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Sheikh Zayed highlights UAE achievements in a remarkable speech on National Day

posted on 02/12/2003: 19250 views



President H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan affirmed that the esteem that the UAE country enjoyed amongst the nations was the best proof of the success of the Federation in achieving its objectives and realising peoples aspirations of it. In his address on the UAE's celebrations of its 32nd National Day, Sheikh Zayed said that the UAE was recognised internationally to be in the forefront of those who provide foreign aid and assistance, and in terms of its conservation of the environment and in taking care of its citizens and their welfare, and in providing them with a decent life.



"Thanks to all this development, and because of what we enjoy in terns pf peace and security, we managed this year to host efficiently a number of important international events, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings and the current World Youth Soccer Cup. The whole world has seen that the UAE, both official and non-official sectors, both its men and women, have shown their capabilities and professional skills of management," Sheikh Zayed added.



Highlighting some of the remarkable achievements of the UAE over the years, Sheikh Zayed cited the effective participation of the UAE Armed Forces in United Nations peacekeeping and reconstruction operations in several parts of the world as well as its distinguished international role in the humanitarian field. "We are gratified that our own men now form the essential core of our Armed Forces and of the police and security forces, and that they have succeeded in undertaking their tasks efficiently and successfully," he said.



Sheikh Zayed expressed his pride in the achievements of UAE women in terms of their role in strengthening the economic and social sectors of the society, in both the public and the private sectors. "We re-affirm our commitment to provide all necessary support for our women, such that will ensure that their role in society can be further strengthened, and so that the scope of their participation in the comprehensive development of our country can be widened," he said.



Sheikh Zayed added that the UAE's interest in the environment derived from what the UAE people had learned from their forefathers, noting that the forefathers learned to co-exist with the natural environment around them and learned how to make the best use of the scant resources available to them.



Sheikh Zayed illustrated that the process of comprehensive development witnessed over such a short space of time had produced some negative aspects that were required to be addressed with awareness and prudence and in a determined manner, saying that the most important of these was the imbalance in the demographic structure of the UAE. He said all citizens, whether an official or a private individual, shared a joint responsibility with the State to rectify this matter, noting that the success of Government on this issue cannot be achieved without full co-operation from each and everyone of you.



Sheikh Zayed said that the respect that the United Arab Emirates enjoyed in the international arena was the result of its principled foreign policy. "This policy is based upon adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and to international conventions, upon the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of others, upon respect for territorial integrity and the sovereignty of nations, upon a belief in solving conflict through peaceful means, and on support for the principles of Right and Justice," he said.



At a regional level, Sheikh Zayed said that the UAE further wished to express its satisfaction with the achievements that had been made by the countries of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council in terms of providing welfare for their peoples. He also called for the implementation of the strategic resolutions that had been taken by the Supreme Council of the GCC, which seeked, in general terms, to bring about unity and complimentarity between the member countries in a number of vital spheres.



Sheikh Zayed reiterated the UAE's continued support towards the Iraqi people to reduce their suffering and to help them to pass through this critical stage, reaffirming the country's commitment to the resolutions of the international community relating to Iraq, so that the country may regain its rightful status among the nations. The President also reaffirmed the UAE's support for the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to end occupation and to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.



He called upon the international community, in particular on the United States and the other Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, to make effective and serious moves to put the peace process back on track, so as to lead to an end to the occupation and to the achievement of a comprehensive and just peace based upon the legitimate resolutions of the international community. On the issue of terrorism, Sheikh Zayed emphasised that neither religion, nor international law, nor any conventions on the Rights of Man could provide any justification whatsoever for the practice of terrorism.



"Any attempt to use religion to justify these acts is intrinsically wrong, for such acts violate all accepted principles and values, as well as all humanitarian and religious teachings," he said. At the conclusion, Sheikh Zayed called upon UAE young men and women to work for their country with devotion and sincerity. "Engage in interaction with the world around you. Take from it what is useful to you and to your country, and leave aside those things that are harmful to your society, your traditions and your values," he concluded.

FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF THE SPEECH:



My dear citizens, We celebrate today our country's National Day, with all that day represents in terms of the wide-ranging and all-encompassing achievements that have been made. These extend beyond our imagination and our dreams. That which our dear country enjoys today in terms of prosperity, security and stability is the fruit of the patience and perseverance that we have all displayed. Our will has not faltered in the face of the difficulties that we have had to face.



Our belief is today as it was at the beginning, that the Federation is the way through which we can achieve strength and prosperity, and is the framework through which we can provide a decent life for our children, those who, in the past, like their fathers and their grandfathers, suffered many hardships and a hard life, tasting the bitter fruits of deprivation from the essentials of life that others enjoyed. That is why we have devoted ourselves to compensating our people for all that they did not have in the past and to making use of the wealth that Almighty God has bestowed upon us, so that we may provide for their welfare and prepare them to assume their role in the building of the country and to contribute in a positive and effective way to its comprehensive and sustainable development.



Thanks to Almighty God, we are today satisfied as we see all that our Federation has achieved over the past few decades. Those achievements represent much of that of which we had dreamed, and for which we have worked, along with my brothers, the Rulers of the Emirates - our objective to build our Federation and to strengthen the pillars that support it. We have done all of this with a single target before us - that of providing prosperity and welfare for our people. This could not, however, have been achieved without deep devotion to he service of the country and its citizens, over and above any other consideration, and without they're being an intimate unity of purpose between the leadership and the people.



My dear citizens, The developments that we see today in all aspects of life are too many to be enumerated. The United Arab Emirates, thanks to Almighty God, has become a country of whose place among the nations we can be proud. We can be proud, too, of what it has achieved in terms of the development of its basic infrastructure, and, over and above that, of what we enjoy in terms of stability, peace and an open society.



The esteem that our country enjoys amongst the nations is the best proof of the success of our Federation. Our country is recognised internationally to be in the forefront of those who provide foreign aid and assistance, and in terms of its conservation of the environment and in taking care of its citizens and their welfare, and in providing them with a decent life.



Thanks to all of this development, and because of what we enjoy in terns pf peace and security, we managed this year to host efficiently a number of important international events, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings and the current World Youth Soccer Cup. The whole world has seen that the UAE, both official and non-official sectors, both its men and women, have shown their capabilities and professional skills of management.



My dear citizens, It is not possible for us to list all of the recent developments in various fields. We will refer only to some of the major ones. Our Armed Forces take pride of place. We are gratified that our own men now form the essential core of our Armed Forces and of the police and security forces, and that they have succeeded in undertaking their tasks efficiently and successfully.



The effective participation of our Armed Forces in United Nations peacekeeping and reconstruction operations in several parts of the world represents a decoration that these forces have bestowed on the country and on its international status. It shows, too, that our Armed Forces have the respect and skills necessary for them to play their distinguished international role in the humanitarian field.



Dear citizens, We are pleased to mention, with pride, that which our women have achieved in terms of strengthening the economic and social role that they play in society, in both the public and the private sectors. We re-affirm our commitment to provide all necessary support for our women, such that will ensure that their role in society can be further strengthened, and so that the scope of their participation in the comprehensive development of our country can be widened.



We are pleased to note that the women of the United Arab Emirates have displayed a strong commitment in this direction, for we now see them acquiring all kinds of specialist scientific skills and working effectively in the public and private sectors, while they remain, at the same time, committed to their fundamental and basic role of raising their children properly, in accordance with our spiritual and religious values and our heritage.



My dear citizens, While we have worked to achieve balanced and comprehensive development in all economic and social fields, we have, too, paid special attention to the environment and its conservation. Our interest in the environment derives from what we learned from our forefathers. They learned to co-exist with the natural environment around them. They learned how to make the best use of the scant resources available to them, while, at the same time, ensuring that they did not over-exploit them, and that they left sufficient for the generations to come. That is why we have worked since the establishment of the Federation to protect our environment and its wildlife, and to formulate all necessary laws, regulations, programmes and projects for this purpose.



These have placed the United Arab Emirates in the forefront of environmental conservation, and have made it a model for the world. These achievements provide an incentive for us to continue with this approach of caring for the environment, and to keep it clean and safe. For, if we fail to do this, we will destroy the resources that we have been given by Almighty God has given us. These resources are not only for us to use, but also for our children and our children's children.



