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Scientists must drive UAE’s march to the future

By Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Our forefathers lived in the land of the UAE, and left behind a huge legacy that reflects their resolve to build a human civilisation that stands as a witness to the harsh living and environmental challenges which they were able to overcome through determination and willpower, triumphing over the impossible.

Food and water sources were very scarce, ways to combat epidemics were somewhat limited, and education was not available on a wider level. But through their experience, our forefathers were able to determine that water is the cornerstone of life, food is critical for health, and education is the foundation of progress and prosperity.

They scoured the deserts in search of livelihood. They ventured out to the seas to secure a better life for their children and society. They overcame the challenges and succeeded in making this area a habitable country for themselves and future generations.

Today, under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we follow in the footsteps of our forefathers as we head towards an advanced phase of development and prosperity, in addition to scientific, economic, technological and social development, using the approach of the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the founding fathers as a guide.

Since the founding of the UAE, proactive confrontation of these challenges and empowerment of people were a priority to the founding fathers. They believed in the abilities and capabilities of Emiratis and utilised it to create a generation of scientists who are equipped with knowledge, can contribute to driving forward the wheels of development and support vital sectors.

In the past few decades the UAE developed experiences, and innovative and outstanding expertise that helped it reach the current level of prosperity and progress. Today, we have established a framework to utilise this expertise and achieving the optimal investment of national capabilities to ensure the sustainability of achievements and further bolster our experience. We launched the UAE Centennial 2071, inspired by the vision of my brother, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The target of the UAE Centennial is to make the UAE the best country in the world by 2071, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the UAE.

In the UAE Centennial 2071, we specified national priorities that cover all vital sectors, and we focused on the pivotal role of advanced sciences in supporting the achievement of these priorities. As we write the UAE’s success story of the future, science and knowledge resources will be key pillars for the rise of nations and the continuity of civilisation in our region and the world.

Scientists and bright minds of the UAE, brothers and sisters: Stemming from our vision and approach, we are looking to the scientific community in the UAE to assume a key role in supporting development efforts in the nation at all levels. We believe that to secure sustainable development, happiness and future of our people we must link our economy to scientific and technological progress and Emiratising it. We must utilise breakthroughs in various fields of science and technology. This can be done by supporting promising fundamental sectors such as aviation, cargo and logistics support sectors.

The scientific community in the UAE must formulate solutions and initiatives that contribute to establishing Emirati companies and industries that can directly contribute to making the UAE the best in the world in these sectors.

The scientific community must work to achieve more security and sustainability in the nation by finding solutions and by initiating scientific research and development in the areas of food and water security, information security and alternative energy. In the long-term, this will contribute to developing Emirati initiatives, strategies and technologies in these fields.

We look forward to your support for the nation’s efforts in boosting quality of life and productivity to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world in public health indexes, through healthcare policies that are based on national, scientific initiatives and studies that take into consideration our circumstances, build on our experiences and serve the Emirati people.

Brothers and sisters, scientists of the UAE: We are aware of the magnitude of the responsibility that has been placed on your shoulders, but our confidence in you is that much greater. We have confidence in your efforts and love for the nation, and our belief in your capabilities is beyond doubt. We are looking forward to a qualitative addition to your role in science and the activation of science diplomacy, bolstering international cooperation, supporting rapprochement and tolerance between people around the world.

We are looking forward to your role in enhancing the position and status of the UAE among the global scientific community, which necessitates communicating, consulting and working with relevant bodies in the country to deliver a clear agenda that supports the achievement of UAE Centennial 2071 and contributes to the development of an Emirati knowledge resource that makes our people happy, serves humanity and supports progress in our country and the world. May God grant you success in all that you do that serves the UAE, Emiratis, people of the region, and humanity.–(Courtesy–Gulf News)

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