ABU DHABI, 1st December, 2018 (WAM) -- His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said that celebrating National Day is a "message of duty and renewal of loyalty" to the nation and its founders for their efforts to realise the dream of the Union.
In a statement to Nation Shield, the Armed Forces' magazine, marking the UAE 47th National Day, His Highness added that the celebrations are also "a message of determination to continue working to preserve the achievements of our united nation, strengthen its pillars and always fly its flag high."
Below is the statement in full:
"Our celebration of the National Day is a message of duty and renewal of loyalty to our nation and its founders for their efforts to realise the dream of the Union. It is a message of determination to continue working to preserve the achievements of our united nation, strengthen its pillars and always fly its flag high.
The 47 years since the United Arab Emirates was established embody development, success, progress, achievement, determination, willpower and overcoming of challenges in a spirit of unity. They reflect the power and ability of Emiratis to contribute positively to the march of human progress.
On this national anniversary, we remember with pride, appreciation and loyalty the early founders of our state under the leadership of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who laid the foundations for the advancement of the country and the establishment of the UAE. We also reflect on our subsequent achievements and success stories, and pledge to continue the march with strength and faith so that our nation remains as Sheikh Zayed and his fellow Founding Fathers intended - strong and resourceful, thanks to the wisdom of its leaders and the willingness of its people to make sacrifices.
We believe that the true wealth of the country is human wealth, that the UAE is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the age of artificial intelligence, armed not with money and oil, but rather with educated and qualified Emiratis who possess the skills of the time. Our people possess the ability to innovate and create through science and technology in an era of rapid transformation, where knowledge has become the basis of wealth, and technology the standard for excellence.
Civilised peoples and societies do not forget their leaders who laid the foundations for their glory, pride and progress. They celebrate them and cherish their memory, and continue to seek inspiration from them. 2018, which was the 'Year of Zayed', was an occasion to highlight the extraordinary leader’s achievements and showcase his efforts, thinking, sacrifice and insight that were well ahead of its time. We marked the Year of Zayed to celebrate our Union and consolidate its success.
We have absolute confidence that the UAE will continue to make rapid strides and that its Golden Jubilee in a few years’ time will be a celebration of its continued success. The UAE’s structure is firm, and over the years we have focused on building our human assets, based on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s belief that Emiratis are the nation’s most valuable resource. Today, this same philosophy guides our vision for development and defines our priorities and objectives in the era of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
The Year of Zayed 2018 was an occasion to celebrate Zayed's sharp thinking, his philosophy and insight and his genius in governance and leadership. We need to keep this rich heritage alive in the minds of future generations, because the Zayed school is a source of infinite wisdom, with valuable lessons for the present and the future. The most important Zayed lesson is that unity, patriotism, hard work, good planning and clear vision is the recipe for progress and continued success.
On this glorious day, we pay tribute to our brave armed forces, the pillar of our nation. We pay tribute to our heroic sons who are stationed in brotherly Yemen in defence of justice and legitimacy, and in support of our Yemeni brothers and their right to live in dignity, safety and security. The sacrifices and heroic deeds of our armed forces in Yemen and other fields of action will remain inscribed in UAE history, bearing witness to the courage of our soldiers and our continuing policy to support our brothers against injustice and tyranny.
On this great day, we remember our brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives so that the UAE flag continues to fly high. We salute their mothers, fathers and other loved ones who planted in their hearts a love of their homeland and the willingness to sacrifice for it.
The UAE, on its 47th National Day, is moving resolutely towards the future, relying on its own children, its self-confidence and its abilities. The nation forges ahead, imbued with the spirit of unity that binds its people closely. Each year we celebrate our National Day, feeling proud of our achievements in the preceding year and looking forward with hope and optimism at the coming years.
Today, every Emirati and every Arab is proud of the UAE’s unprecedented achievement in 2018 - the launch of the entirely UAE-made satellite, KhalifaSat. We are also set to send the Hope Spacecraft to Mars by 2021. We believe that investing in our citizens is the best investment of all and that we can build a diverse economy in preparation for the post-oil era by developing the skills of our people in order to continue our march to the top."
The UAE, with its great cultural achievements, offers hope to every Arab citizen, especially the young. It sends out the message that the Arabs are capable of success and excellence and can compete globally. What the UAE manages to accomplish ends up becoming a source of inspiration for the entire region, and a source of pride for every Arab. The UAE’s achievements add to the rich civilisational gains of the Arabs, despite attempts to distort their image, undermine them and spread despair and frustration in the region. The UAE’s success will enable it to triumph at all levels. It will reassure the world that what extremists and terrorists convey about the region is distorted. It will instead prove that hope, achievement, openness, tolerance and hard work is all that it takes to advance.
Since the launch of the Emiratisation programme by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2005, the UAE has made significant strides in supporting citizens' participation in public affairs. The 2019 parliamentary elections are a further indication of the leadership's deep belief in the Federal National Council’s role in the process of development. The positive cooperation between the Federal National Council and the Government over the past years has been an expression of the spirit of national responsibility that governs the work of the Council and affirms the uniqueness of the UAE as a safety valve for its security, stability and development.
The UAE is a stabilising and peaceful force in the region and globally, owing to its balanced foreign policy, which is based on solid foundations that have earned it respect, appreciation and influence.
The UAE is keen to enhance its relations with its brothers, stand by them and to protect Arab interests and the right of current and future generations to live in security, peace and stability. It is also committed to building effective partnerships based on respect, trust and mutual interest. We are also keen to engage positively in every regional or international effort aimed at confronting the threats to humanity, particularly extremism, terrorism, poverty, ignorance, disease and climate change, among others. This is based on our belief in the common human destiny and that the challenges facing the world can only be addressed through a collective effort.
In addition, the UAE seeks to encourage dialogue among different cultures and civilisations in the world, in order to promote peace and coexistence. As a result, it has become a shining example of tolerance, moderation and openness thanks to the system of cultural values adopted and disseminated internally and externally. The UAE is now viewed worldwide as a modern and responsible state that addresses the trends of intolerance, racism and extremism in a world that is suffering strongly from the dangers of sectarianism and racism that threaten coexistence and peace among its peoples."
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my warmest congratulations to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, their brothers, Their Highnesses, Members of the Supreme Federal Council and Rulers of the Emirates, and to the UAE people, on the 47th National Day, wishing our dear nation further development, stability, and progress."