”It is our belief that housing forms the basis of psychological, social and economic stability for local families and so it is within our constant remit to provide a suitable lifestyle for all our citizens.
The Follow-up Committee, formed by our direct order, will immediately co-ordinate with the federal and local authorities concerned in order to speed up this project’s implementation. It will achieve its goals by creating conditions that will help members of our community to flourish in a healthy family environment,” the President said in his address to the nation on the occasion of the UAE’s 41st national day.
Sheikh Khalifa also gave instructions for developing the abilities of the young workforce.
”We directed that a committee be established, under the direct supervision of the Cabinet.
One of its main responsibilities is that of Emiratisation in both the public and private sectors, through enactment of the laws that guarantee jobs for citizens. The Committee will also be responsible for encouraging co-operation with the private sector to train Emiratis and provide them with the knowledge and experience they need, thereby increasing employment opportunities for the national cadre.” ”December 2, which we celebrate today as the 41st National Day, marks a great occasion on which to enhance the culture of citizenry, deepen our love for our nation, confirm our enduring loyalty and strengthen cohesion and communication between the people and its leadership.
On this historic day, we recall, with gratitude, the efforts of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his late brothers the members of the Supreme Council, whose unstinting efforts led to the upholding of the principles of a country of which we are all proud and defend its sovereignty. We pray that their souls may rest in peace.
”Our union is the safety valve of our country, and our unity is the strong shield of our glorious achievements; in fact, it is the source of our unyielding strength. As we mark the 41st anniversary of the founding of our nation, we must reiterate that the security of our country is sacred, and that any attempts to tamper with it shall be viewed as crossing the line,” he emphasised.
Sheikh Khalifa congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, who have shouldered enormous national responsibilities in order to maintain our country’s achievements and to build for it a prosperous future.
The declaration of the Union, he added, represented a historical moment. Our forefathers formed this country based on piety and the most noble of ethics, devoting themselves to the interests of the people and the nation. We are following their path, affirming that justice is the basis of governance, ensuring the rule of law, achieving social equality and providing a decent life: all these form the pillars of society and are fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by a fair and independent judiciary.
”On this day, we call for further collective efforts to strengthen our march. Protection of the Union is an indisputable national objective. Awareness, unity and cohesion are required in order to uphold its values, to consolidate its pillars, and to sustain the continuous co-operation between the federal and local agencies.
”With our commitment to balanced development nationwide, we have launched a package of highly-focused initiatives aimed at focusing the government’s efforts and harnessing the country’s financial resources. These initiatives will aim to develop the infrastructure and the basic services in all emirates and regions, giving precedence to those development projects that directly affect people’s lives.
”The successive initiatives that we have launched over the last few years are intended to improve the quality of life for our people and achieve their ambitions in a prosperous future. It is our duty to deliver on these endeavours and consider them top priority. The concerned institutions should continue with the implementation of these initiatives, by solving any obstacles, in order to transform them into tangible projects with effective results”.
Politically, Sheikh Khalifa affirmed:” We shall proceed with the gradual approach that we have chosen to broaden the basis for popular participation in decision-making. We shall continue our efforts to reach a viable political model that reflects our realities and play in harmony with the nature of our own society. Yet, such a model should be compatible with the level of advancement that we have made so far in terms of economic progress, and urban, civil and human development. We feel deeply satisfied with the country’s level of achievements, and shall thus remain confident about the promising prospects of a bright future for our citizens.
He noted the UAE political model will be truly nationalistic, preserving national identity and protecting established principles. ”It is a model to which all of our fellow citizens and national institutions shall contribute, especially our national elite. Our intellectuals, creative men and women, scientists, teachers, artists, engineers and doctors are the true treasure of our nation, and their role in mobilising the capabilities of our people is indispensable.
Far afield, the President said:”The successes achieved through our foreign policy represent another of our country’s major achievements. It is a policy that is deeply rooted in our commitment to humanitarian values, and based on the strong pillars of insightful wisdom and moderate positions. It is a policy whose major principles are derived from our authentic Arab and Islamic culture, the United Nations Charter and the provisions of international law that call for peaceful co-existence, mutual trust, friendly neighbourliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes.
”We are following very closely the changes taking place in certain sisterly Arab countries. We express here our deep respect for their sovereignty and support for the choice of their people, as well as our keenness to assist them to overcome difficulties as they meet the challenges ahead. We call upon all the concerned parties to come to reason and uphold the national interest of their own nations, but we reject any foreign intervention in their internal affairs. Moreover, we strongly reject any intervention in our own security, sovereignty or meddling in our internal affairs.
On Palestine, Sheikh Khalifa said a just and comprehensive peace shall not be realised except by full withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Arab territories, and by Israel’s commitment to international law and respect for the principle of land-for-peace, as advocated by the Arab Peace Initiative.
”It is our belief that living in peace, without threat, is a sacred right of every human being. As such, our country will support international efforts to keep the Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction. We call upon the international community to pressure Israel to join the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and we urge Iran to show full co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and remove concerns about its nuclear programme.
”We renew our commitment to support the ongoing international efforts to combat all forms of terrorism, drug trafficking and arms smuggling. We also urge the international community to promote mutual respect of sacred religions and protect them against all forms of disrespect.
The UAE, he stressed, would continue its relief programmes, humanitarian and development assistance, and its contribution to international efforts of peacekeeping and reconstruction in areas affected by crisis and natural disasters, thus maintaining the country’s tradition of supporting humanitarian causes and preserving international peace and security.