In 1995, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted the International Declaration of the Principles on Tolerance, defining tolerance as respect, acceptance, appreciation of the rich variety of our world’s cultures, harmony in difference, and the virtue that makes peace possible.
With this renewed commitment and action in support of tolerance, the 16th of November has been declared as the annual International Day for Tolerance.
Within this context, tolerance has been a key value of the Unites Arab Emirates. In fact, the UAE is based on established time-honoured values, and has always been renowned for its solid path of tolerance embedded in its national spirit and historic traditions.
Today the UAE stands as the “country of tolerance” par excellence, and is home for a melting pot of more than 200 nationalities from around the world, living in complete compatibility, regardless of their ethnicities, cultures or religions; all of them dwellers of this land, enjoying peace and harmony, and interacting in a cultural coexistence and social cohesion. This reflects clearly the genuine and prominent face of the UAE as the state of tolerance, coexistence, love and brotherhood.
As an incubator of tolerance and a cradle of peace for all peoples, one can truly say the UAE and tolerance are two sides of the same coin, with the UAE’s solid pillars and keenness to foster its worldwide relations on the bases of mutual respect, dialogue, cooperation and dialogue, rejecting all forms of terrorism, violence and fanaticism.
Moreover, the UAE’s path of tolerance has been consolidated by a set of framed legislations, laws, programmes and pilot initiatives towards ensuring a sustainable and compatible UAE cohesive society (for both nationals and residents), namely the national tolerance programme, which aims to consolidate the values of tolerance, coexistence, peace, cultural diversity and pluralism, and acceptance of others, intellectually, culturally, and in terms of sect and religion, while renouncing fanaticism, distinction hatred and exclusion, setting thus the UAE as a shining model for peace, harmony and tolerance.
Shaika Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi is UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance.