The Federal National Council returns after the summer break and brings in committee to move forward UAE Centennial Plan
FNC votes in new future committee during opening session
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid met with royals and dignitaries on Sunday to begin the 16th legislative season of the Federal National Council and bring in a new committee focused on the future.
After a four-month break, UAE leaders inaugurated the fourth ordinary session for the current term.
Each term consists of four years and at the end of each term, elections are held to decide on members for the following term. This season will be the final before the next election.
Since 2006, the council has consisted of 20 elected members and 20 that are appointed by the rulers of each emirate.
“Brothers and sisters, members of the Federal National Council, with God’s blessings we inaugurate your council and we ask God to bring with it good for the people and the country,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, as he inaugurated the session on behalf of President Sheikh Khalifa.
“Our political plan is to gradually work towards stronger political participation; and by inaugurating this session we hail the government’s co-operation with us over the past three sessions,” said Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, FNC speaker, during her opening speech.
After the opening ceremony, FNC members debated the necessity of a proposed future committee. The plans would see it tasked with following issues related to the country’s future in accordance with the UAE Centennial Plan, which aims to make the country the world's leading nation by 2071.
Hamad Al Rahoomi, who represents Dubai, and several other members argued that the committee would be unnecessary.
“There is a contradiction between the role of this committee and existing committees in the council who are already foreseeing the future and are following up with each ministry with regards to their future plans,” he said.
However, Dr Al Qubaisi said the new committee follows the government’s path towards foreseeing the future, especially since the cabinet has introduced the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The Future.
Members voted in favour of introducing the new committee, and those who are assigned to it for this season will be asked to foresee the future by studying international reports and applying them to government policies and the creation of new legislation.
During the opening session, the members also divided themselves among the council's other specialist committees.
The role of committee members is to propose issues for debate with government officials during council sessions. Committees also revise and propose amendments to draft laws.
The existing committees that are now joined by the future committee are:
Exterior, interior and defence affairs
Financial, economic and industrial affairs
Technology and energy affairs
Education, culture, youth, sports and media affairs
Health and environmental affairs
Social, labour, residents and human resources affairs
Islamic affairs and endowments
The council also elected Ahmad Al Nuaimi, a member who represents the emirate of Ras al Khaimah, and Hamad Al Ruhoumi, a member who represents Dubai, as observers of the council. Their role is to monitor the progress of the council’s session and committees.