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UAE Cabinet approves national tolerance programme

ABU DHABI // The Cabinet approved a national programme for tolerance on Wednesday as the country marks the holy month.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, made the announcement while pledging that the country would continue to promote the principles of tolerance set by Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father.

“Tolerance is a key value of our ancestors and our Founding Fathers,” said Sheikh Mohammed, following a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi. “The UAE has succeeded in spreading it throughout the Arab region and the world.”

The holy month of Ramadan is “a great opportunity to spread the spirit of tolerance and show the real image of moderation, and respect for others”, he said, according to state news agency Wam. “Tolerance is the basis for building societies, and promoting values of peaceful coexistence. Today, we need to be more tolerant and united to face the changes happening around us.”

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, also attended the meeting. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the new Minister of State for Tolerance, said the programme was based on Islam, the UAE Constitution, Zayed’s legacy and the country’s ethics, international conventions, archaeology and history, humanity and common values.

The programme would involve collaborating with federal and local entities under five main themes, Wam said. These were strengthening the Government’s role as an “incubator” of tolerance, consolidating the family’s role in nation building, promoting tolerance among youth and steering them away from extremism, enriching scientific and cultural content, and integrating international efforts to promote tolerance.

One of the entities formed through the programme would be a Council of Tolerance, which would develop policies to promote tolerance locally, regionally and internationally.

Organisations would be encouraged to support tolerance through a Tolerance Responsibility Programme for Organisations, which the Cabinet described as one of the first of its kind worldwide. A UAE Charter of Tolerance, Coexistence and Peace would also be set up, promoting respect of cultural diversity and rejecting violence, extremism and racism.

The programme also established a UAE Tolerance Centre which would provide scientific and cultural content on tolerance and practices related to people’s daily lives.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, the Cabinet also approved bylaws aimed at increasing competitiveness among small and medium enterprises, and an anti-dumping law to reduce the negative effects of dumped imports on national industries.

The establishment of an embassy in Accra, the capital of Ghana, was also approved.

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(via The National)