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17 April 2024

Unifying Armed Forces as significant as Founding Fathers’ decision to establish Union: Mohammed bin Rashid

Published
By WAM

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has emphasised the significance of the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces, stating that it is of equal importance to the Founding Fathers' decision to establish the Union.

In his speech to “Nation Shield”, the UAE's military journal, on the occasion of the 47th Armed Forces Unification Day, Sheikh Mohammed underscored that the decision to unify the Armed Forces fostered and enhanced the Union's pillars, highlighting that “the Union would not have advanced, developed and maintained its sovereignty without defending the country’s borders.”

He also added that the Emirati people would not have enjoyed security and stability without the outstanding efforts of the UAE Armed Forces.

Sheikh Mohammed addressed the officers and soldiers of the UAE Armed Forces, acknowledging their crucial role and dedication to serving their nation.

Below is the full text of His Highness' speech:

"Peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you all.

In the name of Allah Almighty. Officers and soldiers of our brave Armed Forces. Dear sons and daughters of the UAE.

On this momentous day, I salute and congratulate you on the 47th anniversary of the decision to unify the UAE Armed Forces. I acknowledge with gratitude and respect the decision of the founders of our nation; the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brother the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, to unite the nation under one banner consolidating its development march.

The decision to unify the Armed Forces is as significant as the Founding Fathers’ decision to establish the Union. The pillars of the Union would not be complete without this decision. The Union would not have advanced, developed and maintained its sovereignty. Our people would not have enjoyed security and stability without Armed Forces that can defend and protect the country’s borders during challenging times.

The decision on 6th May 1976 will remain a remarkable occasion in our history when we affirmed the realisation of the Union and set up a home for the Emirati identity and a strong shield for our country and our people.

Today, after 47 years, the importance of this decision stands out. Through it, the efforts to build our Armed Forces began under a vision of wise leadership, precise planning, efficient execution and the determination of our men. This journey culminated in a remarkable success, embodied in our Armed Forces' capacities, efficiency, readiness and effectiveness.

Throughout its triumphant journey, our Armed Forces have strengthened the foundation of our Emirati model, proving that development and progress are two sides of the same coin. Since its inception, the UAE Armed Forces have set an ambitious goal of Emiratising all its ranks within a specific time frame. They have excelled in achieving this goal, creating a model to be followed for training and qualifying national cadres scientifically, cognitively and practically through the National Service programme.

Our Armed Forces have adopted an approach of keeping pace with all developments related to defence and security and have succeeded in adapting to the ever-changing race to enhance their capabilities. Our Armed Forces also entered the era of the information and communications revolution to master its language and the use of its applications in all its military and administrative branches.

Two and a half decades ago, the path of development was further strengthened by a decision to build advanced defence industries, adding to the self-sufficiency of our resources, meeting critical requirements for arming our Armed Forces, helping improve the scientific and cognitive skills of our young men and women, supporting plans to localise advanced technologies, expanding and diversifying our economy, and opening up new horizons for our international relations and partnerships.

Defence industries have always been and will remain a key driver of the rise of nations and the progress of societies and have become vital to ensuring our country's advancement by creating scientific, administrative and human resources.

Our defence industries have reached a stage of maturity and have become globally recognised, and can now compete in the land, sea and air weapons markets with products that utilise the latest advanced technologies and are comparable in quality and effectiveness to the best in the world.

To our officers and soldiers. To our citizens, both men and women.

Our country’s defensive capacity is the outcome of our approach and commitment to providing the necessary factors and guarantees to ensure the highest levels of protection, security and safety for our homeland, people and achievements.

As our country believes in the importance of promoting peace globally, it realised that avoiding war is possible by being prepared and anticipating the possibilities, especially as we live in a region full of conflicts and challenges caused by competition and rivalries between major countries, the risks of pandemics, such as the spread of COVID-19, and natural disasters resulting from global warming.

Dear officers and soldiers. Your loyalty, courage, dedication and commitment to your military oath have elevated our Armed Forces to the highest levels of efficiency, readiness and effectiveness, and you have earned respect from everyone everywhere.

You have proven your worth when performing your duties, such as serving in international peacekeeping forces and relief operations to help those affected by natural disasters. I reiterate my gratitude and appreciation to every officer and soldier in our Armed Forces, security and civil protection agencies, and the generations to follow.

With your esteemed achievements, our homeland has flourished, our weapons have gained momentum, our flags have flown high in the sky, and our country has remained secure.

Today, I proudly recall, with you, our brave martyrs, your colleagues who sacrificed their lives for our homeland and to defend truth and justice. I also renew my appreciation for their patience and steadfast families, exemplifying the finest examples of sincere patriotism and good citizenship.

On this special occasion, I salute and congratulate my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, may Allah Almighty protect him and appreciate his pioneering role in leading the advancement of our Armed Forces and defence industries. I also congratulate my brothers, Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, and all my sons and daughters, our dear people."