UAE National Day: Taking care of citizens will always be top priority, says President

The wellbeing of its citizens will always be the nation's top priority, he affirmed



By WAM

Published: Thu 1 Dec 2022, 10:51 AM

Last updated: Fri 2 Dec 2022, 9:46 AM

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, said that the 51st UAE National Day is a day to recall lessons of the past, and look at the present with awareness and contemplation, while looking to the future with hope, optimism and confidence.

“Taking care of our citizens and opening up all avenues of development, creativity and self-affirmation before them has been, and will always remain, our top priority and we will spare no effort to achieve this goal,” His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, in his message on the 51st UAE National Day.

He went on to assure that the UAE will remain a key partner and supporter of everything that brings about progress and development for humanity, and enhances the world's ability to meet its challenges, foremost of which are climate change, food security, diseases, epidemics and poverty.

The following is his speech in its entirety:

“Fellow people of the UAE,

The 51st National Day is a day in which we recall our past, realise how far we have come as a nation, and look into the future with a renewed sense of hope and optimism. In God's will, and with future planning, working with others and all the great efforts by the people of this nation – I am certain that the future will be bright and prosperous.

The National Day is an occasion filled with pride and joy. It is also an opportunity to reenergize and look into the year ahead with a renewed sense of vision and determination.

Brothers and sisters, the UAE is precious to us all – a nation formed by our founding fathers and its legacy continues through us all and the generations to come who will carry the flag forward. Our responsibility to the nation, and our past and future generations is to preserve this beloved country with all the strength, effort and determination that God has bestowed upon us.

Brothers, sisters, sons and daughters,

On this glorious day, we remember with all reverence the late leader, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who passed away this year, may God rest his soul. He left in our hearts, and the hearts of many across the world, the cherished memory of his good journey, after he placed indelible imprints on every corner of the UAE. He was by the side of the late founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan at every step in building the UAE we all know today.

May God have mercy on Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Zayed and their brothers, the founding leaders, and reward them with the best for what they have done for this country and its people. Their efforts will remain a beacon and a source of inspiration for generation after generation. When we reflect on the progress and prosperity we enjoy today, we realise with pride the magnitude of December 2, 1971, and the value of unity we see today. Our respect and deep admiration for them continues to grow, in appreciation for what they have done, and so does our commitment and determination in carrying their legacy forward.

Fellow people of the UAE,

During the past 50 years, our country has gone through many stages in its triumphant journey from "establishment" to "empowerment", each stage with its goals, facets and course of action.

God willing, the UAE will continue its steadfast approach of construction and development, of consolidating gains and raising its ambitions to make an even greater development leap. The UAE will continue to focus on science and technology and capitalise on opportunities in these areas so that current and future generations can benefit. It is working to achieve the maximum investment of our most valuable resource, our people, and in their best interest, deepening the partnership between the public and private sectors. The UAE is meticulously defining development priorities, and making a qualitative leap in the outputs of the educational process by enhancing this sector as it is our main way to achieve all our goals and ambitions. We must make learning a lifetime pursuit for us all, so we can contribute intellectually, socially, and morally as global citizens. The UAE is also diversifying its sources of income, building a knowledge-based and globally competitive economy.

In order to achieve all that we aspire to, the main focus of the next stage must be doubling the effort and giving, as well as raising the value of work, efficiency and dedication to one’s duty. Brothers and sisters, the next stage is one of work, grit, courage and perseverance, and there is no room for complacency, because great ambitions require even greater determination.

The UAE is fully aware of the nature of the transformations around it, and the challenges and opportunities it enjoys. We are leveraging these opportunities and will address any challenges with a clear, effective and comprehensive approach. We depend on our resources, our capabilities and the people of the UAE. We will continue to cooperate and forge regional and international partnerships. And we move carefully to maximise and protect our national interests. We are strengthening our economic, commercial and investment partnerships around the world. And we continue to adopt balanced and responsible policies in regional and international arenas.

ALSO READ:

Brothers, sisters, sons and daughters,

Taking care of our citizens and opening up all avenues of development, creativity and self-affirmation before them has been, and will always remain, our top priority and we will spare no effort to achieve this goal. People come first, above all else, because nation-building is only possible through people-building. We will continue to develop and implement plans that revolve around empowering citizens and expanding the opportunities available to them in all fields without exception, because empowerment is not an interim policy with a specific time frame, but rather an ongoing approach.