My dear citizens, While we are proud of our achievements at all levels and in all spheres, we must acknowledge that the process of comprehensive development that our country has witnessed over such a short space of time has produced some negative aspects. It is required of us that we address these with awareness and prudence and in a determined manner.



The most important of these - and the one that holds most danger for the future of our country and its national identity - is the imbalance in the demographic structure of the UAE. This is a matter of major conern to us, and that is why we would like to take this occasion to emphasise the necessity of ensuring tighter supervision of this issue, and of implementing effectively the rules, regulations and decisions introduced or taken on how to correct this imbalance. We continue to believe that this imbalance represents a dangerous situation that threatens the stability of our society, and of that of the generations to come.



Every citizen, whether an official or a private individual, shares a joint responsibility with the State to rectify this matter. Everyone of you should be aware that the efforts of the State on this issue are linked with your own personal efforts. The success of Government on this issue cannot be achieved without full co-operation from each and everyone of you. We say this because we believe that it is our natural right to preserve our national identity.



While, though, we emphasise that the protection of our national heritage, our traditions and our culture are of the utmost importance, we also reaffirm that we shall continue to absorb and to acquire anything of modern developments in the technical, economic and cultural sphere that may come from elsewhere, provided that it is of use to us.



My dear citizens, The respect that the United Arab Emirates enjoys in the international arena is the result of our principled foreign policy. This policy is based upon adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and to international conventions, upon the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of others, upon respect for territorial integrity and the sovereignty of nations, upon a belief in solving conflict through peaceful means, and on support for the principles of Right and Justice.



Foreign aid and assistance is one of the basic pillars of our foreign policy. For we believe that there is no true benefit for us from the wealth that we have unless it does not also reach those in need, wherever they may be, and regardless of their nationality or beliefs. That is why we have ensured that our brothers and our friends have shared in our wealth.



We take this occasion, therefore, to express our appreciation for the great and distinguished efforts of the UAE Red Crescent in providing aid and welfare to those in need. This has received, rightly, international recognition, and represents another decoration for our country itself. We acknowledge the efforts of all those who have helped the Red Crescent in its humanitarian work.



At a regional level, we would further wish to express our satisfaction with the achievements that have been made by the countries of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council in terms of providing welfare for their peoples. At the same time, we call for the implementation of the strategic resolutions that have been taken by the Supreme Council of the GCC, which seek, in general terms, to bring about unity and complimentarity between the member countries in a number of vital spheres. We look forward with confidence to the next GCC summit in Kuwait, and are optimistic that the efforts of our brethren, the leaders of the GCC states, will culminate in success.



We would like to reaffirm and to emphasise the UAE's support for the people of Iraq. We shall support them with all of the resources at our disposal, so as to help them to regain their dignity, their welfare and their stability. We are fully confident that, with the blessings of Almighty God, the future will be one that is for the good of the Iraqi people, through the efforts of all Iraqi citizens and with the unified support of their Arab brethren.



On this occasion, I call upon our brethren in Iraq to put the past behind them, and to work together, hand in hand, and in a spirit of national consensus, patience and wisdom, so that they may achieve a better future, and pass through and beyond these difficult times. We will continue, without tiring, to fulfil our duties towards our brethren in Iraq, to reduce their suffering and to help them to pass through this critical stage, and we reaffirm our commitment to the resolutions of the international community relating to Iraq, so that the country may regain its rightful status among the nations.



We express today our hope that the positive environment that prevails in terms of our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran will lead to the elimination of the obstacles that stand in the way in achieving a real breakthrough in these relations. We reiterate our call to the Islamic Republic of Iran to commence serious negotiations on ending its occupation of our three islands of Greater and Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa, or to refer the issue to international arbitration or to the International Court of Justice.



As for the Palestine question, we reaffirm, yet again, our support for the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle to end occupation and to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. We call upon the international community, in particular on the United States and the other Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, to make effective and serious moves to put the peace process back on track, so as to lead to an end to the occupation and to the achievement of a comprehensive and just peace based upon the legitimate resolutions of the international community.



My dear citizens, We say again today what we said many years ago, before the world became fully aware of the phenomenon of terrorism. We emphasise that neither religion, nor international law, nor any conventions on the Rights of Man can provide any justification whatsoever for the practice of terrorism. Any attempt to use religion to justify these acts is intrinsically wrong, for such acts violate all accepted principles and values, as well as all humanitarian and religious teachings.



We reiterate our condemnation for, amongst others, the recent attacks that occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we reaffirm our support to the people and Government of Saudi Arabia. We reject strongly, and forthrightly, any voices that seek to spread hatred, violence and divisions between the peoples of the world. In the United Arab Emirates, we shall continue with our approach that seeks to preserve in the country a society that adheres to its fundamental values and traditions, and that is open to the world and to interaction with its many other cultures.



My dear citizens, Work for our nation does not cease - it is a never-ending task. And it is your responsibility, Oh young men and women of the Emirates, to make the best use of the opportunities that have been given to you, in order to provide you with the means to contribute to your country and to your people. We view the concept of citizenship as meaning loyalty to our country and a commitment to work for its benefit.



Citizenship requires from each and every one of us that we should view the making of a contribution to our country as the yardstick by which we are judged, because the homeland is a single entity, and the building of it necessitates that all of us should work together, hand in hand, and that all of us should be ready to serve and protect it.



The evidence of our material development that you see all around you did not emerge from nothing. It is the result of hard work, perseverance and commitment. What has come about did not happen all of a sudden, and nor did it just take place over the course of the last three or four decades. It is the result of the cultural and social heritage that we inherited from our fathers and our forefathers, who faced difficulties that are today beyond our capacity to imagine.



We are indebted to them for all that we enjoy in terms of our strength, our ability to build, our seriousness in work and our determination to succeed. That is why we always say that a people that does not understand its past, and does not draw the correct lessons from it, will not be able to deal with the challenges of the present and the future. We will continue with all of our capabilities, and at all official and non-official levels, to protect and to safeguard our achievements and accomplishments, so that we may do yet more for the good of our people and our country. But we now look for real participation in this task by all of you, both men and women, a participation that is effective in the process of development, with all of its vital economic, social and cultural dimensions.



Oh, young men and women of the Emirates, the future is yours. You are those who will determine its features. Make the best use of the opportunities that have been made available to you, and use them prudently and rationally, so as to benefit your families and your country.



On this historic occasion, when we look ahead to try to perceive an idea of the future that awaits us, we call upon all Government and non-government and civil organisations to pay more attention to the formulation and implementation of the diversified and widespread programmes that will take care of our young people, and that will better prepare them for the future, at all levels. And we call on these organisations to do so in such a way as to learn from and to make use of the successful experiments already made in terms of human development, and in line with what we have achieved already, in accordance with our concepts, traditions and values.



Although we have already achieved a considerable amount in terms of the training and preparation of our young people, both men and women, there remains a great need to continue to focus on this training, and to intensify it. We believe that getting the country's young people involved in working for its future is a task to which we should devote all of our efforts, so that it may be achieved in the best possible way. This requires that we should continue to modernise our educational curriculum, so that it may deal effectively with the recent advances in science and technology and the new opportunities that they make available, so that the training we provide is fully compatible with them.



What we have achieved, my dear young people of the Emirates, will not survive, unless you yourselves engage in further work and efforts, and sacrifices. You should work hard to protect our national achievements, to foster and support the continued march of our Federation, and to make more achievements that contribute to the dignity and prestige of our country and to the welfare of our people. This cannot be achieved without positive and effective participation from all of you.



Today, we enjoy a prosperity the like of which we never even dreamed. I appeal to you all, young men and women of the Emirates, to do all that you can to preserve and to cherish it, so that you and your children may continue to enjoy its fruits. Spare no effort to work with all of your powers. I warn you against idleness, and against taking things easy. What we enjoy today will not stay as it is without hard work, and without the continued blessings of Almighty God.



Please do not fail us, Oh young men and women of the Emirates. Work for your country with devotion and sincerity. Engage in interaction with the world around you. Take from it what is useful to you and to your country, and leave aside those things that are harmful to your society, your traditions and your values. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)



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