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UAE human rights expert explains role of FNC, stresses need to raise political awareness

The Federal National Council, which was established in 1972, has played an important role in the UAE’s development

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Sun 27 Feb 2022, 2:28 PM

A UAE human rights expert has discussed the roles and functions of the Federal National Council (FNC) and the importance of raising political awareness among Emiratis so they can participate in the election of members representing their regions and contribute to the country’s development and decision-making process.

During a lecture organised recently by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA),Chancellor Dr. Zayed Saeed Al Shamsi, President of the Emirates Human Rights Studies Centre, noted that the UAE FNC - which was established in 1972 - has played an important role in the UAE’s development with the concerted efforts of its members since its earliest sessions and until today.

“The Council has become a platform for discussing federal laws and raising citizens’ issues and needs to decision makers, he asserted,” he said.

He explained that the FNC has two main functions. “The first is a legislative function, which consists of discussing drafts of constitutional amendments, federal laws, the UAE’s general budget, and its final accounts, in addition to commenting on international treaties and agreements," said Al Shamsi.

“The second function, meanwhile, is oversight, and consists of raising general topics for discussion, making recommendations on them to the government, and directing questions to government representatives.”

Al Shamsi also underlined the importance of raising political awareness and promoting a culture of political participation in Emirati society, in an effort to support their active participation in the upcoming elections; enhance their contribution to the decision-making process surrounding their aspirations, requirements, and needs; engage them in carrying out their national duties; and include them in the UAE’s journey towards development and prosperity.

The human rights expert noted that the UAE’s wise leadership is committed to developing and upgrading the parliamentary experience, pointing to the empowerment speech delivered by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the occasion of the 34th National Day in 2005, which constituted a continuation and activation of the political participation approach integral to the system of government in the UAE.


He pointed out that participating in the FNC elections embodies the Emirati people’s commitment to actively contributing to the country’s comprehensive development and to playing a part in shaping a bright future for them and their children.

The electoral experience in the UAE is a purely national one, and accommodates the specific traits of Emirati society, and the aspirations and needs of its people. It is proceeding in a gradual and balanced manner, supported by in-depth studies of the results, and geared towards driving political development, enhancing political participation in the community, and preserving the UAE’s achievements.

This first lecture of the fifth cycle in the ‘Neighbourhood Majlis’ series was held at Oud Al Tayer Majlis in Umm Al Quwain under the title ‘Civil Society’s Support for Federal National Council Elections’.

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