At the heart of this, the youth enjoy exceptional interest in our vision for the present and future of our country, because they represent a creative energy for bringing about development and progress, and they have proven their worth in all fields of national action during the past years. The future of this young nation is in the next generation’s hands—which is why we must support and empower them.

During the next stage, the role of Emirati women will be strengthened in all fields. No society can advance to the level it aspires to without the participation of women.

During the next stage, reliance on educated and qualified youth will become entrenched as they are the most important elements of national wealth, and the main factor in ensuring progress towards the future. At the same time, our country will continue to attract talents, competencies and bright minds from all over the world, and welcome every hand that builds and innovates, to contribute to our development process and to work and live on our land in dignity and peaceful coexistence. Diversity built this nation, and our journey of inclusivity must shape its future.

Fellow people of the UAE,

Despite the adverse consequences of COVID-19 and other regional and global crises, including an economic downturn, the UAE economy - thanks to God and to the sincere efforts of the government led by my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai - has progressed rapidly. Our indicators of global competitiveness, strength of influence, economic growth, optimism for the future and others have improved from what they were before the pandemic, according to reports by specialised international institutions. This a unique achievement by all standards because this came about in an adverse global environment.

This reinforces the status of the "Emirati exception" not only in the region, but in the whole world, due to the strength of the foundations on which the state was built, its long-term and wise vision for the future, its efficiency in dealing with crises of all kinds, and directing its resources optimally to achieve sustainable development for current and future generations.

The UAE will continue to work on investing all available opportunities to support economic sectors of strategic importance to its national security, foremost of which are industry, technology, food security, renewable energy, and health, among others. These are sectors that recent global developments have shown the need to give priority to in planning for the present and the future.

Brothers, sisters, sons and daughters,

The UAE will remain a key partner and supporter of avenues that brings about progress and development for humanity, and enhances the world's ability to meet its challenges, foremost of which are climate change, food security, diseases and poverty, among others.

In this context, the UAE will invest in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28), which it will host next year, to give a strong impetus to collective international action to protect the planet, and to address the world’s most pressing climate challenges.

The UAE will continue to call for peace and stability, and work to resolve disputes and conflicts, regardless of their type, location and degree of complexity, through diplomatic means. It will move in every direction to enhance opportunities for understanding and dialogue on the regional and international arenas, and will call for peace, moderation and anti-extremism.

Since assuming its position in the UN Security Council at the start of 2022, the UAE has embodied, through its stances and initiatives, the aspirations of the people of the whole world towards cooperation, peace and development. It will continue to play a positive role during the remainder of the council's membership to leave a prominent Emirati-Arab imprint in one of the most important institutions of international collective action.

Brothers, sisters, sons and daughters,

In a rapidly shifting world, the UAE realises the importance of strengthening partnerships across the Arab world for the benefit of this region and its people, and will continue to invest in Arab resources and capabilities for the development of all.

Recent transformations across the world have emphasised the importance of strengthening all aspects of regional cooperation between countries belonging to a particular region or geographical area, as is the case for the Arab countries in general or the Gulf Cooperation Council states in particular. Our countries possess a potential for convergence and integration that may not be available to other nations in other regions.

The UAE, in cooperation with its brotherly neighbors, is working to promote Arab integration on new foundations that are effective and realistic, based on common interests, stemming from economic cooperation for the prosperity and development of people in the region.

Brothers, sisters, sons and daughters,

Today, we recall the sacrifices of our righteous martyrs in all locations and times, and we pray for them, for the ultimate sacrifice they made in defence of the UAE, its values and principles, which embody the sacrifices of our people throughout history.

Stability is the foundation of this country—security, economic and social stability are a requirement for the people of the UAE to reach their full potential. On this dear occasion, I reiterate that our armed forces have been, and will always remain, the strong fortress of the nation, its protective shield, and the school of deeply rooted national values and principles through the ages, and its development and modernisation will remain a top priority as it has always been.

We also salute our armed forces that are vigilant about the security of the homeland, the safety of society, the protection of citizens and residents, and the provision of appropriate conditions for work, development and progress. We thank their members for their great effort, sincerity and commitment to duty.

Fellow people of the UAE,

On this cherished day, I congratulate my brother Rulers of the UAE and Crown Princes, and I pray to God to preserve our country, perpetuate its unity, harmony and love, and to keep it always as a symbol of progress, renaissance and pride. Happy National Day.”


More news from UAE