His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has congratulated the nation on 39th National Day of the UAE and offered felicitations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members.
In a statement to 'Diraa Alwatan' magazine Sheikh Muhammed said: "I invoke Almighty God in prayer to make our days the occasions of joy, and spell out the praise and gratitude to Him for the blessings that He pours out on us, the success, which He wrote for our journey, and for the goodness, prosperity, safety and security, with which He has bestowed our country and our citizens".
"My dear fellow citizens, we bid farewell today to another year of our life in federation that was full of accomplishments and additions, and welcome a new year full of hope and optimism, ambition and determination to walk our homeland and our society towards the goals set by our leadership; those sublime goals, around which our will has united, to lead our nation - the UAE - with the advent of the 40th National Day to the rank of the best countries the world in all spheres, and our people, among the most civilized and advanced nation who make concrete contribution to the furtherance of human civilization", he stated.
"With God's help and blessings, with the guidance of the leader of the march the President, with the efforts of the citizens of the UAE, men and women, with scientific planning, hard work, and insistence on accomplishments and success, we are able to achieve our goals," Sheikh Mohammed added.
"The pride in what we have achieved in our country over the past 38 years, the pride in the respectable position held by our nation, and our ambition that do not know any borders, are our incentives for further work, self-giving, innovation and development. However, competence always is in the present and in the future, not in the past, near or remote. The prestige is what you are today and what you will achieve tomorrow, not what you were yesterday. The measure of success is not only the achievements of this year compared to last year, but also what you have achieved in the direction that leads to the goals set by the leadership for the country and the people."
"I thank God as we are moving in the right direction towards our goals. In the 38th anniversary of our federation last year, the Vision 2021 stood as an inspiring reference for all our plans and our work and our projects," he vowed.
Highlighting achievements in particular three sectors, he said that in human development, UAE has earned the first position on the Arab level and the 32nd on the global level in the latest international specialized indicators. This meant the advancement by five positions in comparison to what we were in 2005 and this reflects the size of the achievement made by the government in the past five years in education, health, economic growth and gender equality.
"The second thing is the important advancement of the position of the UAE in the index of finance development, as our country assumed the first position on the Arab level and the 21st on the global level. This indicator is important as it demonstrates the scale of progress made by the country in the legal and regulatory infrastructure that governs the financial sector, and in the institutional environment, in commercialclimate and corporate governance, as well as in the liberalisation of the financial sector.
The third thing that I will mention is the important progress achieved in the integration of performance between the federal and local authorities, that manifested brilliantly in the joint meetings between the cabinet and the local departments in most of the emirates," he remarked.
The UAE is a monolithic entity, and all Federal and local istitutions work to serve the UAE and its people. At the same time, the structure of the Federal state, by its nature, necessitates special attention to relations of cooperation and federal and local integration. This is especially true as the practical life is the accumulation of experiences, and promotes the lessons learned, and indicates any deficiencies or gaps that may exist in this area or another, that everyone will always tend towards the development of coordination and promotion of integration in order to achieve the interests and aspirations of our country and our citizens, the Prime Minister said.
"With the end of this month and this year expires the first cycle of the strategy of your government, which we launched in 2007, inspired by the National Programme of Action, launched by President Sheikh Khalifa.
With the beginning of next month, we have in front of us the major tasks of the second cycle of the strategy for the years 2011-2013. A strategy which is guided by the goals set in Vision 2021 and that accommodates changes and developments, and is based on major accomplishments and remarkable successes achieved in our beloved country."
"You, the citizens, men and women, are at the heart of this strategy, and you are its priority, and you are its goal as well its means, and your role is the basis for completion of plans, projects and programmes. I am confident that you are worthy of the responsibility and that you will fulfill the expectations of your leadership.
"We want you to be effective, and entrepreneurs in programmes to strengthen national identity, social integrity and family cohesion. We want the parents as well as the social and cultural authorities to engage more in the process of the development of education, to which the government has attached great importance, and allocated nearly a quarter of the federal budget. This is because we believe that our human resources are the most precious wealth, and that the achievement of our goals depends on our success in the formation of this wealth at the highest levels of knowledge and competence and skill.
"The optimal shaping of this precious wealth is a great responsibility shared by all; and the role of household is not less important than that of the school, and the role of the parents is as important as the role of teachers.
"We want from the business sector a greater role in the process of building our national economy as we aim a competitive economy, through the promotion of innovation, research and development, and more emphasis on quality and productivity, and work to attract the national workforce, nurturing and developing their abilities.
"We want from those who work in the youth sector, both at the governmental and private levels, to give more attention to the educational and cultural aspects, as the new generations are exposed to various influences in our increasingly open and closely intertwined order, and the cultural producers move about in their space where there are no borders or boundaries.
"The only way to take advantage of this openness and encounter any negative consequences that ensue is the positive action and production of programmes to strengthen the system of values of solidarity, compassion, communication, honesty, truthfulness, justice and tolerance, as well as the values of work and production excellence.
"With the same amount of our pride in our national identity, we also need to strengthen efforts to enhance it in the hearts and minds of the emerging generations, through attention to our Arabic language, our national heritage, our history and our customs and traditions. We also need to harness the tools of the time to maintain and develop them and give them attractiveness and acceptance."
He said the country today occupies a leading position on all indicators relevant international comprehensive development, competitiveness, security, stability and quality of life. But this status does not satisfy us as we have a long way to go and get into the top ranks in various areas. And this will only be achieved with more hard work, more productivity, innovation, creativity and improvement.
"We are able to access the first row as God has blessed us with a leadership, whose prime concern is the progress of the country and happiness of the citizen. With the grace of God, we also have a unique relationship between the leadership and the people. This relationship is mooted in love, respect and loyalty. The manifestations of this unique relationship again reflected with the surge of joy that swept our country at the time of the return of my brother, President Sheikh Khalifa, healthy and safe from a trip for treatment and convalescence.
"It was this unique relationship that made the miracle of development and progress over the past 38t years, and that which will make miracles in the coming years.
" Whenever the 2nd of December falls, the presence of our Founding Fathers intensifies among us. We read in their eyes the shine of satisfaction and pleasure. We cherish their memory, and are becoming increasingly proud of their history and achievements. With each passing year, we perceive increasingly than ever, how much they were wise and prudent, and how much great was their perseverance and patience in dealing with adversities and difficulties and overcoming them.
"With each passing year, we feel more the heaviness and the magnitude of the responsibility we are entrusted with. So we ask God to help us and inspire us towards righteousness, enable us to perform our duties, and make us and our people rally behind our leadership and our union, and strengthen our faith in our ability to achieve our goals for the progress of our country and the pride of our people.
"This country which dwells within us, my dear citizens, deserves our dear and precious. So let us compete each other in the field of rendering service in its cause, and work diligently and faithfully. Let us give without limits, and initiate all that will contribute to the development and progress, security and stability," Sheikh Mohammed concluded.
Sheikh Mohammed attends national day celebration
Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed attended on Wednesday evening a ceremony organised by the Dubai committee at Burj Khalifa area in celebration of the 39th national day anniversary.
Present were Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Foundation, Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ministers, dignitaries and senior officials.
The celebration featured visual display of different stages of federation, a military parade and performance of 'Kulluna Khalifa' operetta in English language.