Chairing the Cabinet session here at the Presidential Palace, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, ” Water is life. Good quality of water is good quality of life. Safe drinking water is safety for the community.” He stressed the significance of joined-up efforts from the federal and local agencies and partners from the private sector to implement this system within the next few months to ensure unified hygiene standards across the country.
The new system endorsed by the Cabinet obliges the stakeholders to put quality and conformity marks on the bottled drinking water, whether domestically-produced or imported, after making sure they conform to all the requirements and standards listed in the system. It also provides for the application of effective overseeing mechanisms regarding import, production and marketing, as well as precise technical requirements regarding the bottled and non-bottled drinking water and mineral and natural water, filter specifications for drinking water, the requirements for water supply pipes, reservoirs, transport tanks, water metres and containers.
The system will be implemented through cooperation between the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Health, the Federal Customs Authority, the local customs departments, the UAE University, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, all municipalities nationwide, Federal and local water authorities and the main water companies nationwide.
The system will be fully implemented within six months from publication of the resolution in the official gazette.
The Cabinet also issued a resolution to restructure the board of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). It named Dr Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei as Chairman and eight others as members. The board membership’s duration is three years, subject to renewal.
It also approved the proposal submitted by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Meteorology (ESMA), prepared in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, on the amendment of the financial system of the ESMA so as to ensure greater efficiency in the management of the Authority’s budget. The Council of Ministers also took a decision to endorse a number of new standards for products related to safety and consumer protection.
The Council of Ministers also approved the operational budget of Emirates Investment Council for the year 2013, through fiscal surpluses and cash income for the Council.
Turning to international matters, the Cabinet approved the cooperation agreement with Argentine on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The agreement covers scientific, economic and technical cooperation in accordance with the national priorities of the two parties. The Cabinet also approved the air transport agreement with Mali, to regulate and ease movement of passengers and cargo between the two countries through their national carriers.
An expansion of the UAE’s overseas diplomatic missions with a number of sisterly and friendly countries was approved. The UAE will open an embassy in the Ukraine, while consulates in countries such as Brazil, Spain, the United States, Italy and Iraq will be upgraded to consulates-general.
During the session, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister praised the historic role of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in supporting the country’s mothers and children. “Her decades-long sincere support to the motherhood and childhood sector has yielded fruit in terms of stable families and the prestigious status of mothers in our community,” he added.
The Cabinet ordered the restructure of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, naming Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak as Chairwoman. The resolutions also named 14 members of the board, whose term will be three years, subject to renewal.
The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood cares and sponsors mothers and children affairs, and offers support, especially in the areas of education, culture, health and safety for the child and mother. It also focuses on the role of mothers in preparing future generations capable of serving the country.
The Cabinet also endorsed the draft law setting up the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (Hedaya), which aims to create common ground for dialogue, exchange of views and cooperation among nations to combat international terrorism.
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE adopts a moderate and tolerant approach, noting that the phenomenon of extremism is rejected religiously, internationally and morally. “International cooperation is much-needed for fighting this phenomenon,” he said.
The Hedaya centre will hold workshops, lectures and prepare studies and data to exchange among the member states to help prepare plans and resources to tackle terrorism.