His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), received the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 from the Fondazione Mediterraneo at a ceremony held in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall at the ECSSR Office Complex in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, 27 April 2014. Esteemed members of the scientific, cultural, political and diplomatic communities as well as Fondazione Mediterraneo senior officials attended the ceremony. The award was conferred on H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi in recognition of his efforts and contributions toward bringing nations closer and promoting the concept of cultural diplomacy based on knowledge and thought.
The award, which consists of a work of art, Totem of Peace, by Italian sculptor Mario Molinari, was presented to H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi by the son of the sculptor in the presence of Prof. Michele Capasso, President of the Fondazione Mediterraneo. The Mediterranean Award is conferred on distinguished personalities around the world as recognition of their endeavours for dialog and cooperation.
H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi delivered the following welcoming remarks on the occasion: Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to start by welcoming you all to the United Arab Emirates and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR). At this Center, with the immense support of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), who believes in the role of knowledge in achieving progress and development, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the ECSSR, we strive diligently and tirelessly to realize our mission of enabling informed strategies and decision making processes in our country similar to those in advanced nations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Fondazione Mediterraneo and its President, Professor Michele Capasso, as well as its members, for conferring on me the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014. In my capacity as Director General of the ECSSR, I would like to praise the Fondazione Mediterraneo for the distinguished and effective role it has been playing since it was established in Italy in 1991 in promoting peace, dialog and cooperation between nations. I also commend its efforts in recognizing distinguished personalities, leaders, thinkers and researchers who have largely contributed to promoting the culture of peace and encouraging cultural dialog through its awards such as ‘The Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy’, ‘The Mediterranean Award for Institutions’, ‘The Mediterranean Award for Civil Society’, and ‘The Mediterranean Award for Culture’.
On this occasion, I also thank the esteemed members of the scientific and cultural community for attending this ceremony and sharing with me the presentation of one of the most important awards in the Euro-Mediterranean region, which has been conferred on distinguished personalities and heads of states all over the world for their contributions to promoting peace and encouraging dialog between civilizations.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The culture of recognizing and rewarding the efforts of others is an important human value and an aspect of civilization. It also has its roots in our local culture and Islamic faith, which encourage us to reward honest and hard workers. Such recognition strengthens the social structure, enhances self-motivation, and leads to achieving social development.
The culture of recognition is an important aspect of performance evaluation in the UAE. Appreciation and gratitude have been a strong foundation of the UAE’s federal structure since the days of Founder of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul). This approach has been furthered by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him), and is followed under the directives and supervision of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the ECSSR.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Receiving the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 is a matter of pride for me. This motivates me to make greater efforts, and pushes me toward more achievements. It makes me feel confident that I am on the right track. This recognition, while an honour for me, lays more responsibility on me to continue the efforts for which I was being given the award, namely contributing to closer ties between nations through knowledge-based parallel diplomacy, organizing international forums and various cultural events, and enhancing the culture of scientific research of which the ECSSR has been a key platform in the UAE and the Arab region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Finally, I would like to again thank you all for coming and sharing with me this important moment in my academic and professional career. My special thanks go to Dr. Abdel Haq Azzouzi, the academic researcher from the Kingdom of Morocco, who has founded several think tanks and strategic studies centres, and to Dr. Houria Benjelloun. I wish you all the best.
On the occasion, Prof. Michele Capasso, President of the Fondazione Mediterraneo, remarked that conferring the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 on H.E. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi reflects recognition of the role of the UAE in promoting global peace and encouraging dialog between cultures and civilizations. He pointed out that the UAE has become a key player in ensuring global peace through its policies, which stress the importance of giving, co-existence, and sharing with others.
Prof. Capasso said he was proud that the Fondazione Mediterraneo has conferred the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 on H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi, who is a source of pride not only for the UAE but also for GCC and Arab countries, and the whole world. This is because he is one of the most influential thinkers globally of the 21st century and his intellectual and scientific contributions have received great regional and international attention. His work has provided a vision for promoting dialog between civilizations and highlighted cultural diversity and co-existence among different people. All these efforts constitute the concept of parallel diplomacy based on knowledge, thought and culture.
Prof. Capasso said that he considers H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi an intellectual pioneer in the region and the world and a source of cultural and strategic inspiration, which is needed in the world today. This is because such thinkers and intellectuals lay the foundations of global peace and co-existence. Through his intellectual contributions, H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi has played an effective role and showed how culture and thought can bring people together. This is why he has become a symbol of peace and dialog across the world. Prof. Capasso said that the Fondazione Mediterraneo determined that H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi deserves to be awarded the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014, which is conferred on prominent personalities and leaders who have contributed to promoting the culture of peace and encouraged dialog between civilizations.
In his remarks made during the ceremony, Moroccan academic and researcher Dr. Abdel-Haq Azzouzi said that the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 recognizes the efforts of people who have contributed to bridging the gap between different civilizations and cultures and realizing peace and security in the world. He praised the Fondazione Mediterraneo and its President Prof. Michele Capasso for taking initiatives that enhance cultural dialog for the sake of progress and prosperity around the world.
Dr. Azzouzi pointed out that the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy is conferred on scholars and intellectuals who contribute, through their own thinking and the institutions they oversee, toward building a parallel diplomacy based on culture, thought, conferences and symposia. He said that H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi is a pioneer in the field of parallel diplomacy and is a source of pride for the UAE, GCC and Arab countries, and the whole world, because he fights for his principles. These principles are a continuation of the principles upon which the UAE was built by late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and which form the basis of the country’s strategy of comprehensive development in all fields.
Dr. Azzouzi said that H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi is following the path laid down by the founder of the UAE, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This path has two elements – trust and hope. Trust between the leadership and the people, and among institutions, is the source of strength and cohesion for any country. Hope creates innovation, development and looks forward to the future. He concluded that H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Suwaidi’s unanimous selection for the Mediterranean Award for Diplomacy 2014 by all members of the panel, representing 43 countries, reflects both trust and hope for a better future.