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17th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Representatives of Missions Abroad Begins

Tue 07/2/2023

On Monday, the four-day 17th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Representatives of Missions Abroad began with the participation of ministers, ambassadors and heads of UAE missions abroad, directors of departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and senior officials. 

The forum aims to discuss key topics related to foreign policy, economy, culture, innovation, and advanced science in efforts to strengthen Emirati diplomacy.

In his opening speech, His Excellency Khalid Belhoul, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, explained that the UAE's foreign policy champions the values of peace, tolerance, and coexistence to achieve prosperity and bolster diplomacy as the UAE works to build upon common interests between countries and support stability, development, and growth.

His Excellency said, "The UAE is striving to reach new horizons in science and technological innovation and in the fight against climate change, which has become an existential challenge and priority for us all." 

In this context, he spoke about the country's readiness to "host COP28 this November to improve climate diplomacy, realize the aspirations of the country and the international community in addressing climate change, and strengthen the voices of the most vulnerable and underrepresented populations to support changes that advance the economy."

He added, "On January 20, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, declared 2023 as the 'Year of Sustainability' to adopt new ideas and quality initiatives that embody our country's thriving position. The UAE is uniquely situated to build bridges and accelerate progress as a hub for energy, industry, business, tourism, logistics, and technology."

His Excellency concluded his opening remarks by emphasizing that "our choice in the UAE is peace and prosperity within the framework of an open world order based on respect for international law and a solid network of international relations in which we forge new paths of cooperation in the fields of business, sustainable development, advanced technology, and scientific research."

The first day's agenda included sessions by His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, on "Future Prospects and Opportunities for the Next 50 Years," in which he outlined the UAE's foreign policy pillars, the most important of which are respect for international law, the sovereignty of states, and non-interference in internal affairs, as well as support for negotiation and dialogue.

His Excellency added: "Our foreign policy is guided by the principles of openness and partnership, strengthening bridges of communication and dialogue, reinforcing peace, and achieving shared benefits that contribute to stability and prosperity regionally and internationally."

He said the UAE "has been committed to supporting mediation efforts, promoting diplomatic solutions over disputes, anticipating challenges, and supporting the UN Security Council's objectives in safeguarding international peace and security since the beginning of the UAE's membership on the UNSC."

He also noted the need to "restore confidence in the international system and advance multilateral action to enhance its capacity" to deal with crises and challenges.

His Excellency discussed the UAE's aspirations for the next 50 years, which focus on economic, scientific and social progress, innovation, and sustainability. He underscored the country's efforts to achieve advanced domestic and foreign growth, and that the UAE "has worked over the past five decades to strengthen international partnerships and is moving rapidly to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of its economy and explore new opportunities to become a global capital for investment and economic innovation."

His Excellency Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, in a session entitled "The G20: Transforming Global Economic Gaps Into Growth," discussed the UAE's efforts to maintain its leading economic position. His Excellency noted that the country's foreign policy and diplomatic reach foster economic development. 

His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the UAE President, spoke about culture as a "bridge of communication between peoples" and emphasized the UAE's efforts to promote the values of tolerance, cooperation, and solidarity.

The first day of the forum concluded with a panel discussion on "Future Aspirations: The Technological Path of the UAE," featuring Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, and His Excellency Omran Sharaf, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Advanced Science and Technology, and moderated by Saeed Al Gergawi, Director of the Dubai Future Academy. The session discussed the UAE's technological development and incubation of startups, particularly in the technology sector.

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