ABU DHABI, 8th February 2020 (WAM) – Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and with the participation of the Ministry’s ambassadors and heads of foreign missions, the 14th Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions Forum concluded today after five days of sessions held from February 2 to 6.
The 14th Ambassadors and Representatives of Diplomatic Missions Forum came as part of the Ministry’s keenness to strengthen communication and interaction among UAE ambassadors in exchanging views on various regional and international issues relevant to UAE foreign policy.
The forum witnessed 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 governmental institutions across various sectors. The forum shed light on diverse issues with the aim of increasing coordination with foreign missions and further developing the UAE’s diplomatic corps.
Over five consecutive days, the forum addressed major political, economic, and cultural topics, in addition to matters related to innovation and advanced sciences. The forum also reviewed various regional and international developments.
Participants discussed achievements by the Ministry and its programs, particularly in the consular sector, and discussed the developmental plans of different departments within the Ministry. The latest developments in the UAE’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai and the Hope Mars Mission were also discussed.
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.
On the second day of the forum, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, spoke about the intersection between international relations and the fields of culture, education, and science. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also held a session on the role of the private sector.
The agenda included a session with public relations firm Edelman on international media and a session during which Dr. Khalid Al Mazrouei, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, reviewed the latest developments in consular services.
In the presence of Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation honored its strategic partners and business leaders on the sidelines of the forum in recognition of their efforts to enhance the Ministry’s work and advance the UAE’s economic diplomacy.
Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, opened the third day with a speech, followed by a session on foreign policy with Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
The agenda also included a session on the country’s foreign investment, presented by Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate and Human Capital Officer at Mubadala Investment Company, as well as a panel discussion on the role of strategic communications in diplomacy held by Hend Al Otaiba and leading media figures, including Mina Al-Oraibi, Editor-in-Chief of The National, and Becky Anderson, Managing Editor of CNN Abu Dhabi. Maha Al Gargawi, Vice President for International Participants Affairs at Expo 2020 Dubai, later held a session on welcoming the world to the Expo.
On the sidelines of the forum, the Youth Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation held a session entitled “Meeting Generations,” wherein senior diplomats and youth, as well as students of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, came together to exchange experiences. The session was hosted by Khalifa Shaheen Al-Marar, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs, and Jamal Al Musharakh, Director of the Ministry’s Policy Planning Department.
Furthermore, Ministry employees and members of the diplomatic corps participated in sporting events held during the evening on Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi, which included the “walkathon” on World Cancer Day, football matches, yoga sessions, and more. The sporting events came in line with the Ministry’s efforts to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyle practices to prevent chronic diseases and enhance their general quality of life.
On the fourth day, the forum included a session with Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, who reviewed the UAE’s climate change policy. This session was followed by a discussion by Ahmed Al Sayegh on the creative economy.
Sessions on the fourth day also addressed numerous political topics. In one prominent session, Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador in Washington, came together with Brian Katulis, fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Dr. Stephen Cook, a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations. This session was followed by a panel discussion hosted by Suleiman Hamed Al Mazrouei, Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and former Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and the United Kingdom, alongside Mohamed Issa Abushahab, UAE Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the European Union, Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK, and Ali Abdullah Al Ahmad, UAE Ambassador to France.
Regarding advanced sciences, Abdullah Al Shamsi, Sr. Vice President he Executive Office, ADNOC Group, addressed the importance of the UAE’s launch of the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence and the pivotal role of artificial intelligence in building future capabilities.
The fourth day of the forum concluded with a visit to centers of culture and innovation with Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry, wherein participants toured the presidential palace, Qasr Al Watan.
The fifth day of the forum took place in Dubai and began with a speech delivered by Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, on “The Industry of the Future, Preparing for the Next 50 Years, and the World Government Summit 2020,” followed by sessions on the UAE’s governmental work, media identity, and the Museum of the Future. A session was then led by Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future.
Ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions were then led on a tour of AREA 2071, followed by a brainstorming session.