The UAE journey toward excellence is premised on a set of tenets, most notable of which are the country's visionary leadership and the effective contribution of its citizens to the nation's developmental drive, said H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.
H.H. Sheikh Saif made the remarks at the close of the second day of the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, during which he paid homage to the nation's martyrs who sacrificed their very lives for the higher good of their homeland and delineated an indelible image of nobility that will go down in the annals of human history.
A brief documentary was screened at the beginning of Sheikh Saif's speech, titled " Emirati Experiment" that featured a number of inspirational leaders and their success stories, including Greek Commander Alexander the Great who, Sheikh Saif said, is a role model for exceptional leaders that across history made great strides built on common rather than personal interests.
Sheikh Saif cited in this regard 'submarine' as an example for an invention that had been realised centuries after the departure of Alexander the Great, but was in reality attributed to the Greek leader 's revolutionary ideas to invade world's oceans and seas.
Sheikh Saif referred to the approach adopted by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayahn to weather headwinds and survive challenges as a roadmap for the nation to forge ahead and make dreams come true.
Sheikh Saif's speech was rich enough to invoke a vivid picture of the leadership model presented by the country's Founding Father that was faithfully and innovatively pursued by the country's leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Saif said that the Founding Leader received the Apollo shuttle team before their trip to the moon in 1974 and after the trip in 1976 in an unprecedented step for a leader in the region. "This affirmed his bright ideology and faith in science to achieve successes and excellence. On that day, he took a pledge that the UAE will one day reach the moon and beyond."
"The UAE society started with a generation we call as "Generation of Fighters" who have survived the challenges the nation faced during that time, including the shortage in water resources and health services. They were noted for their love of their homeland, a strong approach in building in their nation and adherence to noble values that they inherited from authentic UAE heritage where ethics is a constitution of life and represents the faith thanks to which challenges of life are survived. It is this generation that founded the modern state of the United Arab Emirates," he added.
"Then came the Oil Generation, who endeavored to continue the national drive," Sheikh Saif continued to say. "That generation was characterised with shrewdness, critical thinking, a realistic approach and dedication - qualities that enabled them to preserve the values that they inherited from the previous generation and helped the nation scale the heights of global supremacy," he added.
"Then came your generation," Sheikh Saif said, addressing the young people attending the session who, he said, are born after 1984 and the next generation born after 2004. "You represent over 50% of the country’s citizens, and you're the country’s real wealth, as 97% of you have higher degrees, and 32% are majored in notable scientific and medical specialisations," he said. noting that most of the world countries speak about oil, fish and technological investments, while the UAE Government focuses on human investment, being a priority that takes precedence over any other types of investment.
Sheikh Saif cited a series of examples for Emirati men and women who've made enviable local, regional and global accomplishments, supplicating to Allah Almighty to enable the country's current generation to maintain the advanced rankings boasted by the country across global competitiveness indices and to ensure the complete success of the Emirati Experiment as envisioned by the UAE leadership.
Concluding, Sheikh Saif expressed conviction that the current generation will follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers and complete the journey they initiated since the establishment of the Union.