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UAE leaders crown country’s Golden Jubilee, usher in next 50 years

Leaders of the United Arab Emirates have heralded key milestones marked in the nation over the past 50 years ahead of the Golden Jubilee National Day celebrations, as they ushered in a new era of growth for the country.

In statements to the Nation Shield, the UAE Armed Forces’ magazine, the country’s leaders spoke of their highlights over the past half-a-century ahead of the anniversary of the historic unification, to be marked across the country on Thursday.

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President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the UAE will continue to steadily pursue a solid ecosystem of well-established values and principles, with human capital lying at the heart of the ‘UAE Strategy for the Future’.

“It’s this resilient set of legislation that’s enabled our nation to establish a coherent society with a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, a world-class healthcare system, an advanced education sector, an integrated modern infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and an enviable status in global competitiveness rankings,” added the President.

In his statement, the President shed light on the key milestones achieved over the recent period: “We have come a long way in empowering women and youth, and developing a diversified economy. The outer space welcomed our first Emirati astronaut and our Hope Probe in historic milestones that have made our nation the first in this sphere in the Arab region and the fifth worldwide.”

“We launched the Arab region’s first multi-unit nuclear plant that turned the UAE into a regional hub for renewable and clean energy. We’ve adopted a national strategy to retain and attract talent in a way that further reinforces the UAE’s stature on the Gulf, Arab, Islamic and global levels. And under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, we’re hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, the world’s Greatest Show’ for the first time in the region’s history.”

The past fifty years of the country’s history, he continued, have fructified into a myriad of achievements, including sustainable development, political stability and security, a government that is among the most efficient in the world, and a private sector that has played a significant role in stimulating the domestic economy and enhancing its competitiveness and productivity.

“We have introduced to the world an inspiring development success story, which has rendered our country a leading regional and international financial center, and a sought-after place to live, work, invest and travel.”

“In so doing, we have surpassed others in terms of wellbeing, service excellence, corporate governance, trade openness, quality of life and entrepreneurship. We have successfully weathered the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and restored normalcy while observing full compliance with preventative measures in place.’’

“Thanks to this enviable track record of achievements, we’re ushering in the next 50 years of our history with a comprehensive, long-term, and well-thought-out strategic vision, based on meticulous pursuance of excellence to secure a brighter future for future generations, who, by the time they will be celebrating our Centennial 2071, will see their nation amongst the best in the world thanks to a sustainable and vibrant economy.”

“We are proud of all UAE residents, and their vital contributions to development and nation-building.”

Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum also gave a statement, with a warm tribute to the UAE’s founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

“As we celebrate the achievements of the country’s first 50 years and appreciate our progress, we commemorate our fathers who established the country and the foundations of its development and prosperity.

“We commemorate our father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and words cannot express our appreciation of his leadership and wisdom. Without him, the UAE would have never become a reality.

“With gratitude and appreciation, we commemorate the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Sheikh Zayed’s partner in establishing the country’s foundations on 18th February, 1968.

“We also remember their brothers, the Rulers of the Emirates, who supported them and joined them in consolidating the Union.”

“On this day, we remember the first generation of Emiratis who built the country and worked hard, with loyalty and devotion, to establish the state’s institutions.”

“Even though 17 years have passed since the death of Sheikh Zayed, he is alive in our hearts, and every 2nd December, his presence is consolidated in my own heart. I have worked under his leadership since the formation of the UAE. I have learnt a lot from his values and principles, as well as his decisions and stances. He always aimed to achieve our nation’s interests, make our people happy and strengthen the Union.”

“The late Sheikh Zayed always worked to reinforce the Union and helped establish the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and helped lead the efforts aimed at strengthening the Arab cooperation.”

“The legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed in terms of leadership and governance is valuable for this country’s generations. It is a lesson in establishing relations with others, reconciliation, crisis management and facing challenges.

“Challenges never deterred us from pursuing our path, and our major challenge was to challenge ourselves. We had to prove our ability to establish an efficient country and an ambitious development model.

“Over the past 50 years, we have faced different challenges in security, politics and economy. Nonetheless, we handled these challenges with the belief that our national worth is about confidently facing them with faith and optimism. Therefore, we were able to address challenges during the stages of the formation of the country and during the global economic recession, the first Gulf war, Kuwait’s invasion, the occupation of Iraq, and the so-called Arab Spring.”

Fellow citizens, On this day, we must think about where we were 50 years ago and what we “have become.

“Tomorrow, we begin our next 50 in our journey for development, guided by the UAE Centennial 2071 vision plan, the Principles of the 50 and the 10 principles approved by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as guidelines for all UAE’s institutions to strengthen the Union, build a sustainable economy, harness all possible resources to build a more prosperous society, foster positive regional and global relations to achieve national goals, and support peace and stability across the world.”

For his part, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said” “Our celebration of National Day this year is of special importance, as our beloved nation completes 50 years of its rich history. It is an occasion full of important lessons and great significance for the present and the future.”

“The UAE is striding towards the future, determined to excel in many fields and to create a bright future. Our country derives strength and confidence from its major achievements and relies on its wisdom, values, and the teachings of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan to guide us today and into the future. Our nation looks to the martyrs’ sacrifices as a beacon that lights the way as it aims to contribute to the history of humanity and write a new chapter in its economic and development story.”

Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad al-Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said the UAE Founding Fathers had worked hard to develop human capital by supporting education and qualifying Emirati citizens to contribute to the country’s development and its achievements.

This year’s UAE National Day celebration is distinctive as the country celebrates the UAE’s Golden Jubilee that marks its 50-year development journey, he added.

“Each time we mark this very special occasion, we must remember the endless efforts made by the late Founding Fathers to pave the way for such progress. Their strong will to achieve unity and futuristic visions made them role models of success.”

Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid al-Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, stated that the journey of the Union went from success to success thanks to the strong solidarity of the country’s leadership tireless efforts, and their deep belief in the value of unity as a basis for building a modern state.

‘‘On 2nd December, 1971, the world witnessed the birth of the state of the United Arab Emirates, the day will be remembered in history and remain alive in the conscience of the Emirati and Arab citizens.

No matter how many years pass, the Union will remain an immortal memory in our hearts, dear to our souls, which generations pass through. It is a reality we witness and the good we live in under the shadow of a lofty homeland in which human beings advance, their dignity preserved, and people enjoy security and prosperity.”

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr aal-Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, said that 50 years have made the UAE a global oasis of tolerance and coexistence, and a destination that attracts people of different cultures and backgrounds.

“In the UAE, we are proud to be the pioneers of one of the most successful experiences of the Union at the regional level, an experience that paved the way for establishing a modern state, which turns challenges into opportunities, and created the conditions and reasons that make it a major player on the global map.

“What we have achieved in fifty years is an exceptional model that is unique to the UAE. We know our strength, that we are capable of defining our goals and ambitions, and the keenest to create a better tomorrow for our future generations.”

Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed al-Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah, has said that the National Day and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UAE Federation, are “unconventional celebration that reflects our strength, valor and presence in the international arenas.”

“Today, all the visions have turned into a reality at a time when the development process in our glorious state has reached a place that no one has preceded it. Dreams do not come easily, and moving towards the future requires patience and work, and the will of men to build nations and leave a remarkable impact across the world.”

Sheikh Saud bin Rashid al-Mu’alla, Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, highlighted the will and determination of the country’s founding fathers, which led the country to become one of the fastest-growing nations in the world.

Our celebration today of the country’s Golden Jubilee, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, highlights the will and determination of the Founding Fathers when they established a strong country, which has become one of the fastest-growing in the world. In the coming period, the country will witness many initiatives that will support the nation’s youth, encourage innovation across all areas, and create distinguished policies and initiatives.”

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IAEA loses transmission from Ukraine’s Russian-held nuclear plant surveillance system

The UN atomic watchdog said on Wednesday it had again lost its connection to its surveillance systems keeping track of nuclear material at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Europe’s largest, which the watchdog wants to inspect.
“The fact that our remote safeguards data transmission is down again –- for the second time in the past month –- only adds to the urgency to dispatch this mission (to Zaporizhzhia),” the
International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

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The connection was lost on Saturday “due to a disruption of the facility’s communication systems,” it added.

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Anti-coup protesters in Sudan shot dead: Report

Four protesters were killed in Sudan on Thursday, medics said, as large crowds took to the streets despite heavy security and a communications blackout to rally against the military leadership that seized power eight months ago.

In central Khartoum, security forces fired tear gas and water cannon as they tried to prevent swelling crowds from marching towards the presidential palace, witnesses said.

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They estimated the crowds in Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Bahri to be in the tens of thousands. In Omdurman witnesses reported tear gas and gunfire as security forces prevented protesters from crossing into Khartoum.

The protests mark the third anniversary of huge demonstrations during the uprising that overthrew long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir and led to a power-sharing arrangement between civilian groups and the military.

Last October, the military led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan toppled the transitional government, triggering rallies that have called on the army to quit politics.

Some protesters carried banners calling for justice for those killed in previous demonstrations. Others chanted, “Burhan, Burhan, back to the barracks and hand over your companies,” a reference to the Sudanese military’s economic holdings.

Earlier, protesters barricaded some of the capital’s main thoroughfares with stones and burning tires.

It was the first time in months of protests against the October coup that internet and phone services had been cut. After the military takeover, extended internet blackouts were imposed in an apparent effort to hamper the protest movement.

Staff at Sudan’s two private sector telecoms companies, speaking on condition of anonymity, said authorities had ordered them to shut down the internet once again on Thursday.

Bridges shut

Phone calls within Sudan were also cut and security forces closed bridges over the Nile linking Khartoum, Omdurman and Bahri – another step typically taken on big protest days to limit the movement of marchers.

In recent days there have been daily neighborhood protests in the build-up to Thursday’s rallies.

On Wednesday, medics aligned with the protest movement said security forces shot dead a child during protests in Bahri. Thursday’s four deaths, all in Omdurman, brought the number of protesters killed since the coup to 107.

There was no immediate comment from Sudanese authorities.

The United Nations envoy in Sudan, Volker Perthes, called this week on authorities to abide by a pledge to protect the right of peaceful assembly. “Violence against protesters will not be tolerated,” he said.

Military leaders said they dissolved the government in October because of political paralysis. As a result, however, international financial support agreed with the transitional government was frozen and an economic crisis has deepened.

Burhan said on Wednesday the armed forces were looking forward to the day when an elected government could take over, but this could only be done through consensus or elections, not protests.

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UN: Almost 16 million people in Ukraine need humanitarian aid

As Russia presses on with its invasion of Ukraine, some 16 million people inside the country need humanitarian aid, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine said Thursday.

“Almost 16 million people in Ukraine today need humanitarian assistance: water food, health services,” Osnat Lubrani told a press briefing.

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Six million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their homes for other parts of the country since the war started, though around 5 million have since returned, she said.

But “many know that they might be forced to flee again,” she added.

Over 5.3 million more Ukrainians have fled abroad, Lubrani said.

She said the UN tally of casualties since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 was likely much higher.

“The number we have of almost 5,000 civilians killed and more than 5,000 injured is just a fraction of the frightening reality,” she said.

She also said it was “extremely difficult if not… impossible” for humanitarian groups to access areas that are no longer under Kyiv’s control.

Lubrani called on Russia and Ukraine “to do more to protect the people of this country and to make our work possible.”

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