His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has affirmed that the UAE’s 49th National Day marks a milestone in its history during which it stands with pride and full of determination to continue its progress and achievements across various fields.
In his statement on the occasion of the UAE's 49th National Day, Sheikh Mohamed said that the country's achievements have never stopped despite challenges along the way, which confirms that the UAE's development experience is exceptional and unmatched worldwide.
"As we enter the 50th year of our young country and our unique union experience, we are stronger, self-confident and more capable and determined to achieve our goals during the next 50 years, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are well-placed to realise our ambition of making the UAE the best country in the world by its 100th anniversary, relying on the strong foundations laid down by our founding leaders and the major successes that we have achieved over the past decades," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed said.
He added, "We also rely on our children, their efforts and love for their homeland, our authentic positive values, the latest applications of modern science and technology, active involvement in the process of human development, and our constant aspiration towards the future, and dynamic partnerships with other countries in the interest of development, peace and stability for all.
"This year, the UAE, along with the rest of the world, has faced the severe challenges posed by Covid-19. By the grace of God and the sincere efforts of our frontline teams, the team spirit among our institutions, the awareness of our people, our preparedness and advanced technological infrastructure, the UAE has been able to provide an effective humanitarian model to tackle the pandemic and manage its repercussions. The UAE has accorded the highest priority to people's health and safety because people are the focus of our development project, and the compass according to which all our plans and strategies proceed. Our approach has won praise and admiration from international institutions." Sheikh Mohamed said that despite the adverse effect of the pandemic on global supply chains, especially food and medicine, the UAE has succeeded in providing all its food and medical supplies through local production and emergency plans, its own expertise in dealing with crises, its proactive preparations and its forward-thinking. It has also been helped by its constructive partnerships with friendly countries, which has earned it respect and appreciation at the regional and global levels.
The UAE has demonstrated its bright human face since the pandemic first began by providing unconditional support to countries and communities in need of assistance, regardless of their religion, sect, race, ethnicity or geographical location, and through its repeated calls for international solidarity to tackle COVID-19.
Sheikh Mohamed added, "The UAE has also actively participated in international scientific and research efforts aimed at finding treatments and vaccines for the virus, and has cooperated with other countries to achieve this goal. It has called for these treatments and vaccines to be provided to everyone without exception out of its belief in the unity of human destiny, dating back to the time of Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him.
"The UAE government, under the leadership of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has – thanks to his insightful vision – been proactive in developing strategies for dealing with the post-COVID-19 phase on scientific grounds, through informed dialogue and by involving experts and specialists. The UAE believes that this crisis will pass, and what is important is to not only tackle it effectively but also have the ability to deal with the situation once the pandemic is over.
"Despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19, the UAE did not allow the problems to slow its march, undermine its determination, or limit its ambitions. Rather, it motivated us to take on the challenge, use our full potential and delve into our long history of facing up to challenges."
Sheikh Mohamed stated that the launch of the Hope Probe to Mars – the first Arab and Islamic interplanetary mission and the start of the production of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes from the Barakah nuclear power plants, which made the UAE the first Arab country to produce nuclear energy for development purposes, represent two exceptional moments in the history of the UAE and the Arab world, where the UAE’s powerful will have manifested in its most wonderful form.
"The determination to launch the probe and start the production of peaceful nuclear energy on the pre-determined date despite the raging COVID-19 proved that our ambitions would not be stopped by any obstacle and that the UAE always delivers on its promise, no matter the challenge," he said.
His Highness continued, "During 2020, the UAE opened a wide door to peace, development, stability and hope in the Middle East fraught with tensions and conflicts, through the peace agreement it signed with Israel under the auspices of the United States of America. Thus, the UAE affirmed its courage in making major, historical decisions when it comes to its principles, what it believes in, and what is consistent with its firm approach to calling for peace, tolerance and coexistence among different nations and people regardless of differences of religion, race and sect."
The UAE's stance towards regional and international issues will always be to adopt responsible positions that call for peace, reject interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect international law, support people’s interests and aspirations, and address the global threats facing humanity, he noted.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "The UAE is firmly opposed to extremism, violence and terrorism, regardless of its source, nature, or the forces behind it, and rejects hate speech that harms relations between peoples, civilisations and cultures and affects opportunities for coexistence among them. All this has earned the UAE the respect and appreciation of the world, made it a voice for wisdom and moderation and strengthened its soft power, presence and influence on the regional and international arenas.
"The UAE has been working sincerely to find stable settlements for the crises afflicting the Arab region and the Middle East, in cooperation with its brothers, partners and friends. The UAE has always stood by dialogue and diplomatic means as a way to deal with such crises because it believes this is the only way to end them and stop the bloodshed and waste of resources and resolve all conflicts and problems that plague the world."
He concluded by saying that, "What we have accomplished so far since the birth of this country calls for immense pride. I am confident that our pride will double in what we will achieve in the coming years because we will never stop moving forward towards the first place in all fields, with an ambition built on our strong will and a dream based on planning and action. May this anniversary bring the UAE and its people more goodness, pride, unity and stability now and in the years to come."