President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has emphasised the commitment that exists to maintain the constitution and to preserve rights and freedoms, these being the pillars of political work at all the institutions.
He said: "While preserving the constitution, we respect our Islamic belief, UAE traditions and norms.
"Inaugurating the second ordinary session of the 15th Legislative Chapter of the Federal National Council, the UAE President said in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that: "We are going forward firmly to bring our political experience to its (desired) ends so as to achieve development and expand participation.
“We are also looking forward to the pivotal role of the FNC, as a supportive and control authority to further strengthen the government with its visions and innovative ideas."
Sheikh Khalifa noted that the FNC has witnessed a qualitative development with regards to the experiment in expansion of participation that resulted in the holding of the second elections on September 24, 2011.
He added that this was one of the phases of the gradualist political empowerment programme launched in 2005 to activate the role of the FNC.
The UAE President underlined that the UAE constitution protects rights and freedoms. "This makes the UAE a paradise for citizens and expatriates. All live in peace in a tolerant community that is free from segregation and injustice."
Sheikh Khalifa said Emirati women received full support from the leadership, noting that they have exhibited ability and responsibility and have come to occupy top jobs. "I called upon my daughters to sustain the efficiency and dedication they have demonstrated so far."
"Your membership in this Council is a great trust and responsibility," he told its members. "Governance here belongs to those who have bestowed their trust on you. So be solicitous to maintain your eligibility to have received this trust and be committed to the interests of the country and the citizens."
Sheikh Khalifa called on the FNC members to communicate always with fellow citizens and to protect the bond between the various segments of Emirati society "in our quest to entrench the culture of consultation and participation in decision-making, as well as to emphasise the importance of individual opinions in formulating the opinion of the society."
He greeted Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the emirates for their virtuous efforts in strengthening the pillars of the union.
"I also greet every citizen, man and woman, who has contributed through his or her work to the building of our beloved nation and our precious union."
Sheikh Khalifa concluded, "Dear Members of the Council, I thank you and your predecessors. You have performed your duty with sincerity and integrity and we expect from you more effort and selfless work."