Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and with the participation of UAE ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions abroad, the 15th UAE Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions Forum concluded today, after five consecutive days from March 28 to April 1, 2021.
This year’s forum comes in exceptional circumstances resulting from the global Covid-19 pandemic, which imposed a new hybrid framework using state-of-the-art visual communication technologies.
Held yearly as part of the Ministry’s keenness to foster communication and interaction among UAE ambassadors, the forum serves as a platform to exchange views on various regional and international issues relevant to UAE foreign policy.
The 15th Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions Forum saw the participation of numerous ministers, ambassadors, representatives of diplomatic missions, senior officials, and department heads within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other UAE governmental entities across various sectors.
Over five consecutive days, the forum addressed major political and economic topics, in addition to matters related to innovation, industry, technology, health, food security and advanced sciences.
Participants also discussed the Ministry’s achievements and programs, particularly in the consular sector.
The forum played a vital role in fostering dialogue between senior UAE diplomats and officials across various sectors to better serve the nation’s interests on the domestic and international levels. Moreover, the forum served as an important platform to address regional and international developments in light of major global transformations. Attendants discussed the importance of countries holding national dialogues in order to develop timely responses to these international shifts.
In an inaugural address delivered remotely, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation inaugurated the 15th Forum of Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions abroad. His highness the highlighted the pivotal role played by the country’s embassies and representative missions abroad since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring communication with Emirati citizens overseas and providing them with the best possible support and services, while ensuring their safety, a top priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
On its first day, the forum featured an opening speech by His Excellency Dr. Anwar Gargash, the diplomatic advisor to the President of the UAE, in which he spoke of the experience he had acquired throughout his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
It also included interventions by His Excellency Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State, and HE Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the United Nations, as well as a speech by HE Saeed Al Habsi, Director of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
The guest of honor, His Excellency Heiko Maas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany gave opening remarks on the second day of the Forum. In a speech delivered remotely, he addressed UAE ambassadors and heads of the representative missions of the state abroad, praising the UAE’s approach, which instead of relying on the great achievements of the past fifty years past, decided to look towards the future.
The second day of the forum also featured a session with His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al-Sayegh, Minister of State, on the latest developments of the National Committee for Combating Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism and the pivotal role the UAE plays to contribute to maintaining security in the region.
It was followed by a session with His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri, Minister of Economy, on “Economy in the United Arab Emirates after (Covid-19)” and a session with His Excellency Humaid Al Shemmari, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Chief Human Resources Officer for Mubadala Investment Group, in a talk “The United Arab Emirates as a Global Business Center”.
The third day of the forum kicked off with an address given remotely by His Excellency Sheikh Shakhbout bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State, about “Future prospects for foreign policy in Africa”, followed by a session with His Excellency Omar Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, touching on the role of the Ministry and its latest initiatives.
For his part, His Excellency Abdullah Mohamed Al Blooki, Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presented an overview of developments in the support services sector at MoFAIC.
The third day of the forum ended with a panel on “UAE-USA relations under the new White House Administration”, featuring His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States and Mr. Norman Roule, a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project and United Against Nuclear Iran, who joined the forum remotely for this panel moderated by news anchor Ms. Hadley Gamble.
The fourth day of the 15th Forum of Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions abroad kicked off with a speech by His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence on “The UAE, home of tolerance, coexistence and openness”. His Excellency gave an overview of the UAE’s position as an incubator of the values of tolerance, peace, safety, and multiculturalism.
Considering the new reality imposed by the global Covid-19 pandemic, which shed light on the key role of the health sector and its essential sustainability, the forum also featured a panel held remotely on “Health in the UAE after (Covid-19), with His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Community Protection, and Dr. Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson for the health sector in the UAE and Director of the Communicable Diseases Department at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi”.
The forum also featured by a session with Her Excellency Maryam Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Food and Water Security on “The future of food security in the UAE.”
The fourth day of the forum concluded with a talk by His Excellency Faisal Eissa Lutfi, Assistant Undersecretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. His Excellency gave an overview of the latest developments in services provided to UAE nationals and consular services provided by the Ministry, and reviewed a set of plans in the pipeline, aiming to enhance mechanisms in place in the consular sector.
The fifth and last day of the forum started with an opening address by His Excellency Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, who addressed the forum remotely on “Future Directions”.
Her Excellency Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, spoke to participants of “The latest developments regarding Expo 2020 Dubai” and preparations under way ahead of the world expo to be hosted this year.
Day 5 of the forum also featured a talk by Her Excellency Sarah Bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, touched on the achievement-of-the-year for 2021, one that brought hope to Emiratis and UAE residents, in an address delivered remotely: “The Hope Probe: A New Historic Achievement in the UAE’s Journey”.
The final day of the Forum also featured a panel discussion held remotely, with Her Excellency Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Mr. David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, who discussed the global aid and response of the international community during the Covid-19 crisis.
The closing session of the 15th Forum of UAE Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions Forum touched on “Mental Health: From Stress to Psychological Comfort”, presented by Dr. Nahida Niaz Ahmed, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair of the Clinical Board of Psychiatry at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), and Chairperson of the Mental Health Committee in the Health Authority Abu Dhabi.
Held annually in Abu Dhabi, the Forum reflects the keenness of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to foster interaction between ministers, officials, UAE ambassadors and representatives abroad, the forum aims to promote the exchange of views on regional and international developments while improving the effectiveness of the UAE’s foreign policy.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs