrorism is its ability to use and harness today's technologies to incite hatred in one another and the violent exclusionist ideology conducive to building a confused generation and families opposing the idea of the nation and public good, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, warned on Sunday.

He stressed that in future a successful and effective government will be one that is responsive to this menace and is able to tackle its root causes by promoting positive patriotism.

'What concerns world opinion most today are terrorism and low oil prices, for the danger they pose to international peace and stability,' Sheikh Saif told the plenary session of the 3rd Government Summit in Dubai, organised under the theme Shaping Future Governments .

He emphasised that this threat does not represent a crisis for the UAE, but it is a challenge it can address thanks to the effective, scientific policy adopted by the UAE government under the wise leadership, which has worked to diversify sources of national income by reducing dependence on oil revenues.

The UAE leadership, he noted, had instilled in the people the spirit of tolerance, openness and moderation.

Sheikh Saif escorted to the podium an elite of UAE innovative students and conscripts of the national military service as a symbol of true citizenship based on excellence and innovation.

As he reviewed an old photo of a group of young UAE men celebrating their humble life, he said, 'The spirit of positive patriotism, optimism and hope for a promising future had long been a dream of the UAE people and leaders, who defied the harsh life and scarcity of resources in the past to continue building their nation.' Positive patriotism, he said, means reacting positively and serves as a key to the success of future governments and as a factor that unites people and helps in development.

'Citizenship is more than merely belonging to the nation and proving it with identity documents. Rather it is a practice of loyalty and service to the nation's higher interests in a strong and continuous way and in different circumstances and times as part of a common destiny.' Outlining major challenges facing future governments, Sheikh Saif said they were the same rapidly changing, increasingly complicated and dangerous challenges because of their connection to advanced sciences, human knowledge and development.

However, he noted, terrorism and low oil prices have emerged as the most two pressing challenges that comprise international stability. Terrorism, old and new, has the same sources and motives based on extremism, fanaticism, hatred and ignorance.

He explained that old terrorism used traditional weapons to inflict direct material destruction, while the new terrorism targets minds, family and the society through an arsenal of advanced technologies that are more lethal, such as the internet and social media. Terrorists and criminals have abused these technologies to vent their ideological poison among the youngsters and other segments in the community to raise an intellectually distorted generation and build families based on extremism and hatred, a family that cannot contribute something positive and whose prime goal is to undermine the security and stability of the society.

The UAE leaders, he recalled, had been very conscious of these challenges even before these emerged. He screened a film showing the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, warning a group of students from the UAE University about foreign poisonous intellectual trends. Sheikh Zayed, he noted, had sensed these challenges very early and recognised the importance of direct interaction and dialogue as well as good counselling in order to enhance the spirit of positive patriotism among the youths, makers of the nation's future.

'Confronting terrorist ideology is a collective and common responsibility, starting from the family through dissemination of anti-terror thought process and preaching true positive values in our local society, based on tolerance and moderation.

Sheikh Saif urged the international community to put in place up-to-date frameworks to deal with terrorism that transcend criminal laws and procedures to deep, preventive remedies of the sources and drivers of terrorism, hold financiers, propagandists and political sponsors of terrorism accountable for their acts which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, especially amidst the steady increase in terror crimes which increased by 60 percent between 2013 and 2014.

Citing media reports indicating that DAESH had sold large quantities of oil on a daily basis, Sheikh Saif called for punishing those buyers because they contributed to financing DAESH's terrorist operations.

Media, he affirmed, has a tremendous role in spreading a culture of positive patriotism in the society and contributing significantly in the fight against terrorism and exposing its false tactics and tools.

Addressing the low oil prices challenge, Sheikh Saif said the UAE economy's dependence on oil revenues had dropped remarkably from 90 to 30 percent today and the government was planning to reduce that percentage to five percent by 2021.

'Positive patriotism has a vital role in addressing the low oil price challenge. It is a common challenge that requires collective responsibility ...A family is expected to raise the level of education of its children and preserve the nation's gains and add to its material and moral achievements. A government employee is also expected to innovate, produce and work as one team,' he added.

He stressed the importance of taking inspiration from the UAE's exceptional leadership, wisdom, determination and perseverance to deliver success and from the noble values of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

'Security, quality services and stability are the natural, inevitable results of positive patriotism,' Sheikh Saif concluded. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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