UAE landmark achievements highlighted
Abu Dhabi, The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a report showcasing its 2018, marking the 47th National Day. The UAE's 47th National Day coincides with the centenary of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed dubbed 2018 the "Year of Zayed".
The late Shaikh Zayed was renowned for his wisdom and vision, his role and his policies in building the country, achieving development, strengthening its economy and national security, and leading it on the path towards a prosperous future, the report added.
MOFAIC went on to state that the values of the late Sheikh Zayed laid the foundations of modern cultural and developmental renaissance in the country. "Inspired by these values, the wise leaders of the country took to building a bright future for the UAE, strengthening its stance among the countries of the region and the world, turning it into an oasis of peace and political stability, economic and social development, and tolerance," it added.
The UAE has championed the values of tolerance and multiculturalism, rejecting discrimination and hatred by adopting nationwide programmes in partnership with various local, regional and international bodies. Today, the UAE forges ahead, a model of tolerance and acceptance, with more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, choosing it as their second home. The law guarantees residents, similarly to nationals, enjoys the right to use the state's healthcare, educational, cultural and entertainment facilities without any discrimination.
The Ministry went on to note that the UAE has appointed a Minister of Tolerance, to promote the values of tolerance and peaceful co-existence, and support moderate religious discourse. "The country adheres to several international conventions on tolerance, coexistence and rejection of violence and extremism, including but not limited to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1974, and the UAE has adopted many legislation, measures, initiatives and measures that contribute to the promotion of a culture of tolerance at the national level, including the Combating Discrimination and Hate Law, which includes articles criminalising discrimination between individuals or groups on the basis of religion, sect, race, color, origin, or the exploitation of religion in atonement, or financially supporting terrorism."
The UAE is also active in the fight against extremism and terrorism, MOFAIC affirmed in its report, adding that the fight against terrorism and extremism is a critical element in the UAE's efforts to ensure its national security and enhance international security.
"The country has accomplished key achievements in this regard, both through military participation in Islamic and international alliances or through the enactment of local laws that combat terrorism and its causes, such as the Anti-Discrimination and Hatred Act and the Federal Law establishing Hedayah, the International Guidance Centre for Excellence in the Fight Against Violent Extremism, in addition to a decreed law that criminalises acts of contempt against religions and their sanctities, combating all forms of discrimination, renouncing hate speech, and criminalising discrimination between individuals or groups on the basis of religion, creed, sect, sect, race, color or origin."
Shaikh Zayed's vision was founded on the need to build an integrated economy in successive consecutive times. It was brought to life as the country succeeded in building and developing a buzzing and prosperous business environment that is currently attractive for foreign direct investment.
The UAE ranked first among Arab countries in 2017 for its ability to attract foreign direct investment, which established its position as a strategic trade hub that provides foreign investors access to regional markets, as well as the freedom to transfer funds and profits, in addition, an effective judiciary system and legislation, neutral courts, laws and legislation that protects foreign capital, and low customs tariffs that range between zero and five percent on all goods.
Sheikh Zayed's vision was an inspiration for the foreign policy of the UAE, which committed itself to build bridges of friendship, work and cooperation with other nations. Today, the UAE continues to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which represent a roadmap or a specific path for building a better and more sustainable tomorrow for the world and future generations.
The country continues to devote itself to addressing significant global challenges, especially those related to poverty eradication, environmental protection, climate change, the establishment of justice and peace, supporting and promoting global progress.
Accordingly, the UAE has achieved qualitative growth across all areas. This reflected directly and clearly through several indicators, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, which covers numerous vital areas such as quality of life, infrastructure, technology, and the adoption of business-friendly government policies.
This comes to confirm that the country perseveres in its endeavours following the long-term approach of Sheikh Zayed to achieve stability and prosperity in the country, in the region and in the world at large. For the fifth consecutive year, the UAE ranked first as the largest international donor of Official Development Aid, ODA, relative to gross national income, GNI. The country spent 1.31 percent of its GNI on foreign developmental aid in 2017, which is nearly twice the global target of 0.7 percent set by the United Nations as a global standard to measure the efforts of donor countries.
