ABU DHABI, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has said that "education will remain a priority and our path to the future", adding that the new year's federal budget has allocated a large proportion to funding federal schools and development projects.
In a statement to 'Nation Shield', the UAE Armed Forces' magazine, on the UAE's 48th National Day, Sheikh Khalifa added that the UAE Cabinet issued a resolution to establish an education support fund, which will enable the community to fund education development programmes that focus on building skills, values, trends and exploring and developing talents, as well as providing a decent life for all citizens.
He further added that the government views Emiratisation "as a true measure for success", but clarified, "By Emiratisation, we do not mean the mechanism for employing nationals, but rather a tool for enabling."
Below is the statement in full: "My sons and my daughters, "On this blessed day commemorating the journey of the nation of tolerance and peace, I salute you on the 48th anniversary of the UAE's National Day. On your behalf, we express our congratulations to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and my brothers, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and the Crown Princes. We commemorate and express our appreciation for our martyrs, who have performed heroic glories while defending their country.
"On 2nd December, we, the UAE's people and leadership, renew our loyalty to our country, and we commemorate the blessed memory of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his brothers, the Founders, who have established the solid foundations of a strong country that has impressed the entire world with its comprehensive renaissance. It has also granted its citizens pride, dignity and greatness. We shall always remain proud of the achievements of the Founding Fathers, believe in their approach, and follow in their footsteps in advancing the nation and making its people happy.
"For this purpose, the UAE Supreme Council, the federal government and local governments are working in close cooperation to implement policies and strategies into national plans, projects, programmes and initiatives that will improve the quality of services, empower citizens, achieve their aspirations, and ensure their happiness. This cooperation was manifested this year in the growing level of political empowerment, through raising the participation of Emirati women in the Federal National Council, FNC, to 50 percent, which placed the UAE among advanced nations in terms of women's parliamentary representation.
"Dear esteemed citizens, "The past year has been dedicated to all areas of social development, as more than half of the federal budget's resources have been allocated to fund community development and social benefit programmes to achieve excellence in priority sectors, most notably healthcare, education, creating a safe and coherent community, justice, sustainable infrastructure, and a diverse knowledge-based economy.
"Education will remain a priority and our path to the future, and to confirm this approach, the new year's federal budget has allocated a large proportion to funding federal schools and development projects. The UAE Cabinet issued a resolution to establish an education support fund, which will enable the community to fund education development programmes that focus on building skills, values, trends and exploring and developing talents, as well as providing a decent life for all citizens.
"The federal government began, in coordination with local governments, to implement an ambitious plan to build thousands of housing units around the country. It has also adopted the "National Strategy for Quality of Life 2031," which aims to create a more coherent community.
"To build the capacities of the youth, the UAE Cabinet has adopted a resolution to promote the participation of youth in the boards of government institutions and companies. The government has also launched initiatives that aim to develop leadership capacities of the youth and support the small and medium-sized enterprises, SME, of entrepreneurs, as well as enable them to master the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and become involved in the space industry. This year, we accomplished a monumental achievement with the arrival of the first Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station, ISS. What Hazza Al Mansoori achieved represents the first phase of the UAE's ambitious space programme for the next 100 years, which aims to enhance the country's stature as a global platform for space research and projects, to support sustainable development.
"The government is equally keen to preserve our customs, traditions and national heritage. Reviving and celebrating our heritage and passing them on to future generations is a priority of the UAE. Our heritage is the cornerstone of our identity, an inspiration, the driving force of our journey, and the bridge connecting us to the peoples of the world.
"Dear esteemed citizens, "In the UAE, economic growth indicators, although very important, have never been measured by the amount of success made in the goods produced or services offered, but by the quality of life and the added value offered. They are also measured by the balanced and sustainable development and by the job opportunities created and training provided. Our goal is to make our country the best and most secure place for all community members.
"We also view Emiratisation as a true measure for success. By Emiratisation, we do not mean the mechanism for employing nationals, but rather a tool for enabling. Last September, the Cabinet approved a national fund to support and train Emirati jobseekers and made legal amendments to ensure Emiratis in the private sector receive a pension as they would in the public sector.
"We also look at security as a key measure for economic and social development. There is no development without sustainable security, without the rule of law and without respect for human rights. In this respect, we thank the Ministry of Interior and all its law enforcement and security teams, for the great role played in safeguarding people's rights.
"Thanks to this perfect planning, our country has become a global economic force and an attractive hub for business and investments. To back this up, the government has allowed up to 100 per cent foreign ownership of some companies operating in 13 sectors.
"My sons and daughters, "You have achieved the goals of the initiative we launched to mark 2019 as the 'Year of Tolerance'. You have been instrumental in making your country a global role model for tolerance and sent a strong message to the world that people can peacefully co-exist if they adopted tolerance as a way of life. Tolerance is a key value in our religion of Islam. It does not mean submission or leniency, but it helps ensure justice, impartiality, acceptance of others and equal opportunities under internationally recognized laws, rights and freedoms.
"Since foundation, our country has adopted a foreign policy that is based on active engagement in international efforts to improve people's lives, to protect environment, to achieve sustainable development goals, and to eliminate poverty, hunger, diseases and illiteracy. Our foreign policy also encourages engagement in international efforts to counter terrorism and extremism and to support peaceful settlements. Our country has come a long way in promoting the culture of peace, providing aid and alleviating suffering of the needy.
"We salute the Emirati diplomacy, represented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and we appreciate their efforts in maintaining our country's image and sovereignty. Thanks to their efforts, the UAE passport the UAE ranks 1st in the world, an achievement that demonstrates the stature we have reached and the respect we enjoy at both regional and international levels.
"My sons and daughters, "Our country is steadily striding towards a brighter future, driven by gratitude to the founding fathers, loyalty to the leadership, adherence to the Islamic and Arabic values and identity. We are proud of our servicemen who sacrificed their lives to defend their country, to deter terrorism and to safeguard peace. We will continue our efforts to modernise our Armed Forces and develop their capabilities. We thank our soldiers and commanders for their dedication and we thank the citizens and resident of the UAE for their support.
"May Allah the Almighty keep you safe and bring joy and happiness to you all."
Source: Emirates News Agency