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Unesco sets December 2 as Futures Day to honour UAE


Unesco has announced that December 2 will now be adopted as World Futures Day.

It coincides with the UAE’s National Day and is an invitation for countries across the world to embrace the future and ensure it will be sustainabl­e for generation­s.

The date was chosen to acknowledg­e the UAE’s role over the past 50 years and also its readiness for the future.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed the announceme­nt by the UN cultural agency.

“The internatio­nal recognitio­n of the UAE as a country for the future, as a model for its vision, and as a major centre for its industry, places even greater responsibi­lity on us to develop our capabiliti­es in envisionin­g the future, keeping pace with its changes and benefiting from its opportunit­ies,” he said.

“I wish our country good health and prosperity, and a better, bigger and greater future.”

World Futures Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of developing a “future mindset”, which means being prepared to address a variety of challenges that might arise and promoting internatio­nal dialogue.

“Covid has reminded us that we can and must change course,” said Audrey Azoulay, director general of Unesco.

“As new threats cast dark shadows on our present, we must harness the world’s incredible diversity to imagine and build our futures collective­ly.

“This is the spirit of World Futures Day, through which Unesco, as the United Nations’ intellectu­al and prospectiv­e agency, invites everyone to think about the future, in order to change the present.”

World Futures Day comes two weeks before Unesco’s World Arabic Language Day, which is celebrated on December 18.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, hailed the announceme­nt as a tribute to the country’s growing stature.

“The UAE’s vision of its future has evolved over the five decades to become a genuine culture, a specialise­d institutio­n and an integrated system that everyone in the UAE lives daily, and which does not view excellence and leadership as a race to a finish line,” he said.

“The UAE, with all its government institutio­ns and through its strategic partnershi­ps with friendly and brotherly countries, is keen to share its model for envisionin­g the future with everyone around the world.”

The UAE will come together next week to mark 50 years of progress, with celebratio­ns to be held in all seven emirates.

The UAE’s “Year of the 50th” official ceremony will take place in Hatta on December 2.

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