Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the 15th Forum of Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions abroad kicked off on Sunday evening. Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the forum will run over five days from March 28 to April 1, 2021.
This year’s forum comes in exceptional circumstances resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed a new hybrid framework using state-of-the-art visual communication technologies.
This forum is held annually and plays a key role in fostering dialogue between senior UAE diplomats and officials across various sectors to better serve the nation’s interests on the domestic and international levels.
In an inaugural address delivered remotely, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation marked the 15th Forum of Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions abroad. His highness the highlighted the pivotal role played by the country’s embassies and representative missions abroad since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring communication with Emirati citizens overseas and providing them with the best possible support and services, while ensuring their safety, a top priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan added: “Despite the difficult conditions around the world amidst the pandemic, the UAE accomplished achievements at the global level. This year witnessed the official entry of the country into the global race to explore outer space with the arrival of the Hope Probe to Mars at the beginning of this year, coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates. Peace and security in the region and the world have witnessed remarkable developments, with the UAE achieving a historic diplomatic accomplishment with the State of Israel, leading the way to great possibilities in the diplomatic, scientific, cultural and economic fields. Those are landmark developments in the history of this nation, and represent the full establishment and recognition of a distinctive UAE model, based on tolerance, and all forms of progress. This year comes to open the page to the next 50 years, by the end of which the Emirati people will celebrate their centenary.
His Highness called on all ambassadors and heads of the country’s representative missions abroad to take part in shaping the future, to ensure the country’s success towards an Emirati diplomacy, based as it was always on the lofty values and approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God have mercy on him, the values of the Emirati society they represent.
His Highness stressed that “these values are based on constants we have always believed in, and we have applied them in all our initiatives established with the countries of the world. They are human fraternity, equality between human beings, human dignity as a priority; we share with the world science and knowledge and adopt tolerance and moderation as a compass that defines our path.”
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan affirmed: “We in the UAE have a unique and distinct political development experience, because the continuity of its success depends on our ability to anticipate the future, and understand the changes in a world that has become more complex, and witnesses the emergence of new trends. These trends require that we adapt so we may contribute to setting them, not be led by them. Traditional ideological and diplomatic theories no longer have a place in the 21st century, which unveiled a new reality rather than the concepts of force and its use to protect the national interests of any country. The pandemic has also brought about changes that the world is still trying to understand and adapt to.
His Highness added that there are two new, old dimensions that ambassadors and heads of UAE representative missions abroad should focus on in the coming period; economy and science as basic components of diplomatic work: “On the economic side, the UAE has accomplished an economic miracle. As you well know, the vision of our wise leadership now focuses on empowering the UAE, not to preserve its economic position, but to make qualitative shifts in line with the changes of this era. Therefore, the country’s embassies abroad must become gateways to attracting investment to the UAE, deepening intra-regional trade with countries, protecting the interests of our partnerships abroad and expanding our business. As for science, sciences and knowledge, the UAE has entered the race of the 21st century, which is a race to possess intellectual rights in various fields of science. For the hosting of the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency “IRENA” is a means to gain knowledge in this field for the future of humanity, to become pioneers in the field of renewable energy. And the Hope mission to Mars, which we are proud of, is a means to deepen our knowledge in the field of space exploration and become one of the pioneering countries in development.
On its first day, the forum featured an opening speech by His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the President of the UAE, in which he spoke of the experience he had acquired throughout his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
It also included interventions by His Excellency Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, and HE Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, as well as a speech by HE Saeed Al Habsi, Director of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
This year, the forum will see the participation of numerous ministers, ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, senior officials, and department heads within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and governmental institutions across various sectors. The forum will shed light on diverse issues with the aim of increasing coordination with foreign missions and further developing the UAE’s diplomatic corps.
Over five consecutive days, the forum will address major political, economic, and cultural topics, in addition to matters related to innovation and advanced sciences. The forum will also review various regional and international developments.
Participants will discuss the Ministry’s achievements and programs, particularly in the consular sector, and the developmental plans of different departments within the Ministry.
The forum, which is held annually in Abu Dhabi as part of the Ministry’s keenness to encourage interaction between ministers, officials, UAE ambassadors and representatives abroad, aims to promote the exchange of views on regional and international developments while improving the effectiveness of the UAE’s foreign policy.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs