Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, opened on Friday the third Abu Dhabi Family Forum.
The event, organised by Family Development Foundation and the Supreme Committee for the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Programme for Excellence and Societal Intelligence under chairmanship of H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council, takes place at Al Hudayriyat Island and provides a platform to strengthen the foundations of family and enhance quality of life in the emirate.
The Forum which is being held under the slogan ‘quality of family life in the fifties’, invites all family members and society to participate in all its various cultural, scientific, artistic and entertainment events.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, accompanied by a number of local and federal officials, toured the forum and its facilities, and lauded its accompanying events including its entertainment, cultural and scientific activities.
He was also briefed on the achievements of the departments and their impact on all segments of the society.
Sheikh Nahyan said, “I am pleased to be with you today at this Third Family Development Conference. It is a delight to have the honour of joining all of you in welcoming the Honourable Judge Frank Caprio to Abu Dhabi and to the United Arab Emirates.
He also indicated, “ For millennia, our country has been a global crossroads, traversed by distinguished scholars, jurists, and leaders who debated important issues of their time. Today we add to this list Judge Caprio who has become a renowned global advocate for issues related to empathy, compassion, understanding, and preservation of human dignity. I believe, Your Honour, that you will be speaking today to an audience unusually receptive to your message. The United Arab Emirates is a progressive nation that has, from its beginning in 1971, recognised the critical need to ensure that rights are respected, and opportunities are available, for everyone who lives and works in the country. Thank you for sharing your life-changing message and experience with us.”
I begin by offering my great thanks, gratitude and respect to the patron of this conference, the Mother of our Nation, H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. Her Highness has always been intent on shaping a society that empowered women and men and their families. With her leadership and guidance, the United Arab Emirates has been able to achieve the human development goals we set for ourselves as our women, our men, and our families contribute to the effort, he noted
Sheikh Nahyan stressed “I am also honoured to acknowledge the leadership of H.H. Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in directing Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Programme for Excellence and Societal Intelligence. I greatly appreciate his important role in invigorating the creativity, innovation, and contributions of families in our country.
Sheikh Nahyan reaffirmed, “Our greatest fortune in the United Arab Emirates is that the leaders of our country have always been people of wisdom and vision. Our wise and visionary leaders, along with our people, have created a society in the UAE that has enjoyed peaceable, and remarkably successful change. Our President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is concentrating on our country’s role in global progress and the vital importance of development, sustainability, opportunity, and innovation. His leadership has made our country a beacon of tolerance and coexistence. With his example and initiative, we wholeheartedly accept the obligation to respect and understand the many convictions and beliefs of the people living and working in our country.
He also added, “The UAE is a very diverse nation where people from some 200 countries live and work together in peace and harmony. Because that condition is vitally important to our country, the government established a Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, the only one in the world.
As the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, I have both the privilege and the serious responsibility to promote and nourish tolerance and coexistence in the United Arab Emirates and beyond. My Ministry works with the country’s greatly diversified population in helping to build an open, safe, peaceful, and prosperous country that is recognised as a successful model of multicultural peaceful co-existence in the region and the world. Together, we advocate for a tolerance that encourages and enables people to engage others who are different from themselves—to empathise with their feelings, thoughts, and experiences—to understand each person as a unique individual—to develop a sympathetic consciousness of the concerns and needs of other people, he said.
The United Arab Emirates provides the perfect model for that kind of tolerance:
- A tolerance that empowers individuals to live by the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
- A tolerance that enables open, honest, and confident dialogue that leads to mutual understanding and respect.
- A tolerance that is essential to conflict resolution.
- A tolerance that does not require accepting social injustice or abandoning one’s own convictions.
- A tolerance that enables the creation of productive teams in the workplace and in communities. And
- A tolerance that fosters social and economic development and a civil society.
He added that at the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, we work to reinforce that kind of tolerance in the consciousness of the nation. We work to inspire tolerant actions in young people, in families, in schools and universities, in government, and in businesses.
In the UAE, we believe that our model of tolerance has the potential to transcend national borders and become a global movement for good. In 2019, His Highness the President demonstrated the UAE’s vision for global peace and tolerance by inviting both His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb to visit Abu Dhabi and issue the Abu Dhabi Declaration on Human Fraternity. This historic declaration while noting that, and I quote: “positive steps taken by our modern civilisation,” insists that, and I quote again: “there exists both a moral deterioration that influences international action and a weakening of spiritual values and responsibility.” In the UAE, we strongly believe that actions motivated by the virtue of tolerance will slow and perhaps reverse that moral deterioration. The virtues of tolerance have the power to create safe, secure, peaceful, and prosperous communities and societies, he noted.
I am sure you agree that if we are to build a world of peace, tolerance, hope, opportunity, and shared prosperity – a world that is so urgently needed – we must have strong, visionary leaders committed to providing a true translation of the values of tolerance. Your example, Judge Caprio, is truly inspiring. You have demonstrated in your distinguished career how we can all learn to work together to build a better and more humane world, Sheikh Nahyan concluded.
Frank Caprio, Chief Judge of the Municipal Court of Providence, expressed his happiness at attending the 3rd Abu Dhabi Family Forum, which is organised under the umbrella of the Sheikha Fatima Programme for Excellence and Societal Intelligence, being held in Marsana at Al Hudayriat Island until 18th December.
Judge Caprio extended his gratitude for President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), for organising the forum.
He also expressed his happiness at visiting the UAE, lauding the directives and efforts of its wise leadership to further the culture and legacy of tolerance and forgiveness.
During his keynote at the forum, Caprio stressed the importance of family values as they “mean everything and define us as a nation and as individuals, noting that values such as faith, hope, honour, charity and loyalty, include the notion of courtesy, respect, dignity and honour.
He added, “As we all gather here today as leaders in governments, business and international relations, we must understand that it is our obligation to instill these values in the smallest of our family units, and to also extend them on a grand scale. If we, the leaders of our communities, do this, we can, and will, make great societies.”
Judge Caprio stated that his presence in Abu Dhabi is the best proof of the spread of those values that resonate around the world, adding that he witnessed countless examples of tolerance and compassion during his visit.
“I have learned that the UAE is providing opportunity and a pathway to those that come here from around the world seeking to raise the standard of living for themselves and their families. Those opportunities, along with the advanced education system, sets the stage for continued prosperity for the individuals, as well as the country as a whole,” he continued.
Concluding his speech, Judge Caprio reaffirmed the need for treating everybody with the same level of respect and compassion, in addition to spreading the values of brotherhood and tolerance to build strong communities and coherent family bonds.