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Federal National Council: Infinite Voyages

Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

Most recently, the Federal National Council (FNC), the legislative body of the UAE has celebrated its 38th anniversary of its establishment. The FNC stands for strong political commitment and dedication. It is icon of service, sensibility and sincerity. History shows that it succeeded to guarantee human rights of its citizen and protected the basic rights of minorities in the UAE. It is the matter of climate change or food security, labour law or women empowerment, alternative energy requirements or diversification of economy, education or health and the last not the least UAE’s sovereignty or its regional engagements/international participation, the FNC always stands first and protect the best interest of its country and people alike.

Historic Perspectives

The FNC was ideal combination of directly elected members and nomination but one thing is crystal clear that all work for the socio-economic prosperity of their people. By judging their contributions on all important national, regional and international issues we can easily understand that conspiratorial politics has no place in the UAE. They have firm belief in participation, progression, persuasion. It had its first session on February 12 that year.

Historic Statement of Late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

He while addressing to its opening session outlined its role, objectives and tasks. He narrated social welfare, social justice, socio-economic development, protection of human dignity and prosperity were the few major tasks for the FNC in its initial period. In this regard the directives of the President HH. Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan played very important role in the overall performance, efficacy and productivity of the FNC. HH.Shaikh Khalifa described in his speech to the FNC on the occasion of the first ordinary session of the 14th Legislative Chapter of the council, 2007 as “historic, and an important juncture in the nation’s history”.

FNC Composition

It comprises 40 members, with eight members for both Abu Dhabi and Dubai emirates, six members for Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah emirates and four members each for Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Half of the members are elected, while the other half is appointed as per the decree from the President. The term of membership is four years with effect from the first session.

Statistical Data

Till January 19, 2010 