The Need to Promote a Culture of Dialogue and Coexistence

  • 3 June 2015

It is no secret that since the times of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God rest his soul) the UAE has adopted a consistent policy on the consolidation of the culture of dialogue and promoting peace and justice among people of the world in which we live in. These principles have been reinforced further, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE (may God protect him), who once famously said: “wisdom is our way to achieve economic prosperity and promote peace, justice and tolerance throughout the world”. He also emphasized the important role culture, education and development play in “achieving positive interaction among various civilizations, containing conflict and consolidating global peace and harmony.”

These principles which characterize the UAE’s foreign policy have always been motivated by the keenness of the country’s wise leadership for justice, fraternity, peace, prosperity and mutual respect to prevail among people all over the world. This is the most effective way to build a nation and empower its community and to ensure security, stability and prosperity. Such an approach also overcomes underdevelopment, intellectual stagnation, bigotry, the tendency to become violent, and the narrow, prejudiced view of fellow human beings.

Speaking on the occasion of the swearing in of Australian and Jordanian ambassadors to the UAE the day before yesterday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (may God protect him), summed up this policy. He reiterated that our nation’s balanced policy and building bridges of humanitarian, cultural and economic communication between our people and the world is aimed at consolidating the culture and principles of coexistence, peace and equality in all walks of life and affiliations.

No one can today deny the significance of the culture of justice, peace, equality, and coexistence considering the turmoil surrounding many countries in the Middle East and in other parts of the world. This specially applies to countries experiencing conflicts, civil war, extremism, terrorism, and so on. There is no doubt that these countries need to understand the vital importance of justice, equality, peaceful coexistence, and mutual respect. These virtues relate to the dialogue of civilizations and promotion of the culture of tolerance, non-violence and freedom as well as cooperation. Experience gathered over the years in our region and around the world proves that violence and extremism have only brought miseries, resulting in loss of lives and resources, disrupting the process of development and denial of basic human rights.

The UAE realizes that the growing challenges in the region and the world are due, in part, to the absence of a culture of coexistence, and the rise of extremism and violence. The country reiterates the need to develop strategies to promote constructive dialogue in various regional and international forums and calls for promoting a culture of peace to neutralize attempts being made to defame faiths and to provoke religious hatred. It also supports regional and international efforts to achieve peace and security in the region and the world. The UAE’s role has been lauded by countries around the world and it is considered a role model regionally and globally in promoting harmony and coexistence among different cultures and civilizations. This explains the UAE being ranked first globally on the index of peaceful coexistence, according to a report by the UN International Organization for Peace, Care and Relief for 2014.