ABU DHABI, The Electoral Culture Virtual Majlis initiative launched by the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs (MFNCA) to spread awareness and promote a culture of political participation in the community, hosted an interactive webinar titled “UAE Soft Power – an Example to Be Emulated”.
The session featured Dr. Ahmed Al Mansouri, Expert in International Law and International Relations, who underlined the UAE’s status as a global leader on soft power indicators, as well as its place as a capital for tolerance and its influence both in the region and the world.
Dr. Al Mansoori outlined the types of power that countries use in international relations, namely military power, economic power such as imposing financial sanctions or allocating financial grants, and soft power, which refers to a country’s ability to persuade people without needing to resort to other types of force.
The speaker went on to note that the UAE is among the first countries in the world to develop a strategy for soft power, which calls for instituting a comprehensive government system to develop sustainable programmes and policies with a regional and global scope. These initiatives would take economic, cultural, technological, humanitarian, and societal components into account.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the formation of the UAE Soft Power Council in 2017, in a bid to enhance the country’s regional and global reputation and promote amicable relations and respect for the UAE among people around the world. The Council specialises in drawing up general policies and the UAE’s soft power strategy,” he said.
Since its establishment 50 years ago, the UAE has been one of the most open and tolerant countries in the world, welcoming diverse cultures, he explained. This, in turn, has allowed the Emirates to be an inspiration and a role model in using diplomacy to achieve global leadership, building strong international relations to expand its soft power.
“The UAE has developed a calculated plan with largescale projects to build its soft power. It relies on expanding the global influence of political leaders, which the UAE has always been successful in achieving, going back to the era of its Founding Father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and to our wise and inspiring leaders today, who have made a positive impact on people all around the world,” Dr. Al Mansoori noted.
“Another important component in building soft power lies in the UAE’s outstanding treatment of its residents, who go on to relay positive opinions and anecdotes about the Emirates and the support it provides for all residents on its land, which, most recently, helped ensure their health and safety, as well as their wellbeing and high living standards. The UAE considers residents to be an integral part of Emirati society, which includes more than 200 nationalities,” he added.
Dr. Al Mansoori pointed to the important role that local media, national heritage, and UAE-based foreign universities play in expanding soft power, which has enabled the UAE to rank 18th in the world and first in the Middle East in terms of soft power, according to the latest Brand Finance report, issued in February 2021.
The MFNCA will continue to organise its series of lectures to raise awareness about parliamentary practices in the UAE and promote a culture of political participation among all members of the community. Dates, venues, and speakers for upcoming events will be announced through the ministry’s official social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter.
Source: Emirates News Agency