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Mon 13-02-2017 16:02 PM

UAE approach to tolerance is key for brighter future: Sheikha Lubna

DUBAI, 13th February, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE’s policy of tolerance has been highlighted as key to a brighter and safer future for the country’s youth by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance, speaking at a session of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

In a fascinating track talk entitled, ‘Co-Existing: Transcending Borders of Culture, Race and Religion’, Sheikha Lubna, alongside the UAE Ambassador to Russia and author Omar Ghobash, spoke to an enthralled #WGS 2017 audience about religion, as well as regional and global issues, including the populism and extremism that is sweeping parts of the globe.

Responding to the question of why the UAE should have a Ministry of Tolerance, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi said, "You have to ask, what makes a society welcoming? First and foremost, the core is the values. So if I want someone welcome here, I need to make things secure for their children and make sure the lifestyle is acceptable and considerate so their family will be able to live here in contentment. You need to create an environment where what individuals worship is factored in."

Pointing to the example of the UAE, an Islamic country with a very open and welcoming approach to different nationalities and beliefs, Sheikha Lubna said, "We have over 200 nationalities living in harmony in the UAE and several churches and temples that happily thrive alongside mosques. To welcome people from different nations, we have to provide them with sustainable and secure living conditions."

Pointing to worrying global trends of populism and extremism, she highlighted the UAE’s approach to tolerance. "I think worldwide we take these values for granted. In the opening (of the WGS) we heard that unfortunately today even our values are changing every moment, there is disruption in industry and technology, so why would we leave something so important as tolerance or happiness to fate? We need to institutionalise tolerance and happiness. Families and youth are at the core and heart of everything we do, because we need to secure a harmonious future."

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi made history by becoming the first woman in the UAE to hold a ministerial post. She is a member of the ruling family of Sharjah, the niece of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. She is a graduate from the California State University, Chico, with a BSc. in Computer Science, and has an Executive MBA from the American University of Sharjah. She also holds of an honorary Doctorate of Science from the California State University.

The World Government Summit 2017 has drawn the participation of more than 4,000 personalities from 139 countries around the world, reflecting the leading stature of the summit on regional and international levels and the high interest from governments, global organizations, private and public sector entities, decision makers, entrepreneurs, academics and university students as well as scientists and innovators. WGS 2017 features 150 speakers across 114 sessions that highlight the world’s most pressing challenges and showcase best practices and cutting-edge solutions to deal with them.