Decision-makers in the world are striving to achieve overall sustainability for their people, especially of moral values, which forms the foundation for sustainability of nations, His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, declared at the World Government Summit 2017.
The UAE is considered a pioneer in this field, since its establishment by the late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and today, its founders are taking a political and societal approach, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed remarked.
On the second day of the summit titled 'The Sustainability of a Country', Sheikh Saif bin Zayed spoke about sustainability in an encompassing strategic sense, relying on religious canon, and philosophical foundations.
He demonstrated examples of the most prominent challenges facing the sustainability of a country in different fields, citing the difficulties and challenges faced by the UAE, and how it overcame them, thanks to its wise leadership who made people aware of their Arab cultural heritage.
The session was attended by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Also present at the session was His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, the President of WGS and a number of other sheikhs, ministers and officials.
After expressing his gratitude and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the sponsor of the summit, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed displayed an illustration representing the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, along with his sons during the late 1980s, carrying mattocks and axes to look for what seemed to be a historical artefact in the Sir Bani Yas Island during a trip.
While he directed others, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan had himself started digging under the scorching heat of July.
They first specified the location later in 1992, during an architectural survey for Abu Dhabi Island, following instructions by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. They discovered a historic Christian Monastery that dates back to the 7th Century A.D, before the Church of the East or the Assyrian Church of the East. It is one of the historical sites of huge importance to the UAE, as it sheds light on the communities that lived on the island thousands of years ago.
He used this discovery as an example of the complexity of the region and its people, as well as its long cultural heritage and its authentic local values of tolerance and peace, which is rooted in the land that today attracts all cultures, heritage and religions.
Architects have therefore proved that the Sir Bani Yas Island has been continually inhabited for over 7,400 years, and now more than 36 architectural sites have been found since the start of the surveying and archaeological digging.
He further highlighted the role religious messages in forming moral foundations that are the basis for societies, and creating laws to organising the workings and development of a society, as well as the increasing need to organise social values and morals.
He also tasked Reem Al Naqbi, a young UAE student in Japan, to speak about his important humanitarian experience and his personal experiences with the Japanese people.
He stated that the evolution of cultural and knowledge relies on values and morals, and without them there is no space for advancement or development, as they are meaningless.
His Japanese experience has also proven that modernisation does not equate with morals, although they both requires the presence of the other, and that the creativity accomplished is connected to customs, traditions and the relationship of the individual with its leadership and traditional national symbols.
His Highness added that Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has said that the reasons for him standing out was because of three things, which were, being educated at school, the men’s councils, and from the mother, referring to the "mother of the UAE" H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak the Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union and of the Family Development Foundation the President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
The answer of the late Sheikh Zayed confirmed that the foundation on which the morals of the country were based were religion, tradition, history and general upbringing, which were the basis of any sustainable projects.
He stated that the mother was the pillar of the home and the foundation of the moral environment for children, while appreciating the role mothers of yesteryears played in building the family and societal values.
His Highness confirmed that balance between the elements of progressiveness and maintaining values and traditions is the key to true evolution for societies and also in keeping the balance between the individual and group. Here, he pointed to the "Founding Father" who had realised this reality early by drawing on the balanced community which was the secret to the closeness of the Emirati family and the essence of its unified home – something very close to his heart.
His Highness added that the UAE presented strategic initiatives and programmes aimed at strengthening positive values in children of all ages, bringing in a number of programmes including those by Sheikha Fatima bin Mubarak to empower Emirati woman, and the initiatives of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who have put forth a complete vision to transform the moral community to guarantee the sustainability of countries.
His Highness also said that the morals on which the sustainability of countries was based had also been tested by the UAE. Through the cleverness of its leadership and the challenges and sacrifices, as well as the closeness of its family and the unity of its essence, the UAE had emerged stronger each time and has added accomplishment after accomplishment and contributed to the building of humanitarian values.