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Mon, 20 Jan 2020 23:59 GMT

2019 World Tolerance Summit Kicks Off in UAE


Sally ElShorbagy

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:10 GMT

The annual World Tolerance Summit (WTS) is a two-day conference that aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a model of co-existence and cultural tolerance around the world. The conference is an initiative of the International Institute for Tolerance, a part of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum ‘Global Initiatives’, in conjunction with the 2019 Year of Tolerance. The 2018 conference saw the attendance of over 1,800 people from 105 countries.

The 2019 World Tolerance Summit is honoured by the gracious patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 

Under the theme of “Tolerance in Multiculturalism: Achieving the Social, Economic and Humane Benefits of a Tolerant World”, the summit will take place from November 13th-14th at Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Centre in Dubai. 

This year’s summit will be a prominent forum for sincere and positive dialogue toward achieving peace and tolerance in the world, and to empower all regions and populations to participate effectively in this most noble of human quests.

The summit is a strong embodiment of the enlightened vision of the UAE that emphasises the value of tolerance and coexistence as essential tools for achieving valuable cooperation among peoples and nations of the world.

These values of tolerance were inscribed in the UAE by the founding fathers under the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as he was totally committed to the values of tolerance, coexistence and peace and was extremely proud of the Arabic-Islamic heritage.

“We in the UAE aim to create a model for tolerance and positive coexistence and be a catalyst for building greater understanding between cultures. We will continue to contribute towards promoting global dialogue and goodwill between people of different nations, cultures and backgrounds,” Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum remarked.

Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Chairman and Board of Trustees, remarked, “I look forward to seeing you at the World Tolerance Summit 2019 where I anticipate we will see important outcomes to advance peace, prosperity and the human fraternity, worldwide!”

In addition, the event aims to establish global bridges of humanity, culture and unity with the participation of more than 2,000 professionals, experts, academics, social activists and envoys from the international diplomatic community.

Dr Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmad Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance and the Chairman of the Higher Committee for World Tolerance Summit, stated, “While many countries of the world have lived away from the concept of tolerance, and private interests prevail over humanitarian issues, the UAE has come a long way in the field of tolerance.”

“The Summit comes at a time when nations need tolerance in its holistic sense. One that is not limited to individual societies but to the level of nations and peoples,” Al Shaibani added.

Al Shaibani stressed that tolerance, in its many contexts, is embodied in the UAE, where more than 200 different nationalities, religions and cultures live, practising their rituals freely and living without fear for their race or colour.

The Managing Director of the International Institute for Tolerance said that the importance of holding the World Tolerance Summit in Dubai is "the first event of its kind" in the region and the world, with hopes to establish at its next conference an opportunity for specialists, intellectuals, law and decision makers to create a basis for constructive dialogue and understanding among peoples.

Furthermore, the WTS event gathers men, women, and young people of goodwill from various nations across the world. Government leaders, key figures from the private and public sectors, tolerance advocates and ambassadors, change-makers, youth, women and influencers will once again join hands in the spirit of tolerance to discuss how the world can counter racism, xenophobia, extreme forms of nationalism, religious fanaticism and social exclusion and discrimination.

The summit will also provide an ideal platform for universities, schools, institutions and educational centres to present their students' projects, highlight their efforts and perspectives on tolerance, and learn about the roles and efforts of educational institutions in integrating tolerance with their programs. 

The summit programs will provide an ideal opportunity for leaders to engage in an open dialogue and discussion to further enhance cooperation and understanding, and new enriching activities under ‘Tolerance Majlis’ which are interactive dialogues that discuss important topics, most important of which are inspiring and spreading tolerance around the world.

Moreover, the WTS serves as a platform for an art and photography exhibition, featuring works by artists and photographers from around the world to highlight their skills, compete for the best photo and film award, and highlight their work in social media and news agencies.

The 2019 WTS also offers the “Digital Tolerance Library” that allows its users access to a wide range of books on tolerance from all over the world and access to a broad global perspective.

The event will be streamed live on its official YouTube channel for the summit, allowing everyone to interact and participate by sending their questions to speakers and participants.

Middle East