Stressing that positive citizenship starts from individuals and their relationship with community and humanity,
The National Library and Archives enriches its Cultural Season 2023 with a seminar entitled “Positive Global Citizenship”
Within the context of its Cultural Season 2023, the National Library and Archives organized a seminar entitled “Positive Global Citizenship”. The seminar aimed to enhance the national and humanitarian values and principles that would move positive citizens to the global level instead of the local level according to the current situation. Since the world has become a small global village, the seminar focused on the role of the positive global citizenship in fostering sustainable development of the UAE, in particular, and the world, in general.
Fatima Sultan Al Mazaroui, Head of Historical Archives Section at the NLA, moderated the seminar in which a number of participants took part, including H.E. Yasser Al Gergawi, Director General of Sandooq Al Watan, H.E. Adviser Rashid Ibrahim Al Nuaimi from the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, Brigadier General Mohammed Al Nabhani from the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, Dr. Shafei Al Niyadi, Human Development and Family Relations Instructor, and Dr. Mariam Naser Al Zaidi from Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities. At the end of the seminar, Mr. Farhan Al Marzooqi, Director of Corporate and Community Outreach Department at the NLA, honored the participants.
H.E. Yasser Al Gergawi, Director General of Sandooq Al Watan, started the seminar with his paper, which defined positive global citizenship as individuals’ participation, awareness and understanding of certain duties and obligations that bring about integration and engagement in accordance with laws, standards and values that promote individual’s welfare, maintain global environment interests and fulfil public responsibility objectives through devoting attention to the world issues.
He confirmed that positive citizenship reflects the positive interaction with others, and every individual should be prepared for global coexistence, especially in our modern age that abounds in social media platforms, which make an individual a recipient and influencer. That is why an individual has to interact with the outside world and accordingly we have to instill the sense of responsibility in the generation.
Al Gergawi quoted the saying of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE: “Through its policy and example in the region, the UAE spreads positive messages of the importance of tolerance, coexistence and mutual development work to respond to many challenges that face us within the context of the international family”. He also quoted the saying of the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nayan: “Cooperation between people regardless of their religions and beliefs is the source of happiness. Cooperation connects everybody”.
His Excellency concluded his paper by reviewing Sandooq Al Watan’s efforts and role in achieving positive global citizenship.
Next, H.E. Adviser Rashid Ibrahim Al Nuaimi from the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence presented his paper. He shed the light on sustainability of human values and positive global citizenship. He began with the saying of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan: “To treat every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul, is a mark of Islam”. He then discussed the concept of values, the UAE society’s values system, citizenship, the way to global citizenship, the positive global citizenship, tolerance and coexistence concept and the UAE’s efforts to promote positive global citizenship. He noted that citizens act as representatives of their countries abroad and that society members have to foster solidarity to achieve positive global citizenship in light of cultural openness.
He reviewed the stages the society went through starting from the family to the tribe, modern state and global citizenship. He stressed that the UAE strives to foster global citizenship while maintaining balance with the Emirati authentic values.
The Adviser Al Nuaimi tackled the 8th principle of the “Next Fifty Years Principles”, which states that the core value system in the Emirates shall remain based on openness and tolerance. He discussed the human economy, “We the UAE 2031” vision and the UAE Centennial 2071, a comprehensive and long-term vision. In addition, he presented the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence’s initiatives, which aim to promote positive global citizenship.
The Brigadier General Mohammed Al Nabhani from the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security gave a speech on the impact of the positive global citizenship on sustainable development. He focused on three main topics: prudent government approaches, home and school, and general ethics and conduct. Moreover, he illustrated the government’s efforts to establish the foundations and principles of positive citizenship such as excellence programs and awards, strategic and operational plans, transformational projects and government accelerators, etc.
Furthermore, His Excellency highlighted the impact of positive global citizenship on sustainable development according to the UN’s 2030 Agenda along with its 17 goals, noting that the UAE has paid a huge amount of money in the form of humanitarian aids to all world countries. He also pointed out that we all have to respect our homeland’s right as H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said: “The duty of loyalty and gratitude to a homeland that provides decent and happy life for all of its citizens and residents requires all of us to always keep it deep in our hearts”.
In his presentation on “The Role of Positive Citizenship in Supporting Sustainability”, Dr. Shafei Al Niyadi, Human Development and Family Relations Instructor, indicated that change starts from the individual so we have to instill patriotism among our children in order to ensure future prosperity, which means sustainability. We also have to encourage our children’s academic achievement since sustainability and patriotism can be achieved only by educated and aware people.
Al Niyadi, then, tackled the relationship between citizenship and sustainability. He indicated that such relationship lies in individual responsibility, societal engagement, awareness, environmental responsibility, sustainable use of resources, sustainable economy, social justice and international cooperation to face global challenges.
He pointed out that positive citizenship including sustainable economy, participation in sustainable initiatives, societal engagement, environmental and social awareness, etc. will foster social stability, dialogue and understanding, economic development, justice and human rights, the spirit of engagement, innovation and development, peace, stability and social integration.
On the other hand, Dr Mariam Naser Al Zaidi from Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities said in her presentation that positive citizenship was limited to the community level, but now it exceeded that level as it requires individuals to be good citizens not only in their communities but also in the humanitarian community at large.
She emphasized that as the world has become a small global village dominated by social media platforms, we have to demonstrate openness to ideas and deal positively with positive global citizenship since we cannot live in isolation from other communities.
Furthermore, she added: “Societies that have traumatic experiences and its members suffer from fanaticism, extremism and sectarianism cannot flourish and prosper”. She indicated the examples of Japan and Germany, which were able to gain an advanced position in the world and become one of the best destinations worldwide. This cannot be attained without achieving the positive global citizenship.
To show the importance of the international, individual and society role, Dr. Mariam provided the example of the Climate Change Conference (COP20), which requires all to participate in as it discusses the world climate issues. Climate change affects all people. That is why we have to be active as change starts from individuals.
She also gave another example that is Coronavirus pandemic. She wondered how an individual can live in isolation from the world. We saw how COVID19 appeared in a small area and then it spread all over the world. She then talked about citizenship and cultural integration, stressing the importance of maintaining authentic values and morals along with national identity. She showcased the efforts of the UAE to enhance positive global citizenship and those of Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities to promote tolerance and coexistence.
She concluded her speech by attaching great importance to positive citizenship in establishing responsibility. Individuals have to make good and valuable contributions in order to achieve development since development is achieved by individuals who have to perform their national duties with honesty.