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Against Virus Scientists And Engineers Are True Heroes

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18th-May-2020       
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Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The world is witnessing an unprecedented crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, which clearly highlights the importance of the correct foreign policy and its results. During the current dire circumstances, domestic and foreign policies need to rely more on science. Today, we are seeing how hard scientists and engineers around the world are working to provide ventilators and test equipment, which are luckily abundant in our country.
We are waiting to find a vaccine to protect people from the coronavirus, so that life can return to normal. During this fierce battle against the virus, our true heroes, scientists, and engineers, are working hard to protect public health, treat patients, and provide us with protection and testing equipment. Science, therefore, must be prioritised in our national policies.
While we offer the best levels of healthcare, we must consider the possibility of the emergence of new pandemics, and we must not ignore the possibility of the emergence of other environmental challenges. We must be prepared to address different challenges by investing in a scientific and multi-specialist environment.
The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of strengthening the cooperation and partnerships between countries, and the necessity of continuing the coordination in areas of science and research between various organisations and governments around the world, which is clearly proven by the current efforts to develop a vaccine for the virus by forming multinational alliances.
New geopolitical gaps have emerged during this crisis, as divisions and tensions have arisen between countries regarding medicine and food. There are clear indicators showing cracks in the international system, requiring us to be an efficient player, not only to fix these cracks but also to help other countries avoid frustration.
I will always remember the UAE's friends and partners who are supporting us during this difficult time by providing us with all forms of vital support resulting from many years of investment in knowledge and development, as well as in human resources who have made individual and collective sacrifices. We aim to reinforce our future relations with these partners, to achieve mutual development and establish solid ties.
In addition to this, we will not prioritise our relationship with countries at the expense of science, as science has no limits and we must realise this fact and always act accordingly, in our quest to find solutions to various challenges. We will not hesitate to confront beliefs based on the dogmatic or ideological assumptions of some, who, without knowing what they are doing, are perpetuating ignorance and deepening problems.
We have learnt that our cooperation with global partners must be based on vital areas, such as health, food security, and Artificial Intelligence. Therefore, our diplomats must work with people of science and wisdom, whether they are doctors, scientists, engineers or technicians. They will also be required to cooperate with them and speak to them in their languages, which will benefit many sectors, such as our education sector,
I am looking forward to the day when Emirati research, technology, and products will play a larger role in defending our country. This will only happen if we invest in advancing and supporting science and scientists in our country. And because we are the sons of Sheikh Zayed, our role must not be limited to providing healthcare aid to needy countries, but we must also protect the future of the world and offer healthcare solutions to the whole of humanity.
For this purpose, my team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which I am very proud of, is ready to be part of the significant efforts to explore new opportunities to achieve our country's scientific goals, whose foundations were established by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Our people will undoubtedly be the decisive component in these efforts, and when I say our people, I mean what His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, referred to when he said that the UAE's people include citizens and residents.
This crisis will pass like other crises throughout history when humanity prevailed. However, the world will not be the same, there will be significant changes, but it now knows that we can progress with science, qualified and trained human resources, and good leadership.

(Sheikh Abdullah is the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. This is an extract from his statement on the UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs & The Future website. Courtesy - The Khaleej Times)

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