Thu 20-04-2017 15:42 PM
DUBAI, 20th April, 2017 (WAM) -- The UAE leadership regards the youth as the country’s best hope to continue on the accelerated development path it has been leading, said Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, as he addressed a Youth Circle held today at Dubai’s Etihad Museum, entitled, "Political Development in the UAE".
Dr. Gargash also took the opportunity to laud the empowerment programme announced by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the 34th UAE National Day in 2005, which set a clear roadmap to ensure a bright future for the country.
"Young Emiratis today have the will, the knowledge, and the culture to carry out the vision of our forward-thinking leadership for a prominent and prosperous UAE," Dr. Gargash continued. "They are well aware of their country’s issues and ideally positioned to implement the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces."
The minister called on young Emiratis to actively contribute to the development of the parliamentary process by taking part in the electoral process, acting as ambassadors in the Federal National Council, FNC, elections and encouraging others to play their part as well.
"The participation of the youth in the electoral process is essential to start a dialogue about the cultural and social realities of the UAE," he said. "It allows for a better representation of the people of the UAE and strengthens the sense of patriotism, national duty, and dedication to the public interest. We want young Emiratis to participate in the elections because it is ultimately up to them to build the future of the UAE. Their participation enriches our parliamentary experience and allows them to choose the candidate that best represents them."
The circle was also attended by Shamma bint Sohail Faris AlMazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Tariq Hilal Lootah, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, along with a number of members of the Emirates Youth Council.
Dr. Gargash reiterated the benefits of political participation, either by exercising the right to vote or by contesting as a candidate in the election, saying, "Political participation is a value rooted in the cultural heritage of the UAE and dating back to when the rulers of the emirates abided by the concept of ‘Shura’, seeking counsel regarding the issues that concern citizens and exploring solutions and policies to meet their political, social, and economic needs."
It is essential to empower the Federal National Council so that it can fully assume its role as a support unit for the executive authorities and a link between them and the people, the minister emphasised, noting that this is the basis of the empowerment programme, and recalling the elections in 2006, 2011, and 2015, which, he said, "Echo our leadership’s commitment to set the foundations for a wider participation from the public in the political and development processes."
The three successful electoral experiences the UAE has already had reflected the core values of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed’s empowerment programme, said Dr. Gargash, adding that they have also helped establish a culture of volunteering and participation, in which young people were at the heart of the whole electoral process.
Addressing the FNC’s role in the UAE’s foreign policy, Dr. Gargash pointed out that the council had successfully formed channels to influence international public opinion by developing and strengthening relations with parliamentary bodies around the world, in order to spread the values of tolerance, peace, and international cooperation to resolve issues. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs concluded his address by taking questions from participating youth, and listening to their views, suggestions, and the solutions they proposed to encourage political participation.
Organised by the Emirates Youth Council in collaboration with various government bodies, the Youth Circles are an important initiative for young Emiratis to address issues regarding their future. They also serve as a platform to discuss the issues facing the broader UAE community, and to propose innovative solutions to the challenges that hinder its development.