Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan made cultural, intellectual and social diversity in the UAE a source of strength, prosperity and innovation, based on the sustainable values of tolerance, respect, coexistence and compassion, a senior UAE official has said.

In a statement issued on Sunday on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, being commemorated on May 21, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, said the diversity is a key driver of prosperity and comprehensive development across various social, economic, educational, cultural and other fields.

The UAE’s leadership, government and people were inspired by Shaikh Zayed’s thoughts to make diversity as an important tool to live a more intellectual and moral life, where community members live in harmony, regardless of their race, colour or religion. This is based on the wise directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Shaikh Nahyan added that the UAE’s approach is to consolidate tolerance locally, regionally and internationally, and it is one of its main pillars in establishing relationship with all civilisations, cultures and religions. He added that the promotion of the values of tolerance and diversity contributes positively to the well-being, development and happiness of all mankind.

Meanwhile, Dr Hanif Hassan Ali Al Qasim, Chairman of the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, has reiterated the importance of embracing cultural diversity and acknowledging the common heritage of humanity.

“The Day is an important occasion to celebrate the Earth’s common cultural heritage. Cultural diversity has been a force for social progress and development since time immemorial. All peoples regardless of religions, creeds, value-system and cultural origins belong to humankind.

“Cultural diversity remains the greatest strength of humanity,” Dr Al Qasim said.

Dr Al Qasim highlighted the need to address ominous threats and divisive narratives descending on modern societies. The rise of violent extremism, militant forms of nationalism and populism represents a threat to multicultural societies, human well-being as well as world peace and stability.