ABU DHABI -- The activities of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Conference began today at the headquarters of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

It witnessed the participation of some 600 persons working with disabled athletes.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, launched the activities of the international conference. He gave a speech welcoming Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE National Paralympics Committee and member of the IPC Executive Office, and the participating delegations.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak stressed that the UAE was the best place to host the IPC General Assembly and Conference. He highlighted that the UAE continued to provide great care and multiple opportunities for its citizens and residents with special needs, while always referring to them as "people of determination."

"You are discussing topics related to the sporting activities of people of determination all over the world ," he noted.

He expressed great pride and honour in working side by side with the IPC to attain its goals of facilitating the means for disabled athletes to achieve athletic excellence and sharpen their determination on the international stage.

He stated that in these times of economic and political instability, the IPC appears as a beacon of hope, optimism and humanitarianism, and observed that holding the meetings of the IPC in Abu Dhabi was a majestic reminder of the role played by sports in promoting peace and international understanding.

He thanked the president, Craven, whose presidency over the IPC has come to an end.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak praised Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and the "Mother of the UAE," for their roles in establishing that women have equal rights as men in the UAE, and that they have the right to develop and expend their energies.

He emphasised that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan also continued on the same course, whose foundation was set by the founding leaders of the UAE.

He praised the accomplishments of the people of determination in the UAE at international events. He pointed out that champion Sara Al Sanani had become the first UAE woman to win a Paralympic medal in the Rio De Janeiro Paralympics 2016, and Noura Al Ketbi followed her by achieving the second medal by a woman for the UAE in the same event.

Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Chairman of the UAE National Paralympics Committee and member of the IPC Executive Office, and the UAE's representative in the newly elected session, stressed that the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces would sponsor the people of determination and develop their abilities and skills.

Source: Emirates News Agency