UAE firm over counter-terrorism and its foreign policy matches international conventions, says Abdullah bin Zayed – Final Add.

ABU DHABI: Sheikh Abdullah added that the country’s celebrations on the 43rd National Day anniversary brought together GCC citizens and expatriate residents to observe the national event, lauding their distinguished participation in the activities, adding that Saudi Arabian citizens also took part positively in the event, in a move which reflects the strategic relations in all fields between the two countries.

Sheikh Abdullah went on to say, “One of the most important projects that reflects the UAE’s scientific progress, is the launch of its strategic space project ,” citing the project to launch the first Arab and Islamic probe, led by an Emirati team, to reach Mars within the next seven years. “This step is seen as a great achievement in our federal march in various domains.” He also added that the feat reflects the UAE’s ability in the field of the latest technology and science, adding that this historic achievement comes within a series of the UAE successes in innovative and sustainable development strategies in space communications, and satellite launching and manufacturing.

Sheikh Abdullah referred to the aviation industry technology’s huge strategic programmes that have been implemented in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and renewable energy production. These achievements earned the country the credibility to host the permanent headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, and its becoming a regional and international capital for renewable energy projects.

He said that the UAE was ranked 12th in the Global Competitiveness Report 2014, which was released last September by the World Economic Forum in Davos 2014-2015. The report put the country in the list of developed countries that had achieved stability, happiness and the satisfaction of their citizens and residents, according to UN Human Development Reports.

Sheikh Abdullah said that all the country’s achievements have been attained given the far-sighted vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The current UAE leadership was inspired by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who had enshrined the loyalty, mutual love and cohesion of the Emirati people with their leadership.

He said the UAE occupied 36th place globally in the field of innovation, happiness and quality of life, adding that it was also ranked first globally in social cohesion and government efficiency, good management of public funds, leadership and government confidence, economy strength, and is a regional hub for international trade, as well as in the empowerment of women in the political, economic, and social fields.

Sheikh Abdullah added that the UAE has become a main destination for all nationalities due to its openness to international cultures and tolerance, citing the existence in the state of over 200 nationalities.

He indicated that the UAE’s foreign policy is based on preserving the national achievements of the homeland, its economy, welfare and social development, adding that the country is an active player in regional and international issues.

Sheikh Abdullah reiterated the importance of the UAE being chosen as the permanent headquarters for one of the most important global organisations, IRENA, making Abu Dhabi the first Arab capital to host such an international organisation.

He also added that humanitarian diplomacy has constituted one of the main pillars of the UAE’s foreign policy, which has been active in carrying out humanitarian and relief aid, and supporting international efforts to address major crises.

Sheikh Abdullah also pointed out that the UAE is planning to strengthen its position on humanitarian work platforms through an official announcement to join the Relief Aid Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, following its ranking as the top donor country in the field of foreign aid, compared to its national per capita income in 2013.

UAE humanitarian assistance stood at $5.2 billion in 2013.