‘Bridge differences to bridge the sustainability gap’

Shk Al Nahyan pic 1Marking the beginning of the Year of Tolerance, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, urged the attendees at opening ceremony of The Future Sustainability Summit at Abu Dhabi to work together to achieve the global sustainability goals

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi in his address to a gathering of global and national leaders, he said, “It is easier to bridge the oceans that lie between continents than it is to bridge the gap between individuals. I commend you for coming to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019 to work for a common goal – preservation of Planet Earth. This week demonstrates the power of tolerance to pursue a common goal.”

Setting the example of the Founder of the UAE, H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, he said that the late Ruler’s tolerance towards all the ambitious and talented people from across the world has contributed to the swift and peaceful development of the UAE.

He also stressed about the common goals of tolerance that the United Nations and the UAE share to further development goals. In 2015 the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whereby Goal 16 embodies tolerance that pushes for more peaceful and inclusive society for sustainable development.

However, like a bridge tolerance requires constant attention, the Minister added. “Most importantly, our school and universities must combat ignorance and promote understanding through the scholarship of faculties and through teachings of its students. Free and open discussions must prevail. Curiosity must be honoured. Fear and ignorance destroy civilisations. Today we prosper because we talk to each other in the UAE.”

To keep the momentum alive, he further noted that the Future Sustainability Summit is full of new ideas that the attendees will prudently evaluate for the impact on productivity and sustainable economic growth.

“Business must precede but it cannot be business as usual. Our imaginations must create better ways to maintain the environment and keep the economy going at the same time.”

Sharing the same platform, H.E. Eng. Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, Chairman of the Department of Energy and a member of the Executive Council added that the UAE takes its sustainability goals very seriously. The Government of Abu Dhabi created the Department of Energy to lead the vital sector and implement the 2050 Energy Strategy. The Department wants to promote the attractive option of energy mix and this is why the government is investing an additional AED 700bn into the renewable energy sector. We now feel that we are ready to export the last shipment of oil.”

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