World Tolerance Summit in Dubai
Promoting peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, and friendly relations
Dubai: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Institute for Tolerance (IIT), officially opened the second day of the second World Tolerance Summit, held this year under the theme Tolerance in Multiculturalism: Achieving the Social, Economic and Humane Benefits of a Tolerant World. Over 3,000 participants from over 100 countries and 70 speakers from around the world took part in the summit, organized by the IIT. The event featured a set of interactive sessions and workshops, focused on four themes: economic, social, cultural and media tolerance. It aims to promote peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, acceptance of others and to achieve friendly ties between people, regardless of their faiths, beliefs, cultures and languages.
The special ceremony opened with the launch of a video titled ‘Humanity and Access to a Tolerant World’, which underlined the instrumental role of tolerance in promoting world peace and security. In his address to attendees, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said that the summit, graced by the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai, serves as a global platform for dialogue and joint action to achieve wellbeing for all. He said: “The summit complements the UAE’s efforts to serve society and human beings in the region and the world.”
The event included dialogue sessions, workshops and a specialized digital library with more than 80 specialized publications and researches. It featured 36 student projects from 16 local and international universities, and an exhibition that saw participation from over 35 local and international government entities, showcasing their practices and programs to spread the values of tolerance, justice and equality.
The World Tolerance Summit heard from speakers how the leaders of Gulf countries like Bahrain and the UAE have been upholding the values of tolerance and coexistence. Two speakers from these countries talked about this at a session on “Instilling Communal Peace and Harmony Within Societies.”
Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Duaij Al Khalifa, chairman of the board of trustees, King Hamad Global Centre for Peaceful Coexistence in Bahrain said countries cannot develop without promoting tolerance. “There are countries where leaders don’t believe in development but look for inciting differences and this would make such countries go into internal conflicts including civil war and this would hinder development and peaceful coexistence because development and tolerance are very related.” “We should be optimistic here for the simple reason that we are having great political leaders in Bahrain and the Gulf countries who strongly believe in coexistence and tolerance and they have proved this strongly in the recent years.” He cited the existence of a century-old Hindu temple and the establishment of the first church in 1898 in Bahrain as examples of the existence of tolerance in his country for centuries. “We have a long history of tolerance…and it was not the result of international or external pressures.”
Al Khalifa said the UAE leaders are continuing the journey of tolerance upheld by founding father Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. “In both the countries, we know human rights and we believe in the importance of tolerance freedom,” he stated.
Brigadier General Dr. Salah Obaid Mohammad Al Ghoul Al Salam, director general of community protection and crime prevention at the UAE Ministry of Interior echoed similar opinions. He said he was asked if tolerance is a luxury in the UAE. “It is not. We have clear strategies and performance indicators to evaluate tolerance because security is based on the tolerance in the community.” He said the coexistence of more than 200 nationalities in the UAE is seen as an opportunity to promote tolerance. “Every nationality, sect and religion has their positive and negative traditions. We learn from all the positive aspects and gain knowledge that promote security.”