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UAE committed to dialogue within 'Forum for the Future'

posted on 04/11/2009: 1720 views



Marrakesh - Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has affirmed UAE's commitment to constructive dialogue and action within the Forum for the Future. He also pledged to work toward developing the forum's mechanism and strengthening joint responsibility for sustainable development and human security.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks during a speech he delivered at the opening session of the 6th Forum for the Future, which is being co-chaired by Morocco and Italy.

Sheikh Abdullah reiterated UAE's keenness to enhance joint cooperation and to strengthen the Forum's tools to support national and regional schemes and to promote values and culture of dialogue, democracy, tolerance, acceptance of diversity, respect for differences, improving education, protection of environment, empowerment of women, youth welfare, maintenance of stable financial markets, boosting peace and security efforts, respect for national choices and unity and stability of the nations.

As the chair of the Forum's previous session, hosted by Abu Dhabi in 2008, Sheikh Abdullah thanked the government of Morocco for the hospitality accorded to the delegation and the excellent organisation of the Forum which is being attended by delegates from the 0ver 20 G8, Middle East and European countries, representing both governments and civil societies.

"We had an illustrious and eye-opening experience from Abu Dhabi session in terms of boosting our civil society, encouraging it to be more forthcoming and interactive in its outlook. The participants were also enlightened about the success stories that we treasure a lot, including woman empowerment in a society perceived by others as conservative and traditional. We still have a long way to go in streamlining our educational system as we believe that the best investment to make is in human resources, our true wealth," said Sheikh Abdullah.

"We need to open wider horizons for hope and peace," he continued. "In this respect, we encourage the open policies of President Barack Obama and his peaceful approach." "Opening such horizons is the option we have in the face of desperation and disappointment. The latter usually takes away all the momentum and push us towards a perplexing maze, where marathon negotiations to settle conflicts become an end rather than a means."

Sheikh Abdullah stated: "We meet again in the beautiful city of Marrakesh after five sessions of constructive talks and interaction among partners." In 2008, the UAE co-hosted the previous session of the Forum with Japan.

"During that session, we led an extensive dialogue among the governments of the region and other friendly countries, the private sector and the NGOs, guided by the principles of partnership, mutual respect and sense of responsibility for reforms, sustainable development and positive approach towards peace and confidence building to achieve Millennium Development Goals."

"During the 6th session, we aspire for a meaningful dialogue consistent with the spirit of Marrakesh, where we can develop a common ground for expanding cooperation in the fields of human development and human security through sharing responsibilities and opportunities, giving utmost care to human security, enhancing rule of law, improving health conditions, eliminating hunger, protecting weaker societies, empowering woman and integrating her into the comprehensive development drive and settling conflicts."

Sheikh Abdullah indicated that the spirit of Marrakesh could motivate the Forum's participants to discuss regional and international approaches for resolving conflicts in many spots in the broader Middle East, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

"The forum's opening speech was delivered by Foreign Minister, Taib Fassi Al Fihri who reiterated his country's deep concern about and strong condemnation of Israel's illegal activities and aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

"The Kingdom of Morocco calls for the safeguarding of the particular religious and cultural characteristics of the holy city," he said.

"In his capacity as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, HM King Mohammed VI deems that any attempt to undermine these sacred values would widen the gap between the parties involved in the dialogue and fan the flames of extremism which threatens security and stability in the region," added Al Fihri.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her speech that the United States was committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East and to the two-state solution.

Sheikh Abdullah held several meetings with the delegation heads at the forum's sidelines. He met with Koichi Takemasa, Japan's State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Dr Riyad Al Maliki, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Ivan Louis, British under-secretary of state for foreign affairs in charge of the Middle-East and North Africa. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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