Wise UAE Approach for Human Development

  • 4 February 2009

Since the establishment of the Federation in 1971, the UAE leadership has been aware that investment and development in human resources is the best way for development, capable of withstanding the changes and challenges, and that wealth from petroleum alone, irrespective of its size, cannot ensure progress as only highly capable and qualified human resources could meet the demands of development, and for this reason the development of the UAE citizen was the focus of attention of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (May Allah grant him forgiveness), and continues to be for the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may Allah preserve him). This is validated by the development policies and measures taken by His Highness since he assumed the high office. His Highness Lt. General and Interior Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his opening speech at the 14 Annual Conference of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, entitled “Human Resources and Development in the Arabian Gulf” (February 2-4), enunciated the wise UAE approach in promoting human resources, an approach that stands on many strong reasons, which His Highness explained brilliantly.

Firstly, no distinguishing or pioneering accomplishment can be made by machines without the existence of skilled labor and qualified human cadres, as “no one can fly a spaceship unless one is a true son of the age of technology in body and soul.” Second, human capabilities are so immense that they could achieve miracles and overcome obstacles that might hinder the path of development. This faith is what pushed the UAE leadership, since the foundation of the state, to invest largely in people, and to depend on them as the prime and effective impetus for development and progress in the country. Third , is the faith in comprehensive human development that does not extend to material dimensions represented by education, health and housing, but extends to other aspects, including cultural and ethical, by conforming to the values of spiritual tolerance, coexistence, cultural and ideological openness to other civilizations, people and cultures. This is why the people of the UAE have become a model for openness, tolerance and coexistence as His Highness, the Minister of Interior, also confirmed in his speech. The fourth is faith in the role of the women in society along with that of men, and from these two perspectives—the first is fundamental and relates to the positive view of women and their role, and their ability to work, achieve and participate equally with men in the process of development, and carrying the responsibility for its results and tasks, and second relates to the commitment of the leadership in ensuring to invest in human element that is capable of giving, and pushing progress in the country forward, by considering that human resources are the most important resource of the country and consequently any impairment in the role of women would be like disabling half the human resource from participation and contribution to development.

This bases is what has made the UAE a distinguished model in the field of human development at the Arab and regional levels according to regular human development reports published by the United Nations, and an example to be followed in the field of women’s empowerment. As the UAE’s development depends on its human capital and its capabilities, it is ensuring its capabilities to confront any changes.