As a part of his participation at the Third Government Summit
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Monday, February 9th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
• Modern terrorism takes advantage of contemporary technology and is far more dangerous than old terrorism forms because it targets the mind and the soul
• Oil prices drop is a challenge not a crisis, thanks to the UAE's steadfast economic diversity
Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said that modern terrorism represents a substantial danger, because it takes advantage of contemporary technology as a tool to spread hatred towards others and exclusionary violence; ultimately nurturing intellectually-confused generations and decadent families that are indifferent to the country and the public interest. His Highness added that the success and efficiency of future governments lie in their ability to confront and prevent this scourge and to address its root causes by fostering a spirit of progressive patriotism.
His Highness said that public opinion worldwide is preoccupied with the issue of growing threat of terrorism and dropping oil prices, which can significantly undermine world peace and stability. “For the UAE, the oil price drop is a mere obstacle, not a crisis; an obstacle that can be easily overcome thanks to the efficient methodical policy adopted by the government led by the country’s wise leadership, which encouraged diversification of sources of national income to reduce its dependence on oil. This leadership has also endeavored diligently since its inception, to instill a spirit of tolerance, openness and moderation in the hearts of citizens, all of which have become the essential characteristics of the various segments of the UAE society.”
These remarks were made by HH Sheikh Saif at the opening session of the third Government Summit in session, which was held on Monday in Dubai under the theme ‘Shaping Future Governments’. The opening session was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs; along with heads of state, senior officials of international organizations and high-ranking government officials, and a large crowd of guests.
HH Sheikh Saif commenced his speech with a life example of progressive patriotism in the United Arab Emirates; by taking to the stage with an elite group of Emirati innovative students, and a cohort of National Service recruits, which represent a true example of good citizenship spirit based on excellence and innovation, and contribute efforts to boost the UAE’s record of achievements and dignified exploits. Furthermore, Sheikh Saif extended his heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the kind support and patronage of General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces of the UAE youth and soldiers. He also extended his thanks to the parents of the Emirati innovative students, who have succeeded in providing the appropriate environment for their children to excel and instilled in their souls the values of excellence and loyalty to the UAE and its wise leadership.
Sheikh Saif displayed a set of old photographs of Emirati youths expressing their happiness and enjoying the simple pleasures that shaped early life in the UAE. He added: “The progressive patriotism spirit, optimism and hope for a bright future is a dream that have long been envisioned by the UAE people and leaders. However, the difficult circumstances and scarcity of resources in the past did not manage to discourage their determination to pursue the construction drive.” He also noted that progressive patriotism involves positive interaction and represents a key pillar to the success of future governments and peoples’ development.
His highness cited the origins of the citizenship concept throughout history, which goes back to the Greek civilization in the fourth century B.C, and was envisioned and explicitly expressed in the famous Greek philosopher Plato’s Utopia. It stipulates that education is linked to the state, and whatever citizens learn is not meant for their own benefit, but for sake of protecting the state and achieving a comprehensive sate of harmony and integration amongst the state’s components. HH Sheikh Saif added that even though the concept of citizenship has evolved through the modern ages, it is constantly associated with the welfare of the nation and society; citing the US President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote in the last century: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’. He said: “Citizenship is not only about boasting loyalty and devotion, but about practicing them for the sake of the country at all times and under any circumstances, with a sense of shared and common destiny.”
Sheikh Saif shed the light on the main challenges facing future governments and said: “There are tremendous challenges facing world’s governments today. These challenges are of a constantly changing nature and increasingly complex and dangerous due to the contemporary technological and scientific developments and human knowledge patterns.” His Highness noted that terrorism and falling oil prices are the key challenges that affect the stability of the world and the security of its people; highlighting the appropriate methods to curtail these scourges through the values of “progressive patriotism”.
Adding further, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, tackled the issue of terrorism. He said: “Terrorism is a crime as old as human history that has plagued the world’s peoples and governments. There are different forms of terrorism, old and new. Old terrorism forms and patterns were known, but terrorism developed with the development of new tools. Terrorism’s root causes remain unchanged, built on intolerance, extremism, hatred and ignorance among others. Old terrorism used conventional weapons and caused direct physical damage; the new form of terrorism targets minds, the family and the community with contemporary tools that are more devastating than weapons. Modern terrorism takes advantage of contemporary technology and social media platforms, to target the minds of young people and the various segments of society, aimed at spreading objectionable ideologies and producing an intellectually-confused generations and decadent families based on intolerance and hatred, which undermine the stability and security of their country.”
Sheikh Saif cited the far-sightedness and early awareness of the UAE leaders as they proactively anticipated these challenges. He presented a documentary film of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, lecturing a group of UAE University students decades ago, warning them against malicious intellectual trends, and the need for caution. Sheikh Saif said: “His Highness, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan God have mercy on his soul, predicted these risks, and understood the importance of direct and continuous communication as well as guidance and advice to promote progressive patriotism in young generations, who are the builders of the future.”
Furthermore, His Highness explained that combating the concept and ideology of terrorism is a collective and shared responsibility, which starts within the family and the home, by spreading awareness on the anti-terrorism fundamentals, and instilling the traditional positive values inherent to the UAE society based on tolerance and moderation. “Such a commendable spirit is evident in the behavior of government employees who fulfill the tasks and duties entrusted to them with high performance and provide the best levels of public service, while embracing change and development, regardless of the work load or nature,” he said. His Highness also praised the instrumental role of partners in fostering the spirit of individual responsibility and community partnership; as well as the valuable role undertaken by the public and private sectors, in embracing human and material investments and adopting the culture of constructive volunteer work.