Donations made in 2017 amounted to a total ODA contribution of AED19.32 billion (US$5.26 billion), a year-on-year growth rate of 18.1 percent from 2016. Over 54 percent of the ODA was in the form of non-refundable grants to 147 countries (including 40 of the least developed countries) across the world.
The UAE continues to hold a leading position on the list of Official Development Aid (ODA) donors as a share of the Gross National Income (GNI), one of its many achievements on the international level and across various fields. These achievements are aligned with the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, as the UAE perseveres in its mission to serve humanity and support friendly countries while achieving economic prosperity and countering the effects of crises and disasters. The country aims to make impactful positive and tangible contributions to achieve the ultimate goals for humanity: eradicate poverty eradication and attain sustainable development by 2030. The UAE has taken the lead in efforts to combat poverty and provide foreign assistance to the needy, including the most vulnerable.
The United Arab Emirates has adopted a powerful stance in empowering women, setting new standards based on a unique model drawn from the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE. This approach perpetuates in the current leadership's vision for the future, whereby women stand as active partners and contributors to the country's development process and play a vital role in raising future generations.
The UAE Constitution guarantees equal rights for women and men. The country is leading the way in many regional and global indexes on gender equality and women's achievements, education and literacy, women's employment, and respect for women among several social and economic indicators and other indicators.
The country's constitution supports the participation of Emirati women in decision-making, a core component of economic empowerment. In December 2014, the UAE Cabinet adopted a decision imposing the appointment of women on the boards of directors of all institutions and government agencies, setting the proportion of female representation at 15 percent in government institutions.
Nine women sit on the Federal National Council for the 16th legislature, representing 22.5 percent of 40 members. Furthermore, women make up 27 percent of the new Cabinet formed in 2016 which includes nine women ministers, one of whom is the youngest minister appointed to Cabinet (23 years).
The UAE Gender Balance Council was established in 2015 as a federal agency dedicated to scaling up the UAE's efforts to achieve gender balance across all sectors nationwide, and in decision-making positions. Women are actively involved in the judiciary sector with several women judges and prosecutors, as well as a significant female presence in the police and the military.
In the diplomatic field, women currently hold 30 percent of positions in the diplomatic corps at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which comprised 234 women employees in 2017, including women ambassadors and diplomats representing the UAE abroad.
Moreover, the UAE has made remarkable progress in reducing gender disparities in girls' education in schools and higher education, with more than 70 percent of girls graduating from universities. In the economic field and in the business world, women have set themselves as partners, making up 46.6 percent of the total workforce, holding 66 percent of the jobs of the public sector, 30 percent of which are decision-making positions. Furthermore, 23,000 businesswomen manage projects worth about US$15 billion in the UAE.
At the international level, more than 14 percent of total foreign aid contributed by the United Arab Emirates in 2016 was devoted to empowering women and girls around the world. After deducting bilateral support to government budgets, which accounts for more than half of the value of foreign aid contributed by the UAE in 2016, the proportion of assistance allotted to the promotion gender equality and women's empowerment accounts for nearly one-third of total aid.
One of the most salient indicators of the success of UAE diplomacy is the strength of the UAE passport, which in recent years has achieved consecutive leaps. In 2018, it ranked third in the world according to the World Passport Index, reaching 163 countries visa-free.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has launched the Passport Power initiative that aims to place the Emirati passport on the list of the five most important passports in the world by 2021, upon the directives of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
This significant achievement reflects the recent success of the UAE diplomacy in carrying out the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on openness to all countries around the world.
The feat also comes as a result of the efforts exerted by the UAE diplomacy to establish strategic relations and partnerships in the political, economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, educational fields in addition to partnerships in the health sector, to enhance the country's standing internationally.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation forges ahead confidently and continuously striving to achieve its goals and purpose, with a key focus on the happiness of Emirati nationals, and on gaining a standing of consequence among developed countries in all fields.
Source: Bahrain News Agency