UAEU launches the 28th Annual Law Conference
Mon, 6 June 2022
Zaki Nusseibeh: The UAE has a clear strategy for promoting the values of tolerance, coexistence and social inclusion.
Addressing participants in the 28th annual conference of the UAEU s College of Law, H.E. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to H.H. the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University, stressed that the UAE leadership derives its authority from consensus decision-making and conflict resolution through dialogue. This, he said provides citizens with a common identity, values and goals.
The two-day conference is hosted in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, under the title "Tolerance and Coexistence". Participants include academic experts and specialists from legal institutions.
Thanking the UNHCR for their sponsorship, the Chancellor told delegates that tolerance, coexistence, and social inclusion have long defined the UAE s strategy, ethos, and values. It is our great fortune to have had Sheikh Zayed at the helm from the early beginnings. Essentially humanitarian, his vision for the country had love for humanity and people at its core . He then used his speech to provide a foundation for the conference s proceedings.
First, the Chancellor focused on the meaning of the inclusive society . He said, in 1995 the World Summit for Social Development defined an inclusive society as a society for all. The United States Department of Economic and Social Affairs defines social inclusion as the process of taking measures to ensure that everyone can achieve their full potential in life. He also noted that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recognise that the inclusive society is key to societal sustainability. An inclusive society fosters solidarity, peace, justice, and security. Its institutions are effective and accountable. It contains diverse social groups that are recognised, legitimate, and have a strong sense of belonging and participation. The inclusive society is resilient and cohesive, and therefore sustainable.
Second, the Chancellor placed social inclusion in the context of the UAE. He said, In the UAE the concept of tolerance is in many respects a metaphor for social inclusion and tolerance is a clear emphasis of national strategy. For example, in 2016, the UAE government launched the world s first Tolerance Charter and established a Minister for Tolerance and Coexistence. It made 2019 the Year of Tolerance. The principles of tolerance that we pursue derive from the conditions of our creation, birth and survival. The fact of life depends on solidarity and integration, including rights and duties. It assumes our unity as human beings in facing the requirements of life and the necessities of survival .
The Chancellor explained that at the time of its foundation, the UAE faced numerous existential challenges. The withdrawal from the region in 1968 resulted in great insecurity and uncertainty. The region s population was highly fragmented and had little access to the resources that are vital to human development. Moreover, Sheikh Zayed asserted that our separate tribal, ethnic, or religious identities had the purpose of motivating our interactions and attempts to understand each other. The fact of our differences drives our active attempts to achieve unity. Sheikh Zayed proclaimed that collective prosperity can only be achieved through unity and mutual goodwill. His transformational leadership was powered by instinct and moral and religious belief, and driven by the principles, priorities and actions that we now understand are central to social inclusion. He pursued religious tolerance, investment in human development, female empowerment, and the provision of a safety net for the most vulnerable members of society.
The Chancellor said that it was by working together that Sheikh Zayed and his people overcame the formidable challenges of turbulent beginnings. They created the infrastructure necessary to maximise human potential. They made sure that the UAE became what it is today - a stable and peaceful nation that is a guiding light in a region riven by violence and conflict.
Speaking of the present context of the UAE he said that Today the UAE continues to use compassion, civilization, partnerships, and tolerance as the building blocks of social and economic development. We are pragmatic and solution oriented, seeking stability and security for all. We believe it is in diversity that we find our greatest strength. We know that when we want to solve complex problems, we are more likely to find solutions if we build the most diverse teams people from different disciplines, different parts of the world, different genders, different cultures, politics, and religions.
The Chancellor then spoke about the UAE s future course. He said, the leadership set out 10 principles to guide national development for the next fifty years. These principles continue the legacy of Sheikh Zayed. The two primary principles are to strengthen the union of the UAE and to foster a vibrant, dynamic economy. Three further principles identify the tools we must use: we will develop human capital, we will expand the frontiers of our digital, technical, and scientific excellence, and we will continue a foreign policy based on multilateral cooperation. The remaining five principles present an ethical framework to guide the use of these tools. They ask us to practice the principles of good-neighbourliness, openness and tolerance, and humanitarian aid. They instruct us to advocate for peace and harmony, and to use negotiation and dialogue as the means to conflict resolution.
Third, the Chancellor spoke of the importance of social inclusion in the global context. He said, Whole regions suffer conflict, violence, division, and distrust. Wherever we look we see poverty of some kind: lack of education, food, security, energy, health, governance, or infrastructure. We know we are losing our vibrant ecological ecosystems and we sense political, social, and economic disruption everywhere. This global experience demonstrates the extent to which social inclusion strategies and policies are more vital and urgent than ever .
In conclusion he said, It is my delight, therefore, that the Dubai Expo 2020 is the venue for your important event. Your coming together here to address the vital questions of tolerance, coexistence, and social inclusion is an example of the international collaboration that is needed to resolve today s global challenges. It is also an example of the mutuality and dialogue that the UAE has always sought to promote.
The activities of the conference started on the first day with morning and evening sessions that address 4 themes. The first theme discusses Islamic and legal perspectives on tolerance and inclusion. The second theme addresses the proactive integration of tolerance in the contemporary knowledge society. This society experiences rapid digitalisation and the use of information technology to simulate the functions of the human mind to complete tasks. It is therefore necessary that the concept and principles of tolerance are integrated into the design of advanced technology. The third theme addresses the role of treaties and obstacles to the successful implementation of human rights instruments. It considers how treaties can be used to promote the values of tolerance and inclusion. The fourth theme addresses the exclusion of groups and individuals and the reinforcement of their exclusion in the law and policies of some countries. It asks how to resolve these challenges.
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