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Symposium on "Khalifa: the Pioneer and the Leader"

posted on 13/12/2005: 844 views

On behalf of H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, HH Sheikh Hashr Maktoum Al Maktoum opened here on Monday a symposium under the theme "Khalifa: the Pioneer and the Leader.”

A number of eminent thinkers and researchers from around the world took part in the symposium, organized by the Information Affairs Office to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the establishment of the United Arab Emirates, in coincidence with the holding of the GCC summit in Abu Dhabi.

In a statement on this Occasion, H.H. Sheikh Sultan said, "On this blessed occasion, we recall the firm will and great devotion of the founding father, late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may Allah rest him in peace!), who with his brothers members of Supreme Council and rulers of the emirates, laid down the foundation of this great nation, with wisdom and ability. And by so doing, he taught humanity lessons of good leadership and tireless work,”

HH Sheikh Sultan added that the firm faith and awareness of the responsibility to maintain the nation's achievements and promote its revenues have been the focus of H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may Allah protect him and help him perform the duties of leadership.

HH Sheikh Hashr Maktoum Al Maktoum tackled the efforts of the two late leaders: HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al Nahyan and HH Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum (may Allah rest them in peace!) in strengthening the underpinnings of the union, mentioning that HH President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan had worked side by side with the two leaders since the founding of the union. "HH Sheikh Zayed, added Sheikh Hashr, had crystallized, through his rare wisdom and pioneering experience, the goals of the union, when he said "The goal of the union is not the establishment of a constitutional framework, with national flag, emblem, and anthem. Rather, its goal is to build an integrated state with its complementary authority - the judiciary, legislative, and executive.

We seek to establish a modern country in which all citizens enjoy free and decent life. A country which stands as a model for other Arab unions. "He said that HH late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum played a great role in building the union, and this was best expressed by HH Sheikh Zayed when he said, praising and commending the efforts of HH late Sheikh Rashid Bin for his role in realizing the dream of the unity, "It is true that Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed had played a great and sincere role in achieving the union.”

HH Sheikh Hashr affirmed that, through solid will and firm diligence, the experience has succeeded in closing the ranks of peoples and coalescing their hearts, so that dream became a realty.

"Therefore, great achievements have been realized on the blessed land of the United Arab Emirates, as a corollary result of combining the wills, energies, good intentions, and noble goals.” he added.

He said that Sheikh Rashid's words and deeds testified to his firm belief in the very vision that led the UAE to be what it is today, quoting HH Sheikh Rashid as saying "The founding of the UAE was a necessity for pushing forward the wheel of development and economic and social growth, through combining all energies and potentials available in the UAE.”

He mentioned that the UAE citizen now enjoys the highest level of prosperity available in the world richest cities. Therefore, the union is a continuous victory and historical achievements, highly regarded by nations and peoples around the world, he said, indicating that the country enjoys a good governance which strikes the balance between the centralization and decentralization in a time where centralization prevails in most countries over the world.

The Information Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Mohammed Khalifa Almurar said the symposium has been organized to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the National Day of the United Arab Emirates, which coincides with the GCC summit.

He said that the civilized march of nation building was boosted by the great achievements of H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may Allah protect him. He pointed out that the UAE has enjoyed prestigious position in the world, adding that the objective of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa is to continue the march of development at present and in the future for the benefit of the citizens in this country.

He added that HH President Sheikh Khalifa has always been keen on consolidating pillars of justice and freedom. His Highness believes in fraternity, solidarity, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation, the Advisor said The EU and the GCC are both poles of stability in a very unstable world On his part, the French political analyst, Olivier Da Lage said that the EU and the GCC are both poles of stability in a very unstable world. They have a strategic interest in deepening their dialogue, he said.

He indicated that the two blocs "share strategic interest" in having economic partnership, regional security, and political dialogue. Europe's contribution to regional security in the Gulf is to be reckoned with, and that can be done only through a comprehensive and structured dialogue between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, the French analyst said.

On his part, Dr. Heinz Hofmann, Executive Director, German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ), said the EU and GCC have been keen to develop and strengthen their ties and cooperation, which have increasingly developed throughout the last decades in all fields. And the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) has been cooperating in technical fields with governments of the states of the Gulf Region over more than three decades, he added.

Speaking about the role of GTZ, he said that it is the implementing agency for Germany's technical development policy, funded from the federal budget.

It works for the German Federal Government who is GTZ's main client, and for international clients such as the governments of the GCC countries or international finance institutions like the European Commission, the World Bank, and many others, he added.

He indicated that his agency is offering the full range of its know-how and experiences to its clients in the GCC countries, mentioning that GTZ's activities in the water sector in the Gulf Region are very closely tied to the UAE and especially the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He said that credit for this goes to late President HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who called in German expertise to develop capacities in water exploration and management in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Hofmann pointed out that the German companies from the mid-nineties up to 2005 have successfully carried out project activities in exploration drilling, comprehensive groundwater monitoring, groundwater database and modelling, as well as water and irrigation management.

He said that in the field of renewable energy, the German companies have managed to establish the first wind power generation plant in the Gulf Region. The plant is located on Sir Bani Yas - Island where the electricity generated by the plant is being fed into the local electricity grid, he said, mentioning that the water projects and the wind power plant meanwhile are being handed over to Abu Dhabi's Environmental Development Agency (EDA).

Another participant in the event is Dr. Jokha Bint Shakhboot Bin Abdullah al-Riyami, Professor at Philosophy Department, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Sultan Qaboos University. She said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in particular, and the Arab world in general are facing, in the third millennium, new challenges related to education and scientific research, imposed by the new developments that are taking place in the international arena.

The GCC countries have become aware of these challenges since many years, so they have put them on the agendas of their recent summits, which have resulted in many recommendations on education reforms, she indicated.

She said that the GCC countries, each at its own level, have introduced some changes on education system from elementary to university levels. The UAE has increased the number of technical colleges, after succeeding in connecting its education system with labour market and the requirements of workforce, Dr. al-Riyami added.

In the Kingdom of Bahrain, the ministry of education spared no efforts to launch many initiatives and programs for reforming education system, based on strategic plan aimed at introducing qualitative reform programs in education system, she said.

She also indicated that in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ministry of education has put in place a ten-year plan (2005 - 2015), which includes elements of reforming education system in its broader sense, that is, from kindergarten to university levels. Special focus is being given to students with special needs in order to integrate them in society, she pointed out.

The Sultanate of Oman has launched a comprehensive plan to develop its education system, in line with the future vision on Omani Economy in 2010, Dr. al-Riyami pointed out. She added that the plan encompasses several aspects, including expanding the academic year and adopting new system for primary education. It also includes developing the methodology of teaching sciences and mathematics, she said.

In Qatar, the ministry of education has adopted a comprehensive plan for reforming the syllabuses, curriculum, and school books, she said, adding that the plan includes, in particular, developing the Arabic syllabuses and introducing English in the first stage of education. The reform also includes introducing new concepts in education system, such as voluntary works, peace and the environment, she said. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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