Abu Dhabi, 11th October, 2023 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, visited the exhibition of the International Council on Archives (ICA) Congress – Abu Dhabi 2023, which is taking place in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) until 13th October 2023.
Sheikh Nahyan stressed the importance of the role of archiving and documentation in upholding the values of tolerance and coexistence and consolidating them as a culture. This came during Sheikh Nahyan’s participation as a keynote speaker in the “Peace and Tolerance” session during the Congress of the International Council on Archives – Abu Dhabi 2023.
Sheikh Nahyan said: “Here in the United Arab Emirates, we are working diligently to keep up with the rapid developments in data and archives, and, more importantly, to innovate and lead in their use for the benefit of our knowledge society. Under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we are strongly committed to the pursuit of knowledge and to building a knowledge-based society. His Highness the President tells us that we can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know and study the path which has led to the present. We are convinced that the more we know about our society, the better we will be informed to create policies, institute programs that will enrich the well-being of our population and appreciate our place in the world.”
During the session, which was attended by Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, former Chairman of the National Council, Hamad bin Abdul Rahman Al Midfa, Chairman of National Library and Archives, a number delegations heads and participants, he stressed the importance of cooperation and concerted efforts to promote peace and tolerance as two main pillars for the development of societies and the prosperity of all humanity. Two factors are essential in preserving information and facilitating access to it. He explained that the country’s hosting of this global event reflects its pivotal role in establishing peace and consolidating bridges of cooperation regionally and globally, stressing the importance of the Congress and its accompanying events in enriching societies’ knowledge and anticipating the features of a better future.
He also added: “I am impressed by the premise of this congress that the success of human societies has become dependent upon their ability to harness knowledge and that archives and other sources of knowledge are essential for human progress.”
‘’By holding this congress, you send the world, several significant messages: First, archives represent an important component of the infrastructure for knowledge and innovation in our societies. It is our duty to be aware of all available records and documents and to heighten society’s appreciation of the existence and value of this important national resource.
Second, we need to be active in the collection and analysis of these records and data sources, in the establishment of libraries and documentation centres, in the sharing of materials and resources, in the organization of meetings and conferences, and in carrying out relevant research and scholarship.
Third, is the need for each country to pay close attention both to its national policy for using and sharing in the benefits of knowledge and information and to its willingness to form local and global partnerships focusing on these issues.
“I agree with you that we should seize the opportunity to make sure the field of archives and data is, as it should be, a model of creativity, innovation, high ethical standards, and international cooperation. Because countries with more resources will benefit more from access to and use of these data systems, we must develop ways of sharing their power with other countries to reduce inequalities and divides.” His Excellency also added.
Sheikh Nahyan urged to consider the role of archives in building local and global partnerships based on peace and tolerance in pursuit of human progress and prosperity. He said: “Our experience in the UAE has shown that knowledge helps us to know one another, to bring down the walls of misunderstanding and to revive the tradition of tolerance and peaceful exchange among peoples and cultures. Knowledge leads to respect for differences and celebrates the principles and values that unite us. We, in the UAE, strongly believe that knowledge is an effective force for healing, understanding, progress, and stability in our world.”
In his speech, he also said: “The focus on the efficient use of data and archives helps to make us hopeful for a new era of tolerance and peace in our world. For this new era of peace and tolerance to take root, we must unleash the power of knowledge as an effective tool for building positive relationships, dispelling stereotypical attitudes, and nurturing new ways of thinking.”