Sheikh Saif called upon the international community to develop modern frameworks and concepts of terrorism; based not just on criminal laws and procedures that would contribute to an in-depth remediation and preventive action of the root causes of terrorism. He also called for holding accountable anyone who sponsors terrorism for crimes against humanity, especially in light of the growing surge of terrorist crimes, which accounted to 60% between 2013 and 2014. He also tackled the issue of the huge quantities of oil being sold by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, and called for holding buyers accountable, to disrupt the financing of terrorist operations.
H.H Sheikh Saif bin Zayed also elaborated on the importance of the media in boosting efforts in the fight against terrorism. He said: “Media plays an essential role and is the most efficient modern tool capable of bringing about a significant change in humans’ minds, behaviors, and intellectual trends. To this end, the UAE, highly values the role undertaken by media institutions and personnel and highly praises their esteemed efforts in uncovering the truth, spreading purposeful awareness, and fostering social cohesion and solidarity. ” H.H Sheikh Saif also called for the adoption of more initiatives and tools that would contribute to spreading progressive patriotism concepts in society; and promoting participation in the war against terrorism by uncovering its devious and crooked ways to manipulate people's minds.
Oil Prices Drop
H.H Sheikh Saif noted that the oil prices slump has created a crisis for most countries around the world. “For the UAE, For the UAE, the oil price drop is an obstacle, not a crisis, thanks to the wise policies and the methodical planning for the future. The real wealth of the UAE is its people, and not oil. In the past, 90 per cent of the UAE's GDP depended on oil revenue. Today, the UAE is dependent on the oil revenues only by 30 per cent and the UAE government raised a challenge that by 2021, oil dependence will only be 5 per cent.”
H.H Sheikh Saif also noted that the UAE has endeavored diligently to encourage diversification of sources of national income. To meet this end, it has established four sovereign wealth funds (SWFs); one of which is is the world’s second largest in terms of overall assets. And with more 70 million passengers annually, Dubai International Airport confirmed its place as the world's busiest airport; while the Emirate of Dubai ranked 12 amongst world countries for receiving 10 million tourists annually. H.H Sheikh Saif said: “These outstanding achievements were not a mere coincidence, they are the result of the wise leadership’s efforts coupled with the unstinting determination of the UAE people to pursue the march of progress and to keep pace with that latest developments; inspired by progressive patriotism. H.H Sheikh Saif also reviewed a video recording of a speech by General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, by which he said: The real wealth of the UAE is its people, and not oil. Adding further, H.H Sheikh Saif said: “Rich are those who use their intellect and invest in the minds of their children, which is a path the UAE always adopted.” H.H Sheikh Saif also quoted General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan famous line: “We will always look at the future with optimism, even as we export the last shipment of oil, because the young generations are the real wealth of the UAE.”
Additionally, H.H Sheikh Saif explained that world economy indicators prove the importance of investing in minds, which is a path that the UAE has adopted decades ago. “One in the top 10 countries in the world is an oil firm — the rest are mostly telecom or high-tech companies,” he continued.
“Progressive patriotism has an essential role in facing the challenge of oil prices drop. It is a shared challenge that requires shared responsibility. Families have an instrumental role in enhancing education of their children, in order to maintain national gains, and further make material and moral achievements. Even government employees have a valuable role in embracing innovation and productivity, and working with a teamwork spirit,” he said.
H.H Sheikh Saif also stressed the importance of drawing aspiration from the distinguished leadership, wisdom, persistence, and determination on achieving success and other noble human values that are always upheld by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. He quoted His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE: “The status attained by the UAE was not an easy endeavor, the UAE has had to overcome significant and huge obstacles, and this was achieved thanks to Almighty Allah, and through hard work and cooperation."
"Progressive patriotism is the cornerstone of success. Our brothers in Egypt are a living example of such a spirit. Despite all of the challenges undermining the Egyptian people’s progress, security and stability, they were keen to take part in funding a major national project; the New Suez Canal, expressing an unrelenting and sincere support to their leadership in the development drive towards the future," he concluded.
In conclusion, Sheikh Saif said: "Security, services quality, and stability are the natural and definite outcomes of progressive patriotism."
Travelling on a Jet Plane
In a gesture that was met with resounding applause from the audience, Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, described the rapid development and progress in the UAE using a metaphoric expression that is completely the opposite of the prevailing expression that says: (People must catch up with the train of innovations, otherwise they will be left behind). H.H Sheikh Saif said: “The rapid developments witnessed by the UAE as a response to the encouragement and support of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, have sent us travelling on a jet plane rather than a train to world-class levels.” Finally, he expressed his abiding in the UAE society’s ability to keep pace with this rapid evolution and progress towards the future, thanks to a strong spirit of progressive patriotism and moral, scientific, and cultural superiority.
Saif bin Zayed delivering a keynote speech at the Third Government Summit
His Highness speaking about progressive patriotism
Mohammed bin Rashid, Saif bin Zayed and Abdullah bin Zayed attending the Third Government Summit along with a host of senior government officials
His Highness praising the future of the UAE youth
Saif bin Zayed: determination to achieve success
Saif bin Zayed: “The status attained by the UAE was not an easy endeavor”
Saif bin Zayed speaking about Security, services quality, and stability
Saif bin Zayed: “The young generations are the real wealth of the UAE.”
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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.
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