Dubai, UAE, November 14, 2018: World Tolerance Summit 2018 formally opened today with an impressive turnout of local and international delegations at Armani Hotel in Dubai. The summit was formally opened by His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and the Chairman of the Higher Committee of the International Institute for Tolerance. The two-day summit is an initiative of IIT, which is a part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. Several government officials were also in attendance in support of UAE’s first-ever summit on tolerance which is in conjunction with UNESCO’s International Day of Tolerance.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, graced the day of the summit, which is being held under his patronage. With his vision and that of the founding father of UAE, His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the concept of WTS 2018 has been created.
In his opening speech, the minister reaffirmed the commitment of IIT to foster global understanding and cooperation to create a tolerant, peaceful world. He further stated that UAE leaders have always been wise and sincere, forming his strong conviction that the people of the world can unite to completely break the barrier of cultural, political, and religious differences and build a bridge for better understanding, cooperation, and mutual respect.
Addressing the international delegations and participants, Minister Nahyan said, “I call on you, ladies and gentlemen, to work together to help promote the positive participation of all regions in the world in the progress of humanity. I call on you to work together to eradicate misunderstandings about different religions and cultures. I call on you in this summit to help make tolerance an area of entrepreneurship, innovation and initiative and a cause for joint action and effective participation of all for the benefit and prosperity of all. I call on you to agree with us that pluralism within diverse human societies must become a positive and creative force for development and stability in those societies around the world.”
In the interest of promoting the practice of tolerance on a global level, WTS 2018 is forging an alliance with international organizations. Day one of the summit included signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence, Bahrain Foundation for Dialogue, The King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue, Geneva Center for Human Rights and Global Dialogue, United Religions Initiative, Universal Peace Foundation, Emirates Human Rights Association, Higher Colleges of Technology, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. WTS was represented by its Chairman of the Higher Committee and the Managing Director of IIT, Dr. Hamad Al Shaikh Ahmad Al Shaibani.
Sharing his thoughts on the importance of inculcating the values of tolerance among the youth, Dr Hamad said, “This is the idea we want to share with today’s youth. The past had deprived the younger generation of better opportunities and a happier world. Now looking forward to the future, we are focusing on achieving happiness by embracing and practicing tolerance now.”
UAE has been blessed with an innovative stance and has taken useful initiatives to contribute to its phenomenal growth. The Minister of Tolerance, addressing H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in his speech, said, “The United Arab Emirates, thanks to your enlightened vision and that of our other exulted national leaders, is a country known for its temperament, moderation, and sound ideas and behaviour. It is a country that is intelligently open to the entire world and enjoys good relations with all other countries of the world. The UAE is now a global beacon for civilized behaviour and a place for interaction and cooperation among world cultures. The UAE is a wonderful model in the service of humanity.”
The UAE has succeeded not only in achieving monumental economic growth but in ensuring the happiness and quality of life of its people and of more than 200 nationalities residing and working in UAE. Mr. Khalifa Mohammed Al Suwaidi, General Coordinator of WTS 2018, once said, “We astonished the world when we established the Ministry of Happiness, Tolerance, and the Future. Now two years after, we are making a good headway toward a more peaceful society, tolerant of cultural, political, and religious differences.”
Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, Head of WTS Organizing Committee, said, “Through World Tolerance Summit 2018, the UAE, a nation of peace and home to a diverse population, is now at the forefront leading the global efforts to promote tolerance and providing inspiration to our neighbouring countries. We are proud to be a part of this symbolic event, and we thank the overwhelming support from the international organizations and governments to the first-ever World Tolerance Summit.”
The first edition of World Tolerance Summit carries the theme, “Prospering from Pluralism: Embracing Diversity Through Innovation and Collaboration.”