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Statement by Mohamed bin Zayed on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of UAE National Day

posted on 02/12/2014: 3078 views

Statement by General His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of the UAE National Day.

"On this day, 2nd of December 2014, as we celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of the UAE, we remember the achievements of the founding fathers and the great efforts they made to build our beloved nation.

The will of Emiratis gathered under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers, the members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, to declare the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, opened a glorious chapter in the history of our region. Our founding forefathers realised that their unity was a strength and that it was time to unify our great people on this blessed land. The great national values of unity and solidarity that this anniversary stands for make it very special to every one of us.

As we celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the UAE National Day, we remember those great national values and are inspired by them as we learn from the wisdom and determination of the founding father of the UAE and his brothers on how we can continue to build our nation. We pray to Almighty Allah to rest their souls in peace, reaffirming that we will continue to follow their example by preserving and reinforcing our union, and protecting its gains in order to enable future generations to live a decent and stable life and uphold the position of the UAE among the great nations of the world.

Under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and with the assistance of his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers, the members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, the UAE acts upon a philosophy that is based on its citizens' interests, from ensuring stability and security, to building an advanced infrastructure and providing viable job opportunities to secure a decent living for Emiratis. The UAE believes in its citizens because it firmly believes that human capital is the cornerstone of a balanced development process encompassing all of the Emirates and a key pillar to achieve progress, development and prosperity.

The UAE has realized many achievements for the benefit of the nation and its citizens. However, we should not be complacent about those achievements but rather keep looking forward, thinking how such achievements can contribute to a more secure future for our nation. On the economic level, we believe that it is mandatory to build a strong economy based on diversified sources of income that can support development. We should make more efforts to continue to decrease our reliance on oil. Acquiring knowledge and expertise to achieve development is the only path for our nation to reach a stage in which it does not rely as heavily on oil as a source of income. This includes learning from the experiences of many other nations with very few natural resources of their own.

Likewise, we believe we need to continue to search for energy alternatives through supporting scientific innovations and research projects. We have come a long way in this area, with our nation carrying out many renewable energy projects. However, we have to speed up our pace to achieve more in this field and to continue to balance our duty to improve sources of energy while protecting our environment to achieve sustainable development.

The UAE's achievements on the social level are clear to all. A glance at the sectors of healthcare, education and housing shows the scale of development that has been achieved in each of these sectors, putting them on par with those of developed nations. This is in line with our key public policy objective to achieve real social development through the provision of an integrated system that provides all of our citizens with a decent, secure living.

Fellow citizens, since our nation was founded, we have recognised the value of human capital and its importance in building nations. We are therefore keen to preserve the rights and wellbeing of our people and to meet their needs, with a special emphasis on our youth, whom we consider to be our hope for a better future. We believe that youth are the makers of today, the hope for tomorrow and the pillar for any real progress. There is no greater investment that can be made by any nation than in the capabilities of its youth.

The UAE is a youthful society, and our youth represent the future of our nation. Therefore, we must make sure our youth are protected against outlandish ideas and malicious attempts to target them. To do so, we provide them with a healthy environment that supports proper growth and an upbringing based on the values of moderation, tolerance, coexistence and being open to the world and its developments, while preserving our cultural, social and religious identity.

We want our youth to be aware of the world around them and to embrace their role in the building of the nation. Today, we are all required to enhance our developmental and strategic policies through a shared vision based on the historical heritage of our nation. This vision embraces change, keeps pace with developments, and enables us to approach the future with an ambitious and open-minded view. Our youth must be at the heart of this strategy.

Our youth have always proven that they are ready to fulfill their responsibilities. When the call of duty came, their response was overwhelming. I felt delighted to see our youth show no hesitation to participate in National Service. I felt so proud to see our sons demonstrate such strong discipline, morals, enthusiasm and bravery when joining the military training at national and reserve training camps. Thus, our youth have proven that they are well aware of the responsibility they shoulder and that they are the new generation who will serve the security and stability of the United Arab Emirates. I am confident that the great national spirit of our citizens reflected recently through their response to National Service will conquer any kind of danger or challenge.

The National and Reserve National Service Law aims to contribute to the upbringing of our citizens, deepen the values of loyalty, belonging and sacrifice within them and build a strong generation that can lead with confidence, discipline, commitment, responsibility, self-reliance and respect for the law.

National Service will also help reinforce our national unity which, as with any modern country, is the basis for our nation's stability and growth. It will also deepen the national spirit, supporting Emiratisation by exposing Emirati youth to different professions that will make our citizens capable of performing any duty that may be assigned to them.

Fellow citizens, we constantly strive to create the right environment, both domestically and abroad, for our nation to be safe and stable, enjoying the benefits of prosperity and progress. The transformations and changes that this region is witnessing foreshadow a new stage of challenges and the UAE is not immune to these transformations. There is no doubt that the ‘unity of our nation' will protect us against these effects and help us face them, keep up with developments and best deal with their consequences.

Based on our national interests and the importance of safeguarding the region's stability, we had to counteract the negative effects that resulted from the events that our region witnessed over the past few years. Within this context, the UAE has supported Egypt in its time of urgent need based on a conviction that the stability of Egypt will impact the stability of the whole region and the safety of Arab nations and peoples.

In recent years, our region has faced a major challenge in the form of the growing threat of terrorism, which represents a serious threat to the security and stability of the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf region and the whole of the Arab world. Therefore, we have acted to face this serious threat by working on various fronts, including reinforcing our internal measures, increasing cooperation with Arab countries that wish to safeguard their security and stability in the region, and contributing directly to international efforts to combat and eradicate terrorism. We believe that our counter-terrorism efforts should continue based on our firm conviction that eradicating this phenomenon is one of the most important keys to stability in the region.

We live in a changing world and are witnessing constant global developments that have made our world smaller, more interconnected and with increasingly shared interests. Therefore, it is not possible for us to seclude ourselves from the rest of the world with its concerns and issues but rather we should must interact with it, share its concerns and help develop solutions and strategies that will enable us to achieve our national interests. However, our interaction with this world should be based on a full partnership of achieving interests and exchanging benefits. As such, we can reinforce the remarkable position that the UAE has attained and reaffirm its presence in the international arena.

Our foreign policy should be within a balanced framework of international relations, which provides a diversity of options and paths towards the world rather than restricting us to one specific region. This will help us build sound and effective relations with countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia simultaneously. Our relations with one region, or with a regional or international party, should not be at the expense of our relations with another region or party. Based on this, the UAE can build more special relations with many countries in all continents, which may help to reinforce its position in the world at large.

Fellow citizens, the UAE has passed through an important stage in its modern history. We have come a long way in building our nation, strengthening its foundations, and achieving political, economic, social and cultural empowerment. We are now in a new stage in which our nation is continuing to establish its position in both regional and international arenas. This stage requires every citizen to do their best and cooperate with their fellow citizens in order for our progress and development to continue and for our nation to be among the greatest in the world. Therefore, we need to summon our determination and strength, address the challenges we face and ensure that we pass our nation's flag to the next generation with pride and dignity, having preserved the heritage entrusted to us by our forefathers, thanks to the wisdom of our leadership and the unity of our citizens.

I take this opportunity to congratulate President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers, the members of the Federal Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, praying to Almighty Allah to guide them to the best for our beloved nation. May this great anniversary be repeated for many years. I also congratulate my fellow citizens in all of the emirates on this special occasion. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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