MoFAIC organises “Multaqa” for ambassadors and heads of accredited missions to UAE.

Ambassadors and heads of accredited missions to the UAE were briefed today about 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, at a "Multaqa".

The ministry holds "Multaqa" (Arabic for "forum" or "meet-up") periodically to serve as a platform for diplomatic dialogue, enhance communication and promote networking accredited diplomats. It will also provide insight on the latest strategic events, activities and plans the UAE has in store and shed light on various sectors at the heart of the UAE's foreign agenda, in line with the ministry's strategy.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau, is one of the engaged leaders supporting the 2019 Special Olympics World Games.

In her opening remarks, Al Hashimy highlighted the importance of the Special Olympics, as the chosen topic for the inaugural forum, emphasising the long-lasting social legacy and integration of people of determination. "As many of you know, the UAE will host the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019. This event will be held for the first time in the MENA region and we are very honoured to be hosting this global event that celebrates humanity's most treasured asset: its unwavering spirit," she said.

"The Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as a catalyst, the Special Olympics fights inactivity, injustice, intolerance and furthermore, demonstrates inclusion, tolerance and acceptance," Al Hashimy added.

"The Olympics is a remarkable opportunity to showcase the UAE's commitment to greater inclusion and happiness. Like the Expo 2020, these global platforms can serve a higher purpose, and can truly demonstrate our nation's commitment to advance human progress and human dignity. Our vision is to inspire all people touched by these platforms with a sense of pride in how the UAE is leading the region to an era of greater inclusion, tolerance and happiness," she continued.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Junaibi, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, in turn, thanked the attendees, and pointed out that the UAE is always keen to achieve solidarity and inclusiveness among all members of society and to redouble international efforts to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities, in line with the firm stance of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Al Junaibi explained that "integration among all social categories is one of the key foundations of the UAE vision and is activated through many initiatives launched by the UAE, including regional and world games for the Special Olympics that are to be held in Abu Dhabi under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces."

"Abu Dhabi has become an essential destination for hosting international events and activities. The World Games will emphasise the country's leadership in organising and contributing to the formation of a key catalyst for change not only in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, but also in the region and around the world. "

For his part, Peter Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer of the Special Olympics World Games, shared the committee's agenda and its initiatives that aim to encourage positive and direct contribution to instill hope into the lives of thousands of people and families by changing the societal perceptions related to the abilities and capacities of the people of determination, who can excel in many aspects of life through sports and promote communication and integration in the community.

"Abu Dhabi will gather more than 1,200 athletes from 33 countries in hosting the Special Olympics Regional Games and nearly 7,000 athletes during the World Olympic Games. We are delighted that strategic partners have joined forces to organise these two events and invite them to join the Special Olympics mission of tolerance, solidarity and support for good actions".

The second session of the Multaqa featured an overview of the UAE economy covering commercial cooperation and investment, building a knowledge-based economy by developing skills and research and development.

Mohammed Sharaf, Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs at the MoFAIC, gave an overview of the UAE's journey to a knowledge-based economy, through the promotion of innovation, research and development in line with the UAE National Agenda 2021.

He reiterated that "strengthening the regulatory framework for key sectors and encouraging sectors with high added value will improve the country's business environment and increase its attractiveness to foreign investment."

"Stemming out of that agenda, 'MOFAIC Strategy 2017-2021' is to ensure collaboration and co-existence in pursuit of stability and prosperity in the region and around the world, hand-in-hand with our partners", he explained.

Sharaf added that over the past years and with the engagement of UAE embassies abroad, the UAE actively targeted 48 countries to increase bilateral economic ties - with a total investment value exceeding US$2.3 billion. "Events like today's Multaqa will ensure the continuation of our bilateral relations and serve as platform to connect the business community with our foreign ambassadors. This marks the first business breakfast and there will be many more successful ones in the upcoming future."

Abdullah Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of Foreign Trade and Industry at the Ministry of Economy, said, "In line with the UAE vision 2021, the National Agenda focuses on UAE becoming an economic, touristic and commercial capital, a knowledge-based economy, promoting innovation and research and development."

"The country's innovation strategy will focus on fostering innovation in seven main sectors: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space," he added.

Al Saleh gave the ambassadors and mission heads greater insight into the UAE's business environment, investment environment and FDI environment, as well as outward direct investment trends and sovereign wealth funds.


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