In a statement to the Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces' magazine, on the occasion of the UAE's 50th National Day, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "Our celebration of National Day this year is of special importance, as our beloved nation completes 50 years of its rich history. It is an occasion full of important lessons and great significance for the present and the future."
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed added, "The UAE is striding towards the future, determined to excel in many fields and to create a bright future. Our country derives strength and confidence from its major achievements and relies on its wisdom, values, and the teachings of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to guide us today and into the future. Our nation looks to the martyrs' sacrifices as a beacon that lights the way as it aims to contribute to the history of humanity and write a new chapter in its economic and development story." Below is the text in full: "Dear brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.
This year, our celebration of National Day is of special importance, as our beloved nation completes 50 years of its rich history. It is an occasion full of essential lessons and outstanding significance for the present and the future. The UAE is striving towards the future, determined to excel in many fields and to create a bright future.
"Our country derives strength and confidence from its major achievements, and relies on its wisdom, values, and the teachings of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to guide us today and into the future. Our nation looks to its martyrs' sacrifices as a beacon that lights the way as it aims to contribute to the history of humanity and write a new chapter in its economic and development story. Our goal is to become one of the best countries in the world by our centenary in 2071.
"Our nation is ushering in the next 50 years as it welcomes the world to Expo 2020 Dubai, the first Expo in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Our country's experience in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic showed the benefit of solid management, efficiency, and solidarity at a regional and global level, promoting a positive message to the region and the world. Our pioneering initiatives to address global challenges, especially climate change, have met with international support, including our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
"The UAE will enter the next five decades with an ambitious array of exploration projects. Following our successful mission to Mars, we plan to launch a spacecraft that will explore the moon, Venus, and the asteroid belt, culminating in the first landing of an Arab probe on an asteroid after a journey seven times longer than that of the UAE's Hope Probe. Alongside these bold plans, the UAE is also engaged in producing nuclear energy for development purposes.
"In addition, our country has been ranked first, both regionally and internationally, in various global competitiveness indicators. We remain optimistic that we will achieve all our ambitions and that the next 50 years will witness further success and progress. Our country knows its path to the future and is well equipped to follow it with confidence.
"Our future ambitions are guided by the 'Principles of the 50' that define our nation's strategic path in the areas of politics, economy and development. The principles form a framework for all UAE institutions to achieve the aspirations of our people, protect our national interests, and establish external relations that boost development at home and strengthen the foundations of peace, stability and cooperation across the region and the world.
"The 'Projects of the 50' also represent a roadmap for our development priorities in the coming decades. These projects form a basis for further development to benefit future generations, invest in available opportunities, and transform challenges into possibilities for growth, innovation, and creativity, allowing our citizens to engage in healthy competition.
"There is a new methodology for government work, prepared by a dynamic government that is constantly seeking excellence and creativity under the leadership of my brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It makes the development of government performance a continuous process, defines national priorities accurately and clearly, and raises the value of efficiency and teamwork to achieve national goals.
"What gives us confidence in the future is the solid foundations built by the UAE through many years of work, effort and planning. Our nation now has all the elements in place to be a leader in various fields.
"The most crucial factor in the UAE's growth is its experience in forging a successful and enduring union within its Arab and regional surroundings. This represents the main source of the Emirates' strength, alongside a people who love their homeland and stand firmly behind their leadership, and a cohesive society that embodies our values of cooperation, solidarity and inter-dependence.
"Secondly, a trained and qualified workforce, which we consider our key asset in the global marketplace. Also, an effective, modern and developed institutions that run on cooperation, integration and team spirit, and focus on one goal: to serve the country and achieve citizens' aspirations for prosperity and well-being. Moreover, a strong, diversified and dynamic economy that aims to move beyond oil dependence by focusing on education, knowledge and modern technology.
"Another factor is a strong and modern infrastructure that enhances our competitiveness and attractiveness to foreign investors and businesses worldwide. A positive image and immense respect and appreciation worldwide thanks to our principles and initiatives that promote tolerance, coexistence and human fraternity, and our international humanitarian role reinforces our position by strengthening the elements of our soft power.
"Strong foreign relations, built on the UAE's prominent role in international diplomacy, which supports development and reinforces the priorities of the national economy. Thanks to its prominent role on the international stage, the UAE was elected to the UN Security Council for 2022-23. Brave, well-trained forces that are always ready to defend the nation and its principles, for whom no sacrifice is too high to keep the UAE's flag flying high.
Also, vigilant security forces that can protect the UAE and provide an environment conducive to development and progress. A strong and renewed ambition that we turn into reality through work, planning, and optimal human and material resources investment. Above all, our country has become an essential partner in global thought and action for a better future for humanity.
"The successes and achievements of the past five decades are a source of pride for us all. The path to this success was never easy. It took a lot of effort and perseverance and was reinforced by ambition, work and planning. This needs to be understood by the new generation because they are the ones who will carry the flag in the future, and will bear the trust of the nation that our parents and grandparents left for us. They have to realise that they need to redouble their efforts in the coming decades because the ambition is greater, the challenge more complex, the competition stronger, and the transformations surrounding us faster and deeper. They have to understand that success does not spring from a vacuum; whoever seeks glory must pay the price and follow the right path.
"In the next 50 years, we aim to have the most successful and unique schools, universities, hospitals, institutions, and research and innovation centres, the most effective and dynamic services, the most advanced modern technology, the most satisfied people, an excellent quality of life, the most robust and adequate infrastructure, and the most qualified, educated and well-trained workforce. All of this will be accomplished only through hard work, an appreciation of the challenges involved, investing in and building on our strengths, and by realising that each individual has a responsibility to preserve our achievements.
"The impact of what the UAE seeks to achieve in the coming decades will not be limited to its borders, but will extend to all Arabs, inspiring them and boosting their confidence in their ability to make progress, regardless of difficulties. We are working to make our country a catalyst for development and improvement in the entire Arab world, and a starting point for advancing civilisation in the region.
"Our path towards the bright future of our country and its people during the next 50 years is based on an integrated strategy as per the following pillars and foundations. The first of these foundations is the human being, whom we consider our real capital and the most important element of our wealth and our main asset in the global arena. Every Emirati has an important role in shaping our leadership, and there can be no progress or development without the help of the country's people.
"The second pillar is science. We consider it to be a guarantee for the sustainability of our development and the building of a qualitative, diversified, knowledge-based economy. It also represents a way to be actively involved in technological development, especially the applications of artificial intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Throughout history, no nation has been able to progress without science leading the way.
"The third foundation is team spirit. This has been the main feature of our work during the past decades, and it must be strengthened and deepened in the coming years, because teamwork based on the integration of minds, experiences and efforts is the way to attain the greatest success.
"The fourth is comprehensive development, which is not limited only to economic and material aspects, but extends to cultural, environmental, social and other areas. We believe that the different elements of development are interconnected to maintain prosperity and sustainability. Strengthening our national identity, preserving our heritage and keeping it alive in the minds of the young is a basic priority in all our development plans. Our identity is the source of our strength and cultural existence and the basis of our society's cohesion, stability, and vitality.
"The fifth pillar is the protection of our achievements and our people. Our brave armed forces and our efficient security apparatus will remain, as they have been during the preceding 50 years, an impenetrable fortress in the face of threats.
"Sixth is to mobilise and invest all the nation's resources to achieve its aspirations and ambitions. We will work to strengthen the role of the private sector because it is a key partner in our progress. We will continue to support this sector by taking concrete steps. Related to this is the interest in private and small initiatives for citizens, especially young people, and providing them with every possible support.
"The next pillar is embracing talent, from inside and outside the UAE, and motivating and nurturing it, because talented workers contribute to a nation's march towards progress and excellence. The eighth pillar is active and positive partnerships with the world as the UAE will always remain open to all based on mutual respect, shared interests and positive cooperation for the welfare and development of its people. It will continue to be an advocate of solidarity, integration and collaboration between states and peoples.
"Ninth is the rejection of all types of extremism, fanaticism and racism, regardless of their source, and standing firmly in the face of terrorism and those who support or justify it. The UAE believes that terrorism is one of the biggest dangers to international peace, security and stability, and coexistence of civilisations and cultures.
"The tenth foundation is to work for peace across the world, based on the realisation that peace is the way to achieve the society's aspirations for prosperity and development.
"Each year we celebrate National Day and remember the late Sheikh Zayed and his fellow founding leaders with gratitude and appreciation. On the 50th National Day, we renew the pledge to follow their path and principles because they planted the tree of unity on 2nd December, 1971. This tree has brought forth goodness, resurgence and Emirati leadership, and all the successes that are there for the world to see. Our founders laid a strong foundation for all that the UAE has achieved over the past 50 years.
"We have learned from them the need for a strong will and belief in our goal and the determination to accomplish this in the face of challenges. Inspired by their principles and resolute will, our country will move towards achieving its goals during the next 50 years so that the UAE remains, as Zayed and his brothers wanted it to be, strong, advanced, and respected across the region and the world.
"If the martyrs are always present in the conscience of the nation and the hearts of its children, then the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our young state gives the sacrifices of our martyrs special and deep resonance. The values embodied by these righteous martyrs are the values that build solid nations and provide them with strength in tackling challenges and a solid will to realise their ambitions. These are the same values that will guide our march of progress in the coming decades. May God have mercy on our martyrs and bless their mothers, fathers and their families.
"On this glorious occasion, I congratulate the leader of our march towards future, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and my brother Mohammed bin Rashid, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, our loyal citizens, and everyone who calls the UAE home. We pray to God Almighty to protect the UAE and its people from all evil, perpetuate the blessing of stability and unity, and for the coming years to be years of goodness and success in all fields.
"With the help of God Almighty and our people and our will to progress, I am confident that our future will be brighter and more advanced.
"May God bless the UAE and its people with pride and stability and grant us continued peace and well-being."
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.