ABU DHABI // Young people have a duty to themselves and their country to ensure their voices are heard in the political process, national service recruits have been told.
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for FNC Affairs and Chairman of the National Election Commission, on Monday told the cadets that youth represented 40 per cent of the vote in the coming FNC elections.
“Although we know your concerns and ambitions and appreciate them, we don’t always understand them like you do,” Dr Gargash told the gathering at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club.
“We are expecting you to listen to the opinions and campaigns and then to have a societal dialogue. Your role in the elections is important, powerful and effective.
“Your responsibility in the elections is to take part in developing the country, to preserve its name and achievements, and to continue to help the country to prosper.”
Dr Gargash said young men and women were the main pillar for social and political prosperity, and urged them to take part in the election.
He also offered his condolences to the three Emirati soldiers who were killed defending Yemen last Saturday.
“Every soldier is an Emirati national, and each one has a great value with the leadership and the community,” Dr Gargash said. “Today, we offer our condolences to the martyrs.
“Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, tweeted: ‘You have brought tears to our eyes and made us hold our heads up high’.
“And that is truly how we all feel, the entire country. But this is a clear message to the world – the UAE has soldiers that will protect it, and you are the supportive unit.”
Dr Gargash said voting was an opportunity to ensure youth was represented in the consultative body.
He advised the cadets to listen carefully to candidates and make considered decisions on who would best represent them.
“I hope you will follow up with the campaigns and take this opportunity to support the country. Your opinion matters and your point of view is important to the country,” Dr Gargash said.
“Sometimes candidates offer things that are not of the council’s specialisations. But you must differentiate between campaigns. You are mature and must make sure that what they are promising is do-able.”
He said voters needed to know their rights when electing their representatives.
“As a local, your life is managed by laws and regulations that have gone through the FNC before becoming a part of legislation.
“All UAE laws have gone through the council for discussion and updates. All of the laws have been revised and updated by our parliament, and they always require development.
“The council discusses the given issues in the country. This is how your contribution comes with national and practical benefits.”
Dr Gargash praised the recruits for answering their country’s call, saying it would add to the country’s stability.
“We must continue to learn from other countries, but before that we need to have a holistic sense of security that you cadets have learnt about during the national service training all these months.
“We cannot continue to grow without the basis of safety, security and stability, and we will succeed because of your efforts now and in the future.”