Before the establishment of the Union, the Emirates community valued people's participation in decision-making on political and social matters. Councils served as important forums for advice, interactive debates, and knowledge exchange.
Following the formation of the Union and the founding fathers' commitment to citizen involvement in political decision-making, the Federal National Council was established in 1972. Positioned as the fourth federal authority in the country's constitutional hierarchy, its purpose is to address the needs and aspirations of the people.
The wise leadership has consistently supported the Council's role in sustainable human development, including the "Empowerment" programme announced by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, which raised women's representation to 50% in the Council. This initiative also aims to foster active and engaged citizens, endowed with participation values and a consultative approach, through a combination of elected and appointed members.
The Federal National Council plays a vital role in making political decisions by discussing and approving federal laws, addressing citizens' concerns and needs through interactions with ministers, and exchanging opinions with the government on matters of public interest for the benefit of the country and its citizens.
The UAE is preparing for its fifth electoral experience this year, with the National Elections Committee announcing the candidacy period from August 15-18 and the election date set for October 7. The unity and cooperation between rulers and the people contribute to the country's progress and the well-being of its citizens.
Prosperous future for all
The media plays a strategic role in supporting successful electoral campaigns by enhancing political awareness, disseminating media messages that highlight campaign goals, showcasing Council achievements and member success stories, and emphasizing the importance of community participation in ensuring the electoral event's success.
Influencers and content creators have a significant role in strengthening national cohesion, supporting the state's efforts, and contributing to achieving the desired goals of the electoral process.
To conclude, I recall the words of the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, spoken during the opening of the first ordinary session of the Federal National Council's first legislative term in 1972: "The masses of the people in every location participate in making life on the soil of this good land and in building a brilliant, bright, and prosperous future for us and the rising generations of our children and grandchildren."
Participating responsibly and conscientiously in national elections affirms our contribution to realizing the UAE's vision of becoming the world's leading country by its centenary.
Alya Hassan Al Yassi is an Emirati researcher and strategic media expert