The Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) is organising the 11th edition of the Building Political Awareness for University Students forum under the theme ‘Sheikh Khalifa and the Political Empowerment Process’, in collaboration with United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) on 17 November 2022 at the UAEU campus in Al Ain.
The forum aims to raise political awareness among university students and encourage them to play an active role in the UAE’s parliamentary journey, where the youth have made a clear impact towards its development and advancement over the past 50 years.
H.E. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to His Highness the President of the UAE and Chancellor of UAE University, said: “The 11th Political Awareness Forum for University Students continues with the aim of enlightening the minds of young people and urging them to participate in building their future and their country. It also has great importance in focusing on the role of youth in the future of political development, and on developing political awareness among university students to take the initiative and engage in community service and progress.”
He added: “The UAE wise leadership provides the youth with all opportunities to support them in building their present and future. Therefore, they must return the favor to the country and participate in the process of social, economic, cultural, sports and scientific development to preserve the important gains and great achievements made by the UAE during half a century since its establishment by the founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, passing through the empowerment led by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, to the leadership and excellence under the leadership of H. H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, may God protect him.
MFNCA Undersecretary His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah said: “The forum is a prominent platform to communicate with Emirati youth, raise their awareness, and engage them in serving their country by employing their energy, skills, and capabilities to sustain the momentum of achievements and successes that have been made in the UAE’s parliamentary journey over the past 50 years, in addition to contributing to the advancement of the UAE’s leadership position.”
H.E. Lootah went on to note that this year’s edition of the forum will discuss a series of important themes and topics with renowned experts, in an effort to shape a clear vision for the youth and familiarise them with the efforts made by relevant authorities in the UAE to achieve the goals of the Political Empowerment Programme, launched by the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the 34th UAE National Day in 2005.
“The Programme set the stage and helped create the appropriate conditions to empower UAE citizens to be more involved, while enabling the Federal National Council to play its part as a supportive and advisory body to the executive authority,” H.E. added. “It also allowed the FNC to become more effective, bringing it closer to the issues that most concern UAE citizens, embodying the values of participation and the Shura principle.”
Speakers at the event include Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, who will discuss the topic of ‘Empowering the Youth and Raising Their Political Awareness’, while H.E. Tariq Hilal Lootah, Undersecretary of the MFNCA, will talk about ‘Sheikh Khalifa and the Political Empowerment Process’, and H.E. Dr. Omar Al Nuaimi, Secretary-General of the FNC, discusses the topic of ‘Empowering the Federal National Council’.
Meanwhile, H.E. Dr. Yousef Al Hassan, Emirati writer, thinker, and former ambassador of the UAE, will talk about ‘The Role of Higher Education Institutions in the Political Empowerment of Youth’. For her part, Ms. Ahlam Al Lamki, Head of the Research and Development Department at the General Women’s Union (GWU), will speak about ‘The Political Empowerment of Women’, whereas H.E. Shamsa Saleh, CEO of the Dubai Women Establishment and Secretary General of the UAE Gender Balance Council, will discuss ‘Global Indicators for Political Empowerment Results’.
The agenda also includes a discussion panel titled ‘The Role of the Family in Promoting Political Awareness’, featuring three members of the UAEU faculty: Dr. Souad Al Araimi, Dr. Maryem Lootah, and Dr. Mohammed Aljanahi, along with Dr. Moza Al Qubaisi from Abu Dhabi Police.
Furthermore, a student panel discussion will be organised to talk about the research competition announced at last year’s forum, as well as to honour the winners of the contest. Meanwhile, the MFNCA will be showcasing its digital and smart projects designed to raise political awareness, namely, the virtual reality glasses initiative – ‘You in the Federal National Council’; the interactive screens of the ‘Electoral Process Journey’; and the ‘Election Statistics Map’ initiative, which provides access to information on electoral centres. The forum also gives students the opportunity to explore the electronic voting system, which facilitate the voting process and ensure the integrity of the elections and the accuracy of their results.
Source: Ministry of State for Federal National Affairs, UAE