Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, attended the graduation ceremony for the second batch of EDA students, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Abu Dhabi.
Some 34 students received post-graduate diplomas in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations after successfully completing the nine-month academic programme. During the ceremony, 14 students were honoured for their outstanding capstone projects.
The graduating class of 2017 also included employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
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In his address to the graduates, Sheikh Abdullah said, "The UAE’s diplomacy represents the country’s soft power that has the potential to make a fundamental difference in its position on the global map and promote the noble values of tolerance and respect that we hold so dear.
"In 2018, we will celebrate the intellectual and moral legacy of the founding founder of the UAE, the late Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, as the ‘Year of Zayed.’ I see his legacy reflected today when I look at this remarkable batch of Emirati youth, who are capable of fulfilling the country's foreign policy objectives in an efficient and responsible manner.”
Bernardino Leon, director-general of EDA, said, "We are proud to graduate the second batch of EDA diplomats. We have confidence in their ability to achieve the vision of the UAE leadership to promote diplomatic work and excellence in supporting the foreign policy objectives of the country that aim to enhance international co-operation and defend the interests of the UAE.”
The graduation ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation; Ahmed Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister for Presidential Affairs; Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation; Dr Ahmad Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and member of the EDA Board of Trustees; Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and several other high-profile officials, public figures and families of the graduating class of 2017.