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UAE weathers challenges of 2020

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that the 2nd December will remain the nation’s most cherished day wherein wisdom, principles and noble goals triumphed. “It is the day when our Founding Fathers embodied the quintessential Emirati values of dignity and steadfastness and represented the sense of belonging and national identity.”

In a statement to ‘Nation Shield,’ the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the UAE’s 49th National Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, ”We look to the future with confidence and hope, armed with our vision, our experience, and our achievements in the field of human development and urbanisation, realising that our successes in the past decades were achieved with effort, hard work and determination. In the next five decades, we will need to double this effort, increase production and enhance capabilities, as the ambition is greater, challenges are tougher, competition is more intense, and the transformations around us are faster and deeper.”

Following is the full text of his statement on the occasion:

“In the Name of Allah Almighty, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Honourable citizens,

Peace be upon you all!

I congratulate you on the occasion of our country’s 49th National Day. I extend my greetings to my brother, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and to my brothers, Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Today, as the spirit of the Union prevails across the nation, we proudly remember our father and our icon, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his lifetime friend, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, and their brothers, the late Rulers of the Emirates.

The legacy of our fathers will always live among us as long as there is life on this land. It lives in us and encourages us to be ambitious and optimistic, motivating us to accomplish more achievements, therefore strengthening our perseverance to face challenges.

Citizens of our country:

2020 has been an exceptional year, as it was rife with surprises, mysteries and challenges. During this year, anxiety, fear and surprise united nearly 7.7 billion people around the world in an unprecedented common destiny. An unknown virus killed some 1.4 million people and infected over 60 million, and this number is accelerating. This virus has negatively affected the global economy, restricted travel and aviation, and paralysed food, medicine and goods supply chains, as well as disrupted the work of governments, markets and companies, and led to curfews and lockdowns everywhere around the globe.

This year has been a test for countries, the capabilities of governments, the efficiency of their institutions and procedures, and the level of their readiness to face pandemics and disasters, and their repercussions.

I thank Allah Almighty for the stellar success of our nation during this difficult test, as well as for the excellent performance of our government and institutions, and our readiness to face pandemics and disasters in a way that has been recognised by the entire world and its specialist organisations.

This success is not a mere coincidence or luck, but rather the outcome of our Emirati model that foresaw the future and developed appropriate strategies and plans to get the nation ready for emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Our Emirati model will ensure the efficiency and flexibility of our institutions and their ability to make the right decisions at the right time.

The performance of our government and people has enabled us to meet the threat posed by the pandemic. Our community responded aptly to the preventive measures and our institutions fought hard against the virus, supported by our advanced health infrastructure, with its facilities, equipment and medical cadres who contained the pandemic and limited its spread, enabling our country to be the first in the world where COVID-19 tests have exceeded the population count. We have also reached our targets for monitoring infections and recoveries.

The pandemic has forced many countries to reassess their healthcare systems. However, in the UAE we have implemented the necessary initiatives to support our health system, whose efficiency and competence we trust.

We are proud of our healthcare system, which is ranked first in the world in seven health indexes, including its healthcare coverage, lack of health problems and national early detection programmes.

Also, we have succeeded in securing the food and medicine needs of our community, increased our strategic reserves of these two staple commodities, and established a sustainable food system. Three years ago, we created the Ministry of Food Security and established the Emirates Council for Food Security. Our objective was to achieve food self-sufficiency, and we sought to double our agricultural production.

We also established the National System for Sustainable Agriculture to serve this vital sector and provide technological solutions to meet its needs. We’ve also sought to strengthen our advanced food industries, in which we invested over Dhs62 billion.



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