UAE tops tolerance index
ABU DHABI // The UAE is ranked first in the region and third globally in an annual Tolerance Index.
The index, devised by the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, was revealed to mark International Day for Tolerance on Wednesday.
Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, said: “The UAE’s performance in the Tolerance Index reflects the extent of tolerance, understanding and openness enjoyed by all who live in the UAE, as more than 200 nationalities live in the country in acceptance and understanding.
“The UAE has long played a leading and global role in the fields of culture and religious dialogue, without discrimination, as well as the regional and international role played by the state in the renunciation of violence, extremism, hatred and contempt of others.”
Tolerance is a key value of the UAE and a significant part of the country’s societal structure, said Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs.
The UAE had established itself as a global role model for tolerance, harmony and co-existence, adding these values to boost the country’s future, he said.
“These efforts culminated with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid forming the first Ministry of Tolerance in the Arab world and across the globe, as part of the structural change to the UAE Government,” he said.
Justice, tolerance, respect for human rights and the preservation of human dignity are all values embedded in the UAE’s national principles and reinforced by its constitution and legislation, said Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
“The UAE has always remained true to those values through the development of national legislation and the launch of initiatives to support them, which have made the UAE an incubator and a magnet for jobseekers from around the world who come here looking to make a decent living in a safe environment,” he said.
Mr Ghobash said that his ministry was committed to implementing policies and initiatives that supported the rights of labourers.
“The UAE’s commitment to the protection of human rights is also manifested by the signing of several international agreements in support of the fight against forced labour, equality between working men and women, the protection of juveniles from hazardous work and other labour-related issues,” he said.
The visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to the Vatican in September underscored the UAE’s commitment to the values of tolerance and co-existence, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of the board of directors of the National Media Council.
“The UAE leadership firmly believes in the urgency of promoting and spreading values of tolerance, centrism and moderation, these being key pillars for development, stability and happiness and an effective instrument for countering extremism, intolerance and hatred,” he said.
One of the country’s many initiatives to encourage tolerance and moderation is the Institute for Tolerance, the first of its kind in the Arab world to offer advice and expertise on policies to promote values of tolerance among nations. It also publishes studies and research reports and works with relevant authorities to instil the principles of acceptance in young people, Mr Al Jaber said.
Shamma Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said that tolerance was one of the core values that all Emiratis were raised to believe in and follow. Tolerance, equality and forgiveness, she said, were also part of the teachings of Islam and the traditions of the UAE.
“The UAE has always been a pioneer in disseminating the values of peace and tolerance between different cultures and religions. And it continues on the same path, guided by its wise leaders, as every one of our laws seeks to enshrine respect for all members of society, indiscriminately,” she said.
“Sending a resounding message of love and tolerance to all of humanity, Sheikh Khalifa issued a law dedicated to exterminating all types of discrimination and hate. On the same note, the UAE set a global precedent, becoming the first country in the world to create a ministerial post for tolerance.”
Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said: “In the UAE, we have been conceiving a greater meaning for the word tolerance than merely forgiving the mistakes of others. The mutual respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of various world cultures prevailing in our country are globally appreciated.
“In short, the UAE is a place where all cultures, freedom of expression and human values are respected as stated in the Universal Declaration of Principles on Tolerance.”
Updated: November 15, 2016 04:00 AM