Sheikh Abdullah praised and thanked President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unwavering support to the Emirates Diplomatic Academy that is committed to preparing young Emirati talent to shape the future of the UAE’s diplomacy.
A total of 34 students received post-graduate diplomas in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations after successfully completing the nine-month academic programme. During the ceremony, 14 students were honoured for their outstanding capstone projects.
The graduating class of 2017 also included employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
In his address to the graduates, Sheikh Abdullah said, "The UAE’s diplomacy represents the country’s soft power that has the potential to make a fundamental difference in its position on the global map and promote the noble values of tolerance and respect that we hold so dear.
"In 2018, we will celebrate the intellectual and moral legacy of the founding founder of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as the ‘Year of Zayed.’ I see his legacy reflected today when I look at this remarkable batch of Emirati youth, who are capable of fulfilling the country's foreign policy objectives in an efficient and responsible manner. I have the utmost confidence in these young people and in their ability to become the true bearers of Sheikh Zayed’s message."
Bernardino Leon, Director-General of EDA, said, "We are proud to graduate the second batch of EDA diplomats. We have confidence in their ability to achieve the vision of the UAE leadership to promote diplomatic work and excellence in supporting the foreign policy objectives of the country that aim to enhance international co-operation and defend the interests of the UAE.
"We work relentlessly in preparing our students to meet the challenges of the changing world of foreign policy and to open new horizons for the UAE through enhancing its prominent global status. As part of their experiential learning component, our student delegations visited the Netherlands, Belgium and China this year, while last year's batch toured New York and Washington to get acquainted first-hand with the intricacies of diplomatic work abroad," he added.
The graduation ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation; Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and member of the EDA Board of Trustees; Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulla Humaid Belhoul AlFalasi, Minister of State for Higher Education; Shamma bint Sohail Faris AlMazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, and several other high-profile officials, public figures and families of the graduating class of 2017.