Expo 2020 will tell the nation’s story of being a happy home for over 200 nationalities
Performers during the Egyptian National Day Parade at Expo 2020 Dubai. – Photo provided
The UAE is the world’s capital of tolerance – and Expo 2020 shares its unique history with the world as a country where more than 200 nationalities live in peace, a senior official said in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times.
As the world marks the International Day for Tolerance today, Expo 2020 joins the celebrations by showing the universal power to work together for the benefit of humanity, said Maha Al Gargawi, senior vice president of business policies at the Expo.
“Devoting one of our thematic weeks to promoting a better common understanding and active participation among nations, businesses and our visitors was a natural fit,” Gargawi said.
The Tolerance and Inclusion Week, which takes place November 14-18 as part of the People and Planet program, will host a series of events aimed at promoting equality, religious tolerance and multiculturalism.
One of the key events is the launch of the Global Tolerance Alliance. Led by the UAE Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, the alliance intends to build a community of nations dedicated to the common goals of tolerance, pluralism and mutually beneficial coexistence.
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“Tolerance is deeply rooted in the fabric of culture, heritage and traditions of the United Arab Emirates, since its founding in 1971. Following the visionary leadership of its founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates are dedicated to strengthening the principles of tolerance, coexistence, brotherhood, hope and common action in the country, region and around the world, ”Gargawi said.
The President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, proclaimed 2019 “Year of Tolerance”, highlighting the country as the world capital of peaceful coexistence.
“It is a vision and a mission that the UAE continues to nurture and encourage,” she said.
Speaking of the word, the UAE has become the first country in the world to introduce a ministry dedicated to promoting tolerance as a national policy.
The post of Minister of State for Tolerance was introduced in 2016, reinforcing the UAE’s commitment to eradicate ideological, cultural and religious bigotry in society. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi was the first Minister of State for Tolerance. During the 2017 cabinet reshuffle, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan was appointed Minister of Tolerance.
Over the past two years, the UAE has hosted Pope Francis from the Catholic Church for the first-ever papal visit to the country; signed the “Document of Human Fraternity; started building the Abrahamic Family House interfaith complex; and signed the Abram Accords, which normalized diplomatic relations with Israel.
As of June 2021, the UAE was among the top 20 countries in the world in eight competitiveness indices related to tolerance and coexistence, according to data released by IMD Business School, Legatum Institute and Insead.
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Maha Al Gargawi said Expo 2020 is an example of inclusiveness in action, reflecting and strengthening the UAE’s commitment to peace, harmony, respect and acceptance of others.
“It is dedicated to bringing people, communities and nations together to build bridges, inspire action and provide concrete solutions to real-life challenges,” she said.
“Intended to be one of the most inclusive world exhibitions in history, Expo 2020 invited everyone to participate in these conversations. “