In a speech to Dira’a Al Watan, The Nation Shield magazine, on the occasion of the 45th National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bi Zayed spoke about how the people of the UAE have demonstrated, in action rather than in words, their sincere and genuine support of their wise leadership, and their willingness to make sacrifices for their nation’s present and future.
His Highness declared that the UAE is a nation of tolerance, peace, cultural diversity, and coexistence, saying that UAE law guarantees respect and dignity for everyone, and criminalises hate, racism and all forms of discrimination. The UAE, he said, has ratified international conventions and agreements that denounce violence, extremism and discrimination, and has launched several initiatives in this respect, thus becoming a model of tolerance and civilised coexistence, supporting these values all over the world, as both the UAE's leadership and its people firmly believe in these values.
The following is His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's statement in full: "December 2nd marks the anniversary of the formation of the United Arab Emirates, and today we celebrate the 45th UAE National Day. Together on this day, we reaffirm our determination to continue the journey of development and of strengthening the foundations of our federation. As one, we follow in the footsteps of the Founding Father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, who exemplify the deep-rooted values of this nation, such as humanity, respect and resilience.
As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the UAE National Day under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we recall the intrinsic values that brought our founding fathers together to establish the federation. We are continually inspired by their insights, sacrifices and strong will.
We also take inspiration from their wisdom, determination and resolve to continue to build our beloved country and make it more prosperous, as our founding fathers had always envisioned. Reaffirming that we shall follow their path, we renew our commitment that our union will always be faithful to its goals of preserving the solidarity of its members, upholding its institutions and protecting its gains, thus acknowledging the efforts and sacrifices made over the years to ensure a decent and prosperous life for future generations. We renew our pledge to continue to build our nation to take its position among advanced, developed nations.
The 45th anniversary of the UAE National Day is a celebration of our union, one which has grown into a model to emulate in other parts of the world. It is a proof that our strength lies in our unity and solidarity under our wise leadership.
On this occasion, we renew our gratitude for our brave servicemen, who selflessly responded to the call of duty and honour, and for our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for our nation throughout our history, including the operation to restore legitimacy in Yemen.
The people of the UAE have demonstrated, in action rather than in words, their sincere and genuine support of their wise leadership, and their willingness to make sacrifices for their nation’s present and future.
"Our Home is United" by the love shared among and by our people, and by the exceptional bond between leadership and Emiratis. This has enabled the United Arab Emirates to realise great achievements in political, economic, developmental, scientific and cultural fields. These successes were earned by a qualified Emirati workforce that spared no efforts in promoting the UAE’s position among advanced nations in an ever changing world.
Throughout the different stages of its progress, the United Arab Emirates has sought to empower its people to be the central asset and dominant factor driving the nation’s growth. Key among these achievements is the meaningful contribution and role of Emirati women in the building of this country.
As we seek to be remain at the forefront of innovation, it is imperative that we continue to work hard and stay current with the rapid developments around the world in all fields. We should remember that science and knowledge are the pathways to achieving development and progress in all fields. This is a distinguishing feature of our age. We must continuously seek to enhance this knowledge and reduce dependence on oil resources to reach a qualitative production and export stage that is built on knowledge, expertise and scientific and technical skills. In doing so, we consider our citizens to be the major pillar of development, education and scientific research. This is why we focus on our youth and their role in achieving our development aspirations. We are keen to keep all doors open for them, hence we formed the State Ministry for Youth Affairs, representing the central role of youth in our comprehensive development strategy. Moreover, we place high importance on education, creativity and innovation being an utmost priority in our strategy for preparing for the post-oil stage and a key criterion for the advancement of nations and societies.
As we celebrate this special anniversary together, we reaffirm the UAE’s keenness on embodying the values of tolerance, dialogue and coexistence, established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE.
The UAE is a nation of tolerance, peace, cultural diversity, and coexistence. Moreover, UAE law guarantees respect and dignity for everyone, criminalises hate, racism and all forms of discrimination. The UAE has also ratified international conventions and agreements that denounce violence, extremism and discrimination, and has launched several initiatives in this respect. Thus, the UAE has become a model of tolerance and civilized coexistence and supported these values all over the world, as both UAE leadership and people firmly believe in these values. We have institutionalised a framework for such practice through establishing the State Ministry for Tolerance, promoting the values of tolerance in our society and the world.
The UAE is a tangible model for the world, demonstrating moderation, tolerance and openness, as well as economic, social and political advancement. The UAE calls on all peoples, societies and believers of all faiths and cultures, to recognise our similarities and to coexist peacefully, and to oppose conflicts intended to create instability and discourage development.
More than ever before, the Arab region is facing serious challenges relating to terrorism, sectarian, racial and religious tensions, external attempts to intervene in domestic affairs, deteriorating humanitarian circumstances, particularly the refugee crisis, and growing threats to security, unity and stability in some Arab countries.
The UAE looks at the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf as a shield that needs to strengthen and reinforce. The UAE supports any step that may enhance the Council’s role in protecting overall security in the Gulf, especially in that the recent developments over the past years have demonstrated the importance of joint GCC action to ensure regional security and safety. The UAE realises that facing such challenges and threats requires Arab solidarity through supporting joint GCC and Arab action. From this perspective, the UAE is at the forefront of initiatives that aim to protect Arab national security and defend it against any threats; its effective participation in the Arab Coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen is a clear example.
The UAE is pro-actively collaborating with its friends in the international community to enhance the foundations of peace, stability and development in the region. Our sense of responsibility and determination related to this mission has earned us the respect of our partners.
The UAE has always been a driving force for peace and stability in the region and the world, and has long been supportive of all measures that safeguard international pillars of peace and human solidarity.
Today, after 45 years of unity, the UAE’s international partnerships are based on the principles of dialogue, cooperation, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, as well as the active pursuit of regional and international efforts for a secure, stable and progressive global society. Perhaps the most remarkable role for the UAE has been its humanitarian efforts, earning the recognition and respect of the world and concerned entities.
Another aspect of the UAE’s foreign policy is its unwavering commitment to supporting refugees by providing assistance, further bolstering the UAE’s reputation as a leading and prominent global player.
The UAE’s international humanitarian programmes are deeply rooted in the country’s foreign policy that was set by the UAE’s first president, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has further strengthened this commitment, supported by a strong body of competent national entities.
On our nation’s 45th anniversary, we renew the UAE’s commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, with the aim of creating a safe and secure international community, devoid of extremism, terrorism, hatred and violence. Terrorism is a global phenomenon that transcends borders, cultures and religions. Its violence is complex and interconnected, and requires international collaboration to confront it - beyond military operations. We must address the roots and causes of extremism, prevent the recruitment of misled youth and counter extremist ideology. Finally, necessary means and expertise must be provided to support governments’ capacity to combat extremism and terrorism. This is instrumental in creating a secure and stable international community that allows tolerance, dialogue and coexistence to prosper.
As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the UAE National Day, we pledge to the citizens of our nation to continue the journey of development and prosperity. Our nation is calling on you to participate in its growth towards a bright future for our children and grandchildren. We renew our trust in our citizens, supporting their knowledge and ability to face the future with confidence and in keeping with the values embedded in our rich culture.
Finally, I take this opportunity to extend my regards to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and to the people of the UAE.
I pray to God to guide us for the best for our beloved nation and to return this occasion on all of us with happiness, stability, security and prosperity.