As the Year of Tolerance comes to an end, the UAE is putting policies in place to ensure its legacy extends beyond 2019.
The values of tolerance must be enmeshed in society and institutionalised at a government level to cement the country’s position as a leader and “incubator of tolerance”, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said as he chaired a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.
At the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, the Cabinet approved a national initiative that will ensure tolerance is at the heart of all government programmes and activities.
"We want the culture of tolerance to be a lifestyle in the fabric of our policies, work environments and society as a whole, such that the UAE will be a leader in the field of tolerance and a unique model for spreading it globally," Sheikh Mohammed said.
The initiative aims to establish a culture of tolerance among employees of federal and local entities and in their everyday processes.
This will guarantee that tolerance is at the centre of all policies and will be spread to every sector of society.
"The Government is the first incubator of tolerance. Its practices, laws and processes will continue with us and everyone will be an ambassador for tolerance and responsible for promoting its values," Sheikh Mohammed said.
He said tolerance was part of the country's heritage, having been put in place by the Founding Fathers.
Under the initiative, all future government programmes and activities must fulfil five strategic priorities.
They are stimulation of tolerance, awareness and empowerment in tolerance, aligning tolerance with business policies and work processes, convergence and participation, and measuring tolerance.
Systems will be established to ensure the five priorities are being met.
Sheikh Mohammed described the Year of Tolerance as one of “achievements and giving”, having succeeded in instilling the values of coexistence and acceptance, but the time had come to make it a sustainable value in UAE society and beyond.
“We will continue to consolidate it in our society to set an example for the world," he said.
On Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed also attended a graduation ceremony for a first batch of graduates from the International Expert of Tolerance Programme.
Organised by the International Institute for Tolerance in Dubai, an initiative launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, the programme aims to teach students specialised knowledge and skills related to tolerance.
In other federal matters, the Cabinet approved the establishment of the UAE Food Security Council, which was formed to oversee the implementation of the National Food Security Strategy.
The strategy is a plan to strengthen the UAE’s food supply through trade, domestic produce, reduction of waste and increased sustainability.
The Cabinet also approved a resolution regulating umbilical cord blood stem cell centres, which aims to improve the quality of services provided.
Its decision will support the enhancement of public health, the state news agency Wam reported.