H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, attended the graduation ceremony of the 2019 batch of EDA students, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony drew the participation of Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State; Khalid Abdullah Humaid Belhoul, Under-Secretary of the MoFAIC; Bernardino Leon, Director-General of the EDA; Professor Eric Fouache, Director of Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; members of the Board of Trustees of EDA, as well as senior officials and families of graduates.
In his speech, Sheikh Abdullah said, "We have gathered here today to celebrate the graduation of this distinguished group of students from the Emirates Diplomatic Academy. This leading academic institution qualifies national talent for careers in the field of diplomacy, and prepares them to help achieve our national priorities and foreign policy goals, promote international cooperation and build positive relations with the world."
He added, "Today, we are witnessing fast-paced changes in the region and beyond, as the diplomatic arena becomes an increasingly important domain in consolidating the status, identity and culture of nations on the international scene."
Pointing out that the real measure of the UAE's success lies in the achievements of its people, H.H. said, "Since the inception of the UAE, the country's leadership has put its trust in its people. You � the sons and daughters of the founding father of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan � are our true wealth, as he once said. We are confident that you will shoulder the responsibility of strengthening the UAE's diplomacy and translating its vision for the future into reality."
"We are all responsible for representing our beloved country, and highlighting its identity as a nation that believes in tolerance and respect for the rights of others. As diplomats, we contribute to elevating the UAE's position on the regional and global map and determine its status among the peoples of the world."
Sheikh Abdullah added, "The UAE has emerged as a global role model of peaceful coexistence and openness to different cultures. The country has promoted tolerance as a key value that brings together communities, safeguards their stability and enhances people's happiness."
"The late Sheikh Zayed was keen to instil this value among the people of the UAE. He believed in the need to build bridges of communication among the people of the world in an open environment that is based on mutual respect and acceptance, where extremism has no place."
He continued, "Our current leadership has adopted the same approach and ably carries forward the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed. Tolerance is one of the most important indicators of a nation's progress and development. Cultural diversity is a crucial component of the integration of societies. The UAE is an embodiment of both tolerance and cultural diversity."
Congratulating the graduates, Sheikh Abdullah said, "Today, I look to you with pride. You are the ambassadors of tolerance. You are our hope for a promising future. We place our trust in you to build bridges of communication with other countries, to represent the UAE in the best light, and to convey its humanitarian message and lessons about solidarity to the rest of the world."
"Your mission is to realise the vision of our wise leadership, to establish the UAE as the global capital of tolerance and a symbol of human coexistence at its best, and to lead the next phase of building a sustainable future for all humanity. We are confident that you are capable of achieving this task in line with the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071."
Praising the efforts of the EDA leadership and staff, he added, "I congratulate you as well as the faculty and staff of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy for your success, and thank you for your perseverance. I also extend my best wishes to your loved ones, who are here with us today. You are a beacon of hope for the UAE and a source of pride and joy for your families, who have raised you and provided you with this education. And just like you have made your parents happy today, I look forward to witnessing you making this nation happy."
Bernardino Leon said, "The Academy was created to provide future UAE diplomats with a clear understanding of international affairs. We are dedicated to helping our students become worthy representatives of their country on the rapidly changing international diplomatic landscape."
He added, "We are proud of our graduates' accomplishments, and trust that they will use the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their academic years to serve their nation and contribute to translating the UAE's vision into reality. We wish our graduates success in their careers and in the service of their homeland."
This year's ceremony saw the graduation of the fourth cohort of the Post-Graduate Diploma in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations programme, and the second batch of the Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations programme. The latter allows graduates of the diploma programme to continue their studies and enhance their knowledge with a focus on regional and global issues.
During the ceremony, 46 students received their postgraduate diplomas, while 14 students obtained their master's degrees. The graduates represented several ministries, government entities and public organisations.
The Emirates Diplomatic Academy is committed to providing the best scientific and practical expertise in the field of diplomacy and provides UAE's future diplomats with necessary political guidance that allows them to explore regional and global challenges and work on consolidating the country's position, all while strengthening its diplomatic presence on the international scene.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs