The inaugural edition of the “Political Empowerment in the UAE” forum was launched today, organised by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in five emirates.
The Forum is part of the Ministry’s initiatives that seek to promote a culture of political participation among UAE citizens. Using videoconferencing technology, the event was launched in all five emirates simultaneously on the campus of HCT Dubai Men’s College, HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College, HCT Fujairah Women’s College, HCT Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College, and the Enlightenment Hall in Sharjah. The launch drew large audiences of students, media professionals, and members of various segments of the community.
The main launch event, held at HCT Dubai Men’s College, was attended by MFNCA Undersecretary His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah and HCT Director Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi. Meanwhile, the FNC’s Secretary-General H.E. Ahmed Shabib Al Dhaheri, attended the launch at HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College, along with H.E. Dr Saeed Mohammed Al-Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary for Federal National Council Affairs at the MFNCA.
In his speech, H.E. Lootah welcomed attendees and thanked the Higher Colleges of Technology for hosting the inaugural edition of the “Political Empowerment in the UAE” forum, which he described as a milestone and a turning point in terms of initiatives seeking to promote a culture of political participation in the community.
“The youth are a national treasure; their aspirations outline a better future for our country, a future where they carry the torch, continue with the sustainable development efforts, and cement the UAE’s leadership in all sectors,” H.E. said. “We are here today to reiterate our conviction that the youth are the future of political life in the UAE. With the patronage and involvement of our wise leadership, we are dedicated to empowering young people in all sectors, encouraging them to take part in their country’s political life and play an effective role in the decision-making process.”
“The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs places great importance on engaging young people in political life through effective and positive participation in the upcoming FNC elections,” H.E. Lootah concluded.
Meanwhile, H.E. Al Dhaheri stressed the importance of the “Political Empowerment in the UAE” forum, organised by the MFNCA and aimed at students in technology majors across the country in this critical period leading up to FNC elections, highlighting the immense support the youth receive from His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, embodied in the Political Empowerment Programme that H.H. launched in 2005.
“This philosophy of empowerment is rooted in the vision to establish the creative environment necessary to enable citizens, especially young people, to become more involved in the various social, political, productive, and intellectual life,” H.E. explained. “With that goal in mind, the UAE provides its citizens with incentives to learn, benefit from scientific breakthroughs in all sectors, and be active partners in the decision-making process and in comprehensive and balanced development plans.”
H.E. Al Dhaheri applauded the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs for its efforts and dedication to promoting culture and fostering communication and partnership among all segments of the UAE community, engaging them in the decision-making process, and shedding light on the role the Council plays as one of the constitutional authorities involved in the UAE’s rise.
“The astounding political and institutional development the UAE has witnessed are a hallmark of its success as a federation and a union. A notable element of the UAE’s approach in this regard is the balanced and gradual method it has adopted, which takes into consideration the cultural and religious specificities of Emirati society,” H.E. Al Dhaheri concluded.
For his part, Dr Al Shamsi asserted that the Higher Colleges of Technology were delighted to be cooperating with the MFNCA to organise the “Political Empowerment in the UAE” forum, underlining the continued cooperation between the Ministry and the Colleges to raise political awareness and promote a culture of political participation among young people today – particularly as it pertains to the electoral process in the UAE, and the accomplishments of the Political Empowerment Programme launched by UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which emboldened the FNC to fulfil its role in decision-making and discussing social issues.
Dr Al Shamsi underlined the importance of organising such activities aimed at young people to develop their dialogue, discussion, and creative skills and encourage them to be active in their community, especially in light of the confidence that the wise leadership has in them, which empowered them to assume leadership positions and contribute to decision-making.
The HCT Director applauded the efforts of the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs in promoting the culture of political participation in society and raising awareness of the Council’s role in discussing all matters and issues relating to citizens’ lives, and supporting decisions that are in favour of the country and its citizens.
The forum explored the role of the FNC and the Political Empowerment Programme in promoting a culture of political participation among all members of the community, in addition to discussing the major role that young people will play in shaping political decisions and driving the UAE’s development forward. During a lecture at HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College, H.E. H.E. Ahmed Shabib Al Dhaheri highlighted the FNC’s role in enriching political life in the UAE, as well as its role in engaging the community in decision-making and shaping the future of the nation.
In a lecture at HCT Fujairah Women’s College, H.E. Dr Saeed Al Ghafli touched upon the Political Empowerment Programme, launched by UAE President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the MFNCA’s role in spreading the culture of political participation and engaging the youth in plans and projects to continue building the nation.
The forum also saw Dr Abdul Rahim Shaheen deliver a lecture at the HCT Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College exploring young people’s participation in political life, where he stressed the importance of engaging the youth in political life and their ability to affect positive change. Dr Shaheen described the Political Empowerment Programme as a benchmark for Emirati society, and a platform for expanding effective participation in the development process.
In a session at the Enlightenment Hall in Sharjah, Wafa Al Ali from the Federal Youth Foundation highlighted the important role assigned to young people in the Political Empowerment Programme, and their potential to bring about a shift in political culture and participation in UAE society. “The UAE’s wise leadership considers empowering young people is of the utmost importance, and firmly believes in their ability to lead the development process and create a prosperous future for the UAE, following in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers,” she said.
The lectures saw great interaction among young people in the audience, who pledged their determination to actively participate in political life, play their part in society, and achieve prosperity for the people of the UAE and everyone residing in the Emirates.
Winners of the Competition to Design Innovative Ideas about the Culture of Political Participation.
On the sidelines of the forum, H.E. Tariq Hilal Lootah and Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi honoured the students who won the Competition to Design Innovative Ideas about the Culture of Political Participation, launched by the Higher Colleges of Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs.
The winning students were Jaber Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Hamad Abdullah Al Qubaisi, and Sultan Salahuddin Al Harbi.
The contest seeks to spread a spirit of enthusiasm and competition among the students, enticing them to generate innovative ideas, such as a video or a design, around political participation, which would serve to spread the culture of political participation in society and shed light on the importance of the FNC’s role and that of the Political Empowerment Programme and the Federal National Council elections.