Insightful Vision of the UAE
- 20 January 2009
The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) made an insightful observation while attending the first Arab Economic Development and Social Summit, which started yesterday and concludes today in Kuwait. His perceptive statement highlighted the reality of the collective Arab endeavor and its future. In his statement, he stressed two main aspects of collective Arab endeavor and its objectives, along with the means for Arabs to gaining strength and ascendancy. Firstly, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa emphasized on realizing socioeconomic security. Undoubtedly, socioeconomic development is the source of strength for any strong society. Without this source, societies become weak, amenable to influence and incapable of preserving their security and stability internally and externally.
The ability of countries to act and influence is measured by the sum of its socioeconomic elements—such as economy, human development, and scientific and civilizational status. In this framework, establishment of a strong economy, educated human resources, advanced educational, housing and healthcare systems, are the main guarantors for maintaining security of any country. The UAE has been aware of this fact since its foundation in 1971, when it concentrated on establishing a society full of vitality, a strong economy, and advanced human resources. Consequently, the UAE approached high standards of progress in terms of socioeconomic development. Thus, the UAE has been able to enjoy social peace, and provide its society with protective capabilities against any contingent threats or risks.
The second principle, according to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa, is that the objective even beyond any Arab integration or cooperation should be to achieve development of the Arab nation that provides a decent life everywhere for every Arab citizen. If Arab citizens do not feel that collective Arab endeavor has not realized their real interests, and has failed in making their lives better, it would have undoubtedly deviated from its main purpose and first objective, which is to raise the Arab humanitarian situation and enhance the capabilities of Arabs individually so that they are capable of assuming developmental responsibilities against the major disturbances taking place worldwide. Joint Arab action has suffered reversals for several years because socio-economic development was not put on top of its priorities; and as political and security issues always prevailed over the social and economic issues.
The first Arab Economic, Developmental and Social Summit that was concluded in Kuwait provided a great opportunity to correct the course which depends on a considerable and specific change towards Arab cooperation, and on establishing strong foundations for collective Arab strength, and making the Arab economy a basis for developing mutual interests and relationships, especially as such interests and relationships confront serious and dangerous challenges at the Arab and international levels, which could have an adverse impact on the Arab world.