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Under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima .. The Emirati Children’s Parliament held the first session of its first Legislative Chapter today

ABU DHABI, (WAM) 15 March 2021

The Emirati Children’s Parliament held the first session of its first Legislative Chapter today, at the headquarters of the Federal National Council (FNC).

The session was held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), with the attendance of Saqr Ghobash, Speaker of the FNC, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, along with several FNC members, state officials and representatives of international organisations.

The opening sitting was attended by Shakhbout bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of State, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, and Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs, Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Jameela Al Muheiri, Minister of State for Public Education, and a number of FNC members, senior officials and representatives of international organisations.

The parliament’s first session is part of the country’s Emirati Children’s Day celebrations, under the framework of the UAE’s commitment to raising children in the correct manner and preparing them to lead the country’s sustainable development.

In his speech, Ghobash said, "The parliament is a place for future generations to be raised on traditional patriotic values to strengthen their national identity. It is also a platform for promoting the culture of open dialogue, acceptance of different opinions, and the values of tolerance instilled by the country’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose journey was full of unique examples of acceptance of other opinions and fruitful dialogue."

"Your parliament is the outcome of the political empowerment programme launched by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2005, which aims to empower all segments of the community, including children and the youth, enabling them to engage in national action. Furthermore, this parliament is the outcome of the significant efforts of Sheikha Fatima." he added.

"Your parliament is a new addition to your rights, which are well protected in our country and are in line with the highest international standards. Therefore, you have a duty to make this experience succeed for your generation and generations to come, as well as to reinforce and continue our country’s efforts to protect children’s rights, including the FNC’s major role in issuing Federal Law No.3 for 2016, known as Wadeema Law," he further added.

He concluded his speech by saying, "I wish you success in your parliamentary duties. Emirati children are always equipped with knowledge, patriotism and national identity."

In her speech delivered on her behalf by Reem Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, Sheikha Fatima said, "I am delighted to congratulate you on Emirati Children’s Day, which highlights your basic rights, which the UAE have protected through its laws and legislations. I am delighted that this day coincides with the first session of the first legislative chapter of the Emirati Children’s Parliament."

The establishment of the parliament highlights the fact that children are partners in the decision-making process and creating the future, she added while urging children to become influential parliament members and perform their duties in a civilised manner and actively contribute to the country’s development process.

In his speech, Sheikh Nahyan said that the initiative is one of many initiatives supported by the country's leadership that aim to engage all citizens in designing the country’s future and establishing solid foundations for this future, based on mutual respect and commitment to the values and ethics instilled by our ancestors and the late Sheikh Zayed, which Sheikha Fatima is keen to reinforce.

Saeed bin Omar, the oldest child in the parliament, delivered a speech during the session, stating, "Today we begin a new inspiring phase, when we will document the next fifty years while celebrating the country's golden jubilee and cherishing the dreams of children, Sheikh Zayed and future generations who will lead the future of possibilities. By reaching out to Mars, we accomplished one of our goals, and we have what it takes to achieve our objectives."