ABU DHABI, 19th October, 2018 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy, EDA, attended the academy’s graduation ceremony, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC.
The ceremony was attended by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance; Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State; Ahmed Sari Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of MoFAIC; Matar Salim Ali Al Dhaheri, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Defence; Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary-General of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi; Bernardino Leon, Director General of EDA; Dr. Nawal Khalifa Al-Hosany, Deputy Director General of EDA, and a number of senior officials.
In his speech at the event, Sheikh Abdullah thanked President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his unwavering support of the academy’s efforts to qualify young national cadres to promote international cooperation and positive synergies among the UAE and the world.
Expressing his confidence in the graduates, Sheikh Abdullah said, “This graduation ceremony is an important occasion to remind ourselves of the solemn responsibility that lies upon us in serving this great nation and its citizens. Your graduation coincides with the ‘Year of Zayed’, and I am confident that this cohort are ready for the responsibility and will be a source of pride for their people.”
He also congratulated the graduates and their families, and emphasised the significance of their role in representing Emirati society and its noble values. He also commended EDA’s faculty and staff for qualifying the outgoing cohort of students to assume positions of responsibility in the field of diplomacy.
Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE has high hopes for its youth, who can build on the achievements of their forefathers, who shaped the face of this country while living in a harsh environment, where they had to fight for survival. He urged the graduates to draw inspiration from their ancestors and their noble deeds for the greater good of their country.
“When I see these young people before me, I see knowledge, ambition, enthusiasm and willpower, and I am confident in their ability to face challenges and achieve great success for the nation. However, the UAE cannot sustain its success without maintaining its excellent reputation and the trust of other nations. The greatest attribute of this country is its humility, and we have the responsibility to uphold it despite our continued achievements,” he noted.
He also re-affirmed the importance of diplomacy and international relations in strengthening the global status of countries as well as their identity and culture. He also highlighted the responsibility of representing the UAE individually, as each citizen has the power to influence the reputation of the country among other nations and convey its message of peace, hope, tolerance and respect.
In closing, Sheikh Abdullah said, “We should also never rest on our laurels and stop striving for more, because the moment we get complacent, we will start falling back. In the early days of our country, our forefathers faced untold hardships. Despite that, they set the finest example for future generations. I am confident that the UAE youth has all the abilities to reach beyond their grasp and continue their legacy to take the country to even greater heights.”
Leon, in turn, said, “We live in a complex and sometimes unstable world. Therefore, it is imperative that we always remember the key pillars of diplomacy – honesty, openness and true willingness to cooperate.”
He added, “I assure you that the skills and knowledge you have gained throughout your journey at EDA will create opportunities that enable you to make a positive contribution in this world. Your passion and enthusiasm to enact change reflect the UAE’s noble values and commitment to finding solutions to global challenges. With each distinguished group of new graduate diplomats, we celebrate not only their remarkable achievements but also our contribution to the realisation of the UAE’s vision to elevate the country’s status in the international arena.”
In 2018, EDA has graduated the third cohort of students of the Post-Graduate Diploma, PGD, programme in UAE Diplomacy and International Relations, as well as the first batch of students of the Master of Arts, MA, programme in Diplomacy and International Relations. Launched in October 2017, the MA programme provides PGD graduates with the opportunity to further hone their skills and knowledge with a focus on the UAE and the wider Middle East region.
During the ceremony, 32 students received their PGD certificates, and 18 students obtained their MA degrees. The graduates represented several ministries and other government bodies.
Moreover, 14 PGD students were honoured for their distinguished graduation projects across five categories – best overall project, most rigorous research, most innovative project, best practical project, and best teamwork. Meanwhile, six graduates of the MA programme were acknowledged for their outstanding written graduation research projects that exceeded 30,000 words each.
EDA is dedicated to providing a world-class educational experience in the field of diplomacy and international relations to prepare future UAE diplomats to lead international strategic initiatives.