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UAE to celebrate International Day of Peace with commitment to global peace and tolerance

Edited by: Muhammad Aamir

ABU DHABI, 20th September, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE has firmly established itself as a pivotal hub for endeavours dedicated to achieving global peace and stability, as well as fostering all aspects of development that benefit the progress and well-being of humanity.

Tomorrow, on Thursday, the UAE will observe the “International Day of Peace”, a day designated by the United Nations General Assembly to be celebrated annually on 21st September.

The UAE boasts a rich history of achievements that have played a crucial role in diffusing crises, resolving conflicts, and promoting peace and security worldwide.

In this report, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) will provide a detailed overview of the United Arab Emirates' extensive involvement in various peacekeeping initiatives and operations.

Over the past five decades, the UAE has taken an active role in numerous international peacekeeping endeavours. With a primary objective of alleviating the dire impacts of conflicts and wars on affected societies, the UAE has consistently emerged as a leading contributor to humanitarian relief and post-conflict reconstruction initiatives in regions grappling with strife and turmoil.

The UAE has adeptly cultivated strong diplomatic relationships with countries worldwide, spanning both the eastern and western hemispheres. These relationships are founded on principles of mutual respect, commitment to conflict resolution through dialogue and peaceful means, unwavering support for justice, and a dedication to promoting international stability and peace. The UAE has emerged as a global exemplar of tolerance and harmonious coexistence among peoples of varying backgrounds and cultures.

The UAE's diverse landscape is home to residents from more than 200 different nationalities, and the nation has established diplomatic ties with over 190 countries. Additionally, the UAE accommodates more than 110 foreign embassies, 73 consulates, and serves as the regional headquarters for numerous regional and international organisations.

The UAE's commitment to spreading the values of peace is exemplified by its initiation of a range of international awards that recognise and reward institutions and individuals actively involved in disseminating the culture of peace and tolerance globally.

Zayed Award for Human Fraternity

The Zayed Award for Human Fraternity, instituted in 2019, is a prestigious accolade honouring individuals and entities that champion peaceful coexistence across the world. Named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE and a devoted advocate of peace and tolerance, this award carries a substantial financial prize of US$ one million. It is presented annually on 4th February, designated as the International Day for Human Fraternity. The award acknowledges individuals and organisations from diverse backgrounds who tirelessly work towards promoting the values of solidarity, integrity, fairness, and optimism.

Since its inception, the Zayed Award for Human Fraternity has recognised several prominent figures, including His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church; His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar; United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; anti-extremism activist Latifa Ben Zayaten; His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein of Jordan; and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the Haitian humanitarian organisation "Foundation for Knowledge and Freedom" (FOCAL), the “Sant'Egidio Community” organisation, and Shamsa Abu Bakr Fadel, Kenyan peacemaker and human rights activist.

This award symbolises the UAE's resolute commitment to advancing peace and tolerance globally, celebrating the impactful work of individuals and organisations that bridge gaps between different cultures and religions.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum World Peace Award

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum World Peace Award was established in 2011 to acknowledge and honour the exceptional contributions made by organisations and individuals to advance global peace and stability. This award is dedicated to promoting civilized interactions among diverse populations, encouraging a culture of initiative and excellence in peacekeeping, and highlighting the genuine essence of Islam as a religion that embodies principles of tolerance and peace.

Peace Poets

In 2014, the UAE International Award for Poets of Peace was introduced to honour literary works that significantly contribute to upholding the values of global tolerance. The inaugural award encompassed three distinct initiatives: an event dedicated to Arab poets, a gathering for poets from around the world representing various languages and cultures, and an event to recognise and celebrate peace poets.

In 2016, the first edition of the International Day for Poets of Peace initiative was held in Dubai. This groundbreaking initiative, a global first of its kind, aims to acknowledge the excellence of poets in advocating for love, brotherhood, and global peace. It serves as a platform for disseminating poetry's message of unity and hope while combating divisive and extremist ideologies.

International Day of Peace 2023

The International Day of Peace (IDP) is celebrated annually on 21st September. It is a day dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace through non-violence and ceasefire. This year's theme is “Actions for Peace: Our Ambition for the #GlobalGoals”.

The theme is a call to action that recognises our individual and collective responsibility to foster peace. Fostering peace contributes to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and achieving the SDGs will create a culture of peace for all.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said, "Peace is needed today more than ever. War and conflict are unleashing devastation, poverty, and hunger, and driving tens of millions of people from their homes. Climate chaos is all around. And even peaceful countries are gripped by gaping inequalities and political polarisation."

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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