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UAE has become peace oasis under Zayed: Sheikh Saif

posted on 15/08/2004: 1817 views

President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's vision has lifted the UAE to the top ranks of world countries and established it as a safe and secure country, according to Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Interior Ministry Under Secretary. Speaking in an interview with Insuredmedia magazine, Sheikh Saif said the people of the UAE celebrated the 38th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed's accession to power on Aug.6 by remembering the great achievements of Sheikh Zayed.

"Every year we celebrate this occasion as if we are doing it for the first time," he said. In the wide-ranging interview, Sheikh Saif outlined the priorities of the UAE. These included ensuring a peaceful environment of safety and security for the people and the state. He pointed out that the UAE was the first country in the region to introduce the system of personal identification through iris scan.

Through the system, the authorities have been able to prevent 9,500 criminals who were deported from returning to the country, he said. He said the concept of safety and security was directly linked to the insurance sector and the government should adopt a new approach to the sector with a view to upgrading its professionalism.

In this context, he said, Insuredmedia should propagate an "insurance culture" in the country and act as a vehicle to ensure the spirit of healthy competition. Sheikh Saif said: "The UAE enjoys an unparralled environment of peace and security under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Zayed, a fact which has endowed our beloved country with a distinctive global status." "The Accession Day is a particularly joyous occasion in our country that may almost be quite unique due to the fact that we feel, as we celebrate the day every year, that we are going through this experience for the first time ever.

A whole new world separates us from those days 38 years ago. The changes are breathtaking and the progress is dazzlingly marvellous. By Allah's grace and thanks to the deed and inspired far-sightedness of His Highness Sheikh Zayed, we have become what we are today, a country admired by all. "The most distinctive aspect of our country and the trait which we are eager to remember in all our happy occasions is the inspired and ever-fresh vision of Sheikh Zayed.

"Peace, safety and security are the Almighty God's great blessings to our country," he said. "I'd like to add that our country is very hospitable and our leadership is keen on providing its people with prosperity. Our leadership is perfectly aware of the responsibility towards the millions who live and work in the country. Our country is privileged with social stability and is distinguished by the independence of its judiciary. "We are also proud of our strong economy and maintains significant and consistent growth. These are factors of great prominence since any flaw or defect in the economic, social or judicial system would lead to creating a fertile breeding ground for destabilising factors in any country in the world.

"Security follow-up plays a vital role in maintaining security and stability. All our security departments are deeply conscious of the important of high-level performance and proficiency in playing their roles, and they spare no effort in preserving the achievements of our beloved country in all levels and fields." On his vision of the concept of security of the people and society, Sheikh Saif said: "Latest approaches concentrate on social policing, taking into highly aware consideration of the needs and concerns of the society we live in.

I may add here the necessity of constant alert and vigilance against known criminals with a view to preventing them from carrying out any hostile act against people or their property. "In my opinion, security starts at home, from within the family environment. As long as we have brought up a stable and happy family, we could succeed in protecting the society against crime.

For these reasons, we have established the Social Support Centre in Al Ain to address family disputes and defuse them before they worsen and become a security problem. "Building on this success in Al Ain, we are determined to popularise and expand it as a model of success all over Abu Dhabi before adopting it at the national level. "Security also requires a high degree of readiness and creativity. Therefore, we are the first country in the world to introduce the iris scanning and identification system at all our entry and exit points.

"We have succeeded in preventing more than 9,500 criminals and deportees from re-entering the country and thus qualifying for international praise for the active step in fighting crime. "We are also co-operating with many parties concerned with these issues to explore the problems they face. As example is the campaign launched by the Ministry of Interior to raise awareness of cyber and electronic frauds involving credit cards.

This campaign was launched in co-operation with the major companies that are operating in this sector. We also co-ordinate with these companies to protect and serve the common interests of the state and society as well as the corporate sector.

On his views on the co-existence in the UAE of the Arab and foreign communities despite their social and cultural diversity, Sheikh Saif said: "Man is innately created to co-exist with his fellow human beings. When the circumstances are created and made available, people live together in perfect harmony and security, reflecting the positive side of humanity. This is indeed the situation in this country where people of 180 different nationalities co-exist in a wonderful way.”

"The most distinctive aspect of our state may be that the sovereignty of law and justice is the dominant factor under which all people, natives and foreign alike, are equal in the eye of the law. All residents feel at home and are free to do whatever they wish as long as they abide by the laws of this country. Such diversity is the source of our great pride and we count upon it as our great wealth.” "We are among the few countries in the world that open their doors for people to live in dignity and freedom and thus we are also setting an example for others to follow."

In reply to question of the role of Insuredmedia in view of the magazine's unique status as the only specialised publication in insurance in the country, Sheikh Saif said: "The development of the insurance industry goes hand in hand with the economic growth of the country. That is why it is natural that this industry is developing here. We have to learn from the experience of others and avoid the setbacks they suffered.”

"However, I look positively at the delay in launching this industry here because it is giving us the advantage of fairly advanced professionalism in the field. We will be humble enough to benefit from the experience of others and to have a professional approach to the industry so that we would be basic players and not amateurs.

Asked how he viewed the relations between security concepts maintained by the government and insurance concepts provided by insurance companies, Sheikh Saif said: "We established a sector for private security companies, one of the basic conditions for getting a license to transfer cash within the country was enough insurance coverage and protection of the rights of the companies involved.”

"In spite of the mandatory technical requirements and specifications in order to ensure high security and protection for armoured trucks transferring cash, insurance remains a must. "Assessing and predicting risks and preparedness to counter them is common between police and insurance companies. Police analyse incidents and draw up plans handle crime. Similarly, insurance companies analyse corporate and individual risks and design insurance programmes that offer adequate coverage.”

Asked to what extent the UAE government promotes growth in the insurance sector as part of the national economy, Sheikh Saif said: "I am not empowered to elaborate on this question. However, we witness evolving laws and proposals aimed at organising the insurance sector and these will promote the insurance market in the UAE." In reply to question how he viewed the laxity in the media in giving proper attention to promoting the "culture of insurance" among people, Sheikh Saif said: "We have, for some time now, witnessed some media interest in the insurance sector. We have started seeing reports in magazines and newspapers on insurance.”

"In addition, we have also seen dialogues and interviews on television on key topics of the insurance sector and the problems related to it. "We believe that publishing Insuredmedia is a good start for spreading the culture of insurance and promoting it would certainly draw more media attention to the insurance sector."

Asked whether the Ministry of Interior plans to enact any law aimed at increasing interest in the sector, Sheikh Saif replied: "The state has adopted many steps to expanding the insurance sector, the first of which was the adoption by the Ministry of Finance of the "unified insurance document," which offers a uniform model for all insurance companies in the country.”

"Ten years ago, the Ministry of Interior started enforcing the provisions in the traffic law concerning the mandatory insurance for vehicles before registering them and renewing the registration. The ministerial decree on licensing of vehicles identifies insurance as one of the prerequisites for registering vehicles. "In addition, all private companies offering security services licensed in Abu Dhabi are bound by insurance contracts that cover all claims related to their operations.”

"The companies should have sufficient insurance to meet al claims and has the responsibility to settle all claims beyond the insurance coverage whenever the need arises. "Companies operating armoured vehicles for transporting cash should also have insurance coverage. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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