Khalifa congratulates U.A.E. people on 42nd National Day, approves AED 20 bn for development projects 1st add

WAM Following is the full address of Sheikh Khalifa to the nation on the occasion of the UAE’s 42nd national day.

Dear Citizens, Assalamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh On the anniversary of this glorious day of the unity of our will and the declaration of our Union, we convey our warmest congratulations to the sons and daughters of the United Arab Emirates for explicitly expressing their loyalty, allegiance and perseverance for further promoting the spirit of the Union. We also extend our sincere congratulations and felicitations to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates, (may God save them all) for their dedication to serve the affairs of State and their care for both Emirati citizens and expatriate residents and for their devoted efforts to dispense justice and preserve the gains of the Union.

December 2nd is a day on which we recall the impressive and insightful life of the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and also recall his fellow founding fathers, who devoted their energy and thought to establish a strong, viably-structured Federal State, a prosperous nation; where people enjoy justice, safety and welfare; where people feel respected and dignified and live a glorious present with a bright future.

It is a day of expressing our gratitude to great men, who laid down the foundation of a successful state whose achievements have surprised the world and for providing its citizens with sources of strength and welfare. These remarkable achievements have placed the UAE at the top rank of the world’s nations in prestigious indices of human development, happiness and satisfaction. This, in itself, represents a bumper harvest of what our founding forefathers nurtured. We will always be proud of their devotion and will stay on their course to preserve the nation and drive its development forward.

We and all the UAE people feel extreme joy and pleasure that this year’s National Day anniversary coincides with the selection of Dubai as host for the 2020 World Expo, the world’s largest and prestigious exhibition. It is a well-earned victory and a certificate of appreciation for our fathers who laid down the foundation of a strong State that can feel proud, in front of the nations of the world, of its achievements.

It also represents a medal for every Emirati man and woman as well as for every resident living in the State.

On the day of triumph, we all express our rich gratitude and thanks to the Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, for this magnificent national achievement. It emphasises the stature of the UAE as an international hub for attracting business and as an ideal platform for meeting of creative ideas and minds. We also highly appreciate and value the national work teams for their tireless, faithful dedication over two years.

Dear citizens, Since the establishment of the State, we have recognised the true value of the human being in the building of the nation; we are also committed to safeguarding his rights, ensuring his welfare, empowering him and diversifying his options and realising his aspirations. This is the legacy of our fathers, which is entrusted to us, and to which we are committed as a policy because a wise leadership is one under whose rule people feel that their life is safe and their community is coherent and well-knit. This is the true spirit and essence of the Union and the basics of good governance.

Today, we, with the help of Allah and with your dedicated efforts, clear visions, integration in planning and implementation and fruitful cooperation between federal and local authorities, will pursue the path of our fathers to further consolidate the Union’s institutions and protect its gains. Towards that end, we will adopt the quality of life, development, and the rule of law as standards to assess success and measure progress. Our government’s ambition does not only seek to leverage indices of economic growth, though these are important, but also to improve the living standards of citizens, to put the UAE on the map of the world’s most advanced nations, in terms of justice, security, education, culture, housing, sports, health, environment and smart cities.

The future to which we aspire will not be within our reach without a rich, influential society and cultural environment that strengthens self-confidence, makes us feel proud of our leaders, represents our heritage and promotes our adherence to our Islam as a religion of mercy, tolerance, moderation and openness.

Development that does not protect the family, that does not inspire the bringing together of the culture of society and its ethics, is development that is incomplete, regardless of its returns, because stripping the human being of his language, traditions, customs and values means to deprive him of his sense of belonging and of elements of his identity, stifling his capabilities to rise to challenges, to innovate and to aspire to excellence, within a spirit of conscious openness to other cultures of the world. Furthermore, there will be no future for our development without local culture, and there will be no future for our national culture without integrating and incorporating the components of local culture into the school curricula, media policies, and social and family upbringing programmes. By the same token, also of importance and priority, allegiance to the nation and its leadership, respect for the constitution, abidance by the law and commitment to community values remain the firm principles in the pursuit of which we will never display leniency because the preservation of our security is our ultimate goal for providing a conducive environment for development.

Development will also have no future if it is not based on an ever-developing education with an integrated system in which the teacher plays a pivotal role. While we are proud of the teacher as the backbone of the learning process, we are also determined to improve his living conditions and upgrade his working environment. We have also taken advanced steps in developing a modern education system that is responsive to developments as they unfold, that takes the culture of the local community as a source of its curricula and the meeting of social and economic needs as a prime target for building a good citizen and a qualified workforce capable of protecting the Union’s gains, carrying the burdens of development and running the affairs of the state. We are also working to empower women and youth, to take care of our mothers and children, to promote investment in diverse sectors that are most capable of developing knowledge and improve efficiency, to deepen the value of work and achievement, and to foster the culture of volunteerism and community participation.

To reach these goals, we call for the adoption of a national plan for the development of sports which will create a world-class infrastructure for both modern and traditional sports. We believe that engaging in sports serves as a school which deepens the spirit of belonging and fair competition and gives individuals a healthy physical and mental lifestyle that prompts them to work hard and become a productive force.

We are confident that these visions and targets will definitely evolve into initiatives, projects and programmes within the new strategic plan of the Federal Government and other strategic plans of the relevant ministries, institutions and councils. Sports and culture have, like education, a role in building the human being , in our investment in the future and in protecting the Union.

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