The Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has launched a global initiative to encourage tolerance, and to honour champions of tolerance throughout the world.
The 'Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Tolerance' will lay the foundation for developing young Arab leaders in the field of tolerance and providing support to the intellectual, cultural and media promotions of values of tolerance and openness.
Sheikh Mohammed also announced the establishment of the 'International Institute for Tolerance', which will be the first of its kind in the Arab world to offer advice and expert views on policies for promoting values of tolerance among nations, to publish studies and research reports on tolerance, and to work with relevant authorities to instil principles of tolerance in the younger generations.
The institute will also release social studies on the root causes of fundamentalism, seclusion and sectarianism.
It will further provide support to Arab and international experts and specialists in tolerance, and contribute to developing educational systems.
The Award is the latest to join the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, which will reach more than 130 million people in the coming 10 years and will focus on developmental and relief efforts across the Arab region and beyond, following a clear and comprehensive vision and a specific set of major, measurable goals and milestones.
The 30-plus entities that fall under the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ umbrella will join together in their efforts to achieve these goals.
"The UAE has established itself as a global role model for tolerance. We cherish tolerance as a key value. Yet, we intend to transform that value into a sustainable institutional work that will reflect positively on our peoples in the Arab world," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Sheikh Mohammed added that tolerance provides an assurance for stable communities and sustainable development.
"Our Arab societies need to be prepared intellectually to embed the culture of tolerance, openness and peaceful co-existence."
He also urged adopting measures to provide a cultural immunity to the youth, as they form the frontline of defence against the forces of extremism and exclusionism.
Meanwhile, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, and Secretary General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, described the Award as a practical response by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to the sources of tension in the region and to the cultural slump in the Arab world regarding many issues, including extremism and sectarianism, and contrary to the prevailing tolerance witnessed during the rise of Islamic and Arab civilisations.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives will include five categories, three of which will be dedicated to honouring champions of tolerance in human thought, literary creativity and the arts.
The other two categories will focus on youth projects and new media.
Sheikh Mohammed ordered the creation of the International Institute for Tolerance to guarantee sustainable projects for the youth, to provide a healthy environment for them to excel and to deepen their awareness about tolerance.
The Institute will also act as a nurturing ground for young talents in tolerance, community service and countering extremism.
Additionally, Sheikh Mohammed ordered the establishment of a board of trustees for the Award, to be chaired by Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance.
He also ordered the appointment of Dr Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmed al Shaibani as the Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance and Ahmed Khalfan Al Mansouri as the Award's Secretary General.