DUBAI, 14th December 2016 (WAM) – The UAE is making history with the launch of new ministries as part of its recent cabinet reshuffle, which include ministries for tolerance, happiness and youth, said Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi.

The new ministries reflect the leadership’s vision to promote tolerance and cultural diversity in the country, and its commitment to support youth and enhance the happiness of all residents in the UAE, she said.

Sheikha Lubna made these remarks at a session on tolerance held on the sidelines of the second Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) held from 13-14 December at the Dubai World Trade Center under the patronage of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The session was attended by Chairperson of the Organising Committee of the Arab Social Media Influencers Summit (ASMIS) Mona Ghanem Al Marri, apart from a number of leading Arab intellectuals and social media influencers.

Sheikha Lubna said that tolerance is one of the key pillars on which the UAE has been established, as envisioned by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. In line with this vision, UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum have continued to develop a harmonious society that is based on mutual acceptance and respect. This has made the UAE a preferred destination for Arab nationals to work and live in.

She also noted that bigotry and hate have increased in the world, as evidenced by the rising number of hate crimes. Institutions dedicated to tolerance need to be developed so that the values of tolerance, peace and coexistence can be deeply instilled among the people, she said.

The launch of a ministry dedicated to tolerance reflects the UAE leadership’s determination to promote the true image of Islam not only in the UAE, where over 200 nationalities live in harmony, but also worldwide. She also said that the Ministry she oversees is unique as it offers no tangible services but is focused on promoting human values.

She said that the UAE Charter of Tolerance, Coexistence and Peace will coordinate and energise efforts to achieve the vision behind this objective that was initiated by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Sheikha Lubna, the world’s first Minister for Tolerance, said family is the cornerstone for tolerance, and stressed the importance of instilling tolerance among the youth. She further said that the social media is a key partner in promoting coexistence and spreading tolerance among people of different cultures and backgrounds, especially at a time when incidences of terrorism, bigotry and racism are rising in the world.

Positive thinking is key to combating destructive elements and eradicating bigotry, racism, extremism and terrorism, she said. The Minister of State for Tolerance also highlighted the vital role media plays in promoting the true image and essence of Islam.

She said that the hashtag launched by Sheikh Mohammed on the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November generated more than 472 million Twitter impressions over three weeks.

The Minister further said that organisations will be encouraged to promote tolerance through a Tolerance Responsibility Programme for Organisations, which the Cabinet described as the first of its kind worldwide.

Sheikha Lubna expressed the opinion that tolerance ministries are a key requirement for countries across the world.