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WB/IMF meetings would reinforce UAE global standing: Mohammed bin Rashid

posted on 20/09/2003: 1446 views

General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence has said that the convening of the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in the UAE would not only reinforce the international standing of the country but also augment its role in the global financial institutions.

The meetings have also provided an opportunity for the delegates to gain an accurate image about the region, he said. +Virtually half of the participants are visiting the region for the first time and would have probably not contemplated visiting it because the image that they know about the region is the one depicted in news images - one in which the region figures only during conflicts and oil prices. These meetings have provided a valuable opportunity for these delegates to gain first-hand and accurate information about our region+ said Sheikh Mohammed in remarks here today during a meeting with representatives of the local and international media.

Sheikh Mohammed said that the meetings draw significance from the fact that they are tantamount to a world economic and financial summit, where top economic and financial icons meet to deliberate on the state of global economy. +That is why many countries compete to win the honour of hosting the WB/IMF meetings because when a country is chosen to host the event, then it is a recognition that it does have certain merits over the other competitors.+ he said.

He pointed out that the UAE won the hosting of the event on account of its own merits. These merits, noted Sheikh Mohammed, are derived from the UAE global records, notably its proactive role in the global financial institutions, its development policy which is in itself a success story par excellence, its development aid to developing countries, its sound infrastructure, its human rights record and its economic liberalism. This is all in addition to its friendly relations with many nations around the world, and which were stitched over the years in line with the visionary leadership of President H. H Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Sheikh Mohammed further remarked that the UAE's logistical and organisational ability to receive and host delegates from 184 countries was quite obvious to WB/IMF teams that visited the UAE since 1997, a time when the country lobbied to host the event. Sheikh Mohammed revealed that anti-globalisation activists would be allowed to express their concerns as long as they do so through peaceful means. He noted that he understood the motives of those who disagree with certain aspects of the policies of leading financial institutions. +The activists should be allowed to express their views as long as they do so through peaceful means. There should be divergence of opinions on such issues and therefore any peaceful and well-meaning dissent should be tolerated+ he said.

On the role of global financial institutions on the reconstruction of Iraq, Sheikh Mohammed said that these institutions can play a crucial role in the rebuilding of Iraq, particularly in view of the fact many people would want to see the UN taking the lead in the re-construction process. He stressed that Iraq stands in need of its sister Arab states as well as well as the rest of the international community to disentangle it from its current situation.

Sheikh Mohammed remained optimistic about the future of Iraq, expressing confidence in the Iraqi people and also hoping that the upcoming meeting of donors would come up with something substantial for the Iraqis. +We have great confidence in the Iraqi people. We sincerely hope that they will be able to overcome the past and forge ahead with the development of their country and consequently regain their sovereignty and independence+ said Sheikh Mohammed. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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