DUBAI, 3rd May, 2017 (WAM) -- Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications in the British government, has said that the UAE is a model for building a tolerant society, despite its diversity of cultures and the various nationalities of its residents.
During a session of the Arab Media Forum entitled, "Media: Dialogue of Tolerance", Mr. Aiken revealed that the UK has spent more than GBP60 million on integration programmes for British society since 2010, and 30 projects have been implemented since 2014, which benefited 666,000 people.
He highlighted the composition of British society, characterised by cultural and religious diversity, while stressing the importance of drafting integrated programmes that maintain coherence and co-operation in society with positivity and tolerance. British society is based on a set of fundamentals values including the rule of law, equality, participation in democracy, respect for minorities and freedom of expression, Aiken added.
Mr. Aiken emphasised that governments and the media can build a strong and tolerant society that rejects a hate speech by working together with available means of communication.
He commended the UAE’s experience as a model for a tolerant and co-operative society, despite the diversity of nationalities and religions residing in the country, and urged all governments to promote dialogue and unite their efforts in the face of economic and diplomatic challenges.
He stated that news is being transmitted at tremendous speed, some of which may be false or just a rumour. The starting point for meeting this challenge is the co-operation between governments and the media to communicate facts to the public with honesty, transparency and objectivity, he said.
He noted that the dialogue of tolerance must prevail even in cases of death, bombings and extremist ideology, and highlighted the fact that the British government has worked on implementing inclusive programmes in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, as well as celebrating national historical victories that promote unity and patriotism among the British people while challenging anyone who aims to destroy the nation. Tolerance is an important cornerstone of building civilisations and dialogue, he further added.
Aiken highlighted the existence of co-operation and the exchange of experience in social integration and the promotion of a culture of tolerance between the British government and several Arab countries, notably the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Jordan.