President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has said the achievements scored by the UAE had been triggered by the perseverance of the distinguished men and women who shouldered the responsibility to build this country and preserve it interests.
He added that they were inspired by "the spirit of the Union" to notch the UAE on the world map.
Sheikh Khalifa made the remarks today afternoon at Diyafa Palace in Al Mushrif, while honouring the winners of the President Merit Award 2012 in its second edition.
He honoured the Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah in the presence of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The UAE President appreciated the role of the winners in many spheres of achievements that led the UAE to the stage of prosperity, noting that each of them fared well in his field.
He added that their achievements reflect the self-denial and love for this great country. Sheikh Khalifa said the winners efforts complement the role of the Union founders.
"It is our duty to appreciate the deeds of those who exert utmost efforts for this dear country," he said.
The UAE President said the President Merit Award is meant to honour and elevate the winners for their achievements to this country.
Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Sultan received the congratulations from the members of the Board of Trustees of the Award, on the occasion of the UAE's 41st National Day anniversary.
The honoured included: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid in the category of the distinguished development initiatives and community service.
He received The Zayed Order, while the Ruler of Sharjah also received the Zayed Order in recognition to his role in the field of culture and art.
Then the Vice-President presented the two original pens used in the signing of the Union as memento gifts.
The late Musbeh Al Kindi, Ali Bumelha Al Murr, the late Mujran Mohammed Ahmed Al Kindi Al Murr were honoured in the field of support of charity values, while Dr Jameela Salem Humaid Al Suwaidi was honoured in the scientific field.
Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani was honoured on the field of sports. Rt. Lt. General Hamad Suhail Awaidah Al Khaili and Counselor Ibrahim Mohammed Bumelha were honoured in the humanitarian field. Abdullah Mohammed Al Qaz Al Falasi was honoured in his support for the spirit of the Union. The award was received on his behalf by his son.
Sheikh Mohammed thanked Sheikh Khalifa for this honour, describing it as "kind gesture from the leader of the Union, whose spirits galvanises Emiratis", pledging to continue strenuous work to sustain the prosperity experienced by the UAE.
For his part, the Ruler of Sharjah said the honouring of President to him is: "A fresh mandate to continue the path outlined by the wise leadership, and the same course chalked out by the founder and builder of the renaissance of the UAE late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul in eternal peace, so that the UAE remains the model of cohesion and sense of national belonging”.
Supreme Federal Council meeting
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, today afternoon chaired the Supreme Federal Council meeting held at Diyafa Palace in Al Mushrif.
The meeting was attended by the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah, His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ajman, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Fujairah, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council member and ruler of Umm al-Qaiwain and His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ras al-Khaimah.
Sheikh Khalifa and the Rulers reviewed during the meeting various achievements over the last 41 years since the inception of the Union. The Council referred to the initiatives of the UAE President, which contributed effectively to boosting of the federation, national work and prosperity being experienced by the UAE nationals.
The President and the Rulers exchanged the greetings on the occasion of UAE's 41st national day anniversary, stressing that the celebration of this great occasion "constitutes an important momentum to further strengthen the Union and achieve more aspirations of UAE people."
The Rulers greeted Sheikh Khalifa, emphasising that the achievements attained over the last 41 years were the fruits of hard sincere work of the UAE citizens. The Rulers underlined that the efforts of the UAE citizens would always be appreciated to further push the UAE forward.
Their Highness, Members of the Supreme Council lauded the President Merit Award 2012 in its second edition, noting that the award would have great impact for those who contribute to building of the country.
They recalled the roles of the founding fathers in building the Union, indicating that their roles and those who worked alongside them constitute a "national role model for current and future generations" to continue working for the country led by Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa hosted a banquet in honour of the Supreme Federal Council Members and Rulers of Emirates, Crown Princes, other Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials.
President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, today afternoon received at Diyafa Palace in Al Mushrif, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses Members of Supreme Council and Rulers of Emirates, Crown Princes and Deputy Rulers.
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region were also present.
Sheikh Khalifa received His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah, His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ajman, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Fujairah, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, Supreme Council member and ruler of Umm al-Qaiwain and His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.
He also received Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE minister of finance, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, crown prince and deputy ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, crown prince of Ajman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, crown prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Rashid bin Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla, crown prince of Umm Al Quwaain and Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah.
The UAE President exchanged the greetings and wishes with the Rulers on the UAE's 41st National Day anniversary.
They all wished good health to Sheikh Khalifa to continue march of welfare and prosperity to UAE and citizens.
Sheikh Khalifa received the greetings from Sheikh Mohammed, Rulers, Sheikhs, ministers, Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, the Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), FNC members, members of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi Emirate and senior civil and military officials.
The event was attended by Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler`s Representative in the Eastern Region, Sheikh Saif bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Presidential Aviation Authority, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, Sheikh Omar bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Etihad Airways, Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Council Member, Dr. Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saif Al Nahyan, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), Ahmed Juma Al Za'abi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs, Abdullah Al Masaood, Chairman of the National Consultative Council (NCC) and senior civil and military officials.
Unveils plan for Emiratisation body; To expand political representation base; Announces plan for 10,000 houses
In a gift to his people on the UAE glorious national day, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announce today the launch of a new housing programme that aims to build 10,000 housing units throughout all regions of the emirates.
''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.
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.