Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, attended the graduation ceremony of the Shapers of Tomorrow cohort for the academic year 2022-2023 at the Academy Building in Abu Dhabi.
This year’s ceremony saw the graduation of 66 students of the eighth cohort of the Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) programme in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations, the fifth cohort of the Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Diplomatic Leadership (MAGAD) programme, and the second cohort of the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Action and Development (MAHAD) programme. Sheikh Abdullah handed over the certificates to graduates at the ceremony.
The graduation ceremony drew the participation of Dr Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees at AGDA; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and member of the Board of Trustees at AGDA; Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the UAE President and member of the Board of Trustees at AGDA; and Dr Abdul Nasser Al Shaali, UAE Ambassador to India and member of the Board of Trustees at AGDA.
During the ceremony, Sheikh Abdullah expressed pride in the achievements of this year’s graduates, saying: “Today marks the beginning of a journey full of opportunities and challenges where you take part in reflecting your country’s image across the global landscape, imprinting the name of the UAE into the hearts of millions by entrenching the principles of respect, tolerance, peace and inclusivity. This is a well-deserved moment for you to cherish all your achievements. You have worked consistently and diligently throughout your studies in this prominent diplomatic academy, and this reflects on the dedication and excellence you have demonstrated during your academic journey.”
He added: “The exponentially growing role of the UAE and its increasing influence on various international issues position us at the forefront of political and diplomatic action. This compels us to harness true knowledge and all our analytical tools to contribute to the formulation of significant decisions that are impactful on present and future generations.”
Sheikh Abdullah explained that today’s diplomatic landscape has changed considerably, as the UAE diplomacy at present has a great responsibility to muster efforts for the benefit of all humanity, noting that the UAE’s hosting of leaders and delegations of the world during the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP28) and the “UAE Consensus”, a historic climate action agreement forged at the conclusion of COP28. It serves as irrefutable evidence of the UAE government’s triumphant endeavours in fostering global unity and bridging differences, all with the overarching goal of preserving and protecting our planet for the prosperity of future generations.
He addressed the students and said: “Always remember that learning does not end with an academic certificate. The world of diplomacy and international affairs is constantly changing, requiring a continuous learning process to cope with new challenges and opportunities. Continue to build your knowledge and develop your skills, and always be ready to contribute to shaping a better world. I assure you that the doors are open for you, and the development process will continue with your contributions and talents.”
He continued: “The skills you have gained here from the art of diplomatic negotiation, understanding global concepts, to communicating with different cultures, are tools that open up enormous and unexpected opportunities to galvanise the UAE’s position as a beacon of development, innovation and solidarity. It is a gateway through which you can be part of in our diplomatic system, and to work as part of a team that continues its successes and achievements for the development of the country and realise its vision to emphasise the nation as a land of aspirations, inclusivity and safety.”
Addressing graduates, Nikolay Mladenov, Director General of the Academy, said: “Your years of education in the Academy have been an antecedent for excellence, creativity and the continuation of the path to knowledge, one which enables nations to advance, civilisations to flourish, and communities to thrive. You have been and continue to be an embodiment of positive change we need in our world. Today, we are witnessing your graduation as you now have become armed with the knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary to enable you to reach your full potential in diplomacy.”
He added: “As the world faces many challenges and accelerating changes, our role is to consolidate diplomatic efforts in order to contribute to shaping a sustainable future locally, regionally and globally, in conjunction with the Year of Sustainability, which is a new phase that highlights the importance of climate action, promotes the principles of collective efforts, and contributes to the protection of resources, the society and the entire planet as a whole.”
He concluded: “Our objective to prepare a generation of diplomats will only be achieved through continuous acquirement of knowledge, discipline, ambition and passion, which you have all embodied throughout your studies at the Academy, and which I hope shall continue with you on your career path in diplomacy to serve your country and honour its flag.”
Alumni Diplomatic Association
During the ceremony, Dr Mohammed Al Dhaheri, Deputy Director General of the Academy, announced the establishment of the Anwar Gargash Academy Alumni Diplomatic Association, which aims to facilitate communication and establish connections between alumni after graduation for the Academy to stay in touch with its students during their academic journey and after graduation. The Academy also aims to help them pursue their professional development and uphold the various disciplines to achieve the objectives of the Academy in preparing future diplomats capable of facing current challenges, ensuring the UAE’s position in the world of diplomacy.
Since its founding in 2014, the Academy has committed to providing students in diplomacy and future foreign affairs leaders with the theoretical and practical expertise of diplomatic work. It has also been keen to provide them with mechanisms about regional and global challenges to uphold the UAE’s status and strengthen its diplomatic presence in the international arena.