Khalifa paid rich tributes

ABU DHABI — The high values and unique leadership characteristics of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were the topic of a one-day symposium organised here yesterday by the Information Affairs Office of Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister.

By Muawia E. Ibrahim

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Published: Mon 30 May 2005, 10:37 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:55 PM

A number of notable international thinkers and researchers took part in the symposium titled: "Leader Shaikh Khalifa: Analytical Reading of the Publications of the Information Affairs Office of the Deputy Prime Minister."

In a statement on the occasion, Shaikh Sultan said that Shaikh Khalifa had grown up with high values and noble characteristics which made him a leader cognizant of his responsibility towards his nation and citizens, and able to interact with his people, in order to materialise their expectations and aspirations.

"Through such an interaction, His Highness managed to make people's hopes a concrete reality that encompasses all aspects of development. He has made a habit of interacting with people, opening his heart and mind to know their views and the problems they face in order solve them," he said.

Shaikh Sultan said that the march and the achievements would continue so that the UAE could take the position it deserves among advanced nations.

In the opening session, Frederick C Dubee, Former Senior Officer and Senior Adviser to Global Compact, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, United Nations, said Shaikh Khalifa's dedication to humanity and to the environment, his concern with the sustainable use of natural resources is legendary and exemplified in so many concrete realisations. From rebuilding and expanding the ''falajes'', to the nurturing of endangered species, to the encouraging of the development of appropriate technologies, to the planting of hundreds of millions of trees.

Dubee gave an account on business and industrial development in his paper: "Bridges of Love, Peace, Cooperation and Respect".

He indicated that the UAE and its business community had responded to the challenge set by the UN Secretary-General in 1999 which implied that the role of industry and economic development is to serve the human beings as a whole by offering employment, know how and training.

Dubee hailed the role played by the UAE, saying that it is not only setting examples of helping in the world's efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, but also building a more equitable world for all.

He said that the bridges of peace, love, cooperation and respect are of tremendous importance and not only span the past to the future of the UAE, but they also have the opportunity to span the gap between poverty and wellness, the chasm between violent conflict and sustainable peace.

Dr Udo Steimbach, Director of German Institute for Middle East Studies, read a paper on "UAE as a Bridge Between Arab World and Europe".

He praised the UAE-EU relations, stating that the UAE is in a position to lead the GCC to establish better relations with Europe. And there is an opportunity for sides to benefit from the other's experience.

"Given the open mindedness of its leadership, the pragmatic character of its elite and population, and its multicultural tolerance, the United Arab Emirates is qualified to play a great role in international arena, by strengthening relations with Europe and the rest of the world," he stated.

In a paper titled "Contemplation on the thought of the UAE President", Dr George Deeb, Lebanese President's Adviser on International Affairs, said that Shaikh Khalifa had known how to keep the trust, to proceed on with the message, and how to adopt and revive the wisdom of the founder of the nation.

"No doubt that this perfect approach was adopted by a leader who is an example in running the affairs of his state and people. This is attributed to the comprehensive vision of Shaikh Khalifa and his remarkable ability of analysis and consequently his ability to reconcile contradictions and integrating similarities, let alone his tremendous national ambition and the openness toward the other countries of the world," he noted.

He said the UAE would have been but tiny scattered emirates with nothing in common but the hot sand of the desert. Thanks to endeavours of its founder, Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, it has become a beautiful oasis along the Arab peninsula.

In the second session, Dr Mohammed Eljezayry, Professor of Philosophy of Civilisation, said that the UAE had offered a unique example that could be pursued by other nations.

He talked about the values system in the thought of Shaikh Khalifa, indicating that they are the driving force in human history, renaissance of people and progress of nations.

In his paper entitled "Man Is the Real Wealth of the Nation", Dr Alexander Shumilin, Director of the Centre for the Greater Middle East studies, Moscow, said that the wise policy adopted by the late Shaikh Zayed, a leader highly appreciated in the world, would continue in all fields, under the new leadership.

He added that the achievements of the UAE in various fields were needed, not only to the UAE itself but required by the world community, especially in the West after 9/11.

"To shed lights on the reality in the UAE, as a modern Muslim country, where the West and the East successfully meet, is needed and required to fill the informational gap, to oppose the often imposed ideas of the so called 'conflict of civilisations," Dr Shumilin stated.

He stressed that the contribution of the Information Affairs Office of Deputy Prime Minister (DPMIO) to presenting the true image of the UAE should be highly welcomed and appreciated. "It matters especially now, at the transitional moment for the UAE," he said.

Anwar Abdulhadi, Information Adviser to Palestinian Foreign Minister, said: "Man has been the focus of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa not only in UAE but also in the Arab nation, especially in Palestine which suffers occupation. The late Shaikh Zayed offered continuous support to Palestinian people on all levels — political, economic, and humanitarian, and His Highness Shaikh Khalifa continues this support."

He said in his paper "His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan: the Man and the Leader", that Shaikh Khalifa grew up in the house of Zayed the man, Zayed the leader, so he acquired the characteristics of distinct leader; he acquired competence and intelligence, and ability to assume the mission; he acquired the trust and credibility; and he acquired confidence and the ability of taking initiative to help those in need.

The Information Affairs Office participated in the event by a paper titled "Strategy of Human Resources Development In Shaikh Khalifa's Thought." It said that the giant edifice of development built in the UAE has not been a casual act. "Nor has it been a spontaneous response to a natural wealth erupted in this land. It has been a brainchild of wise leadership whose thought embodied a distinct development experience in the UAE," he said.

The paper said Shaikh Khalifa's judicious vision on leadership has been naturally translated into great success in all aspects of life in the country.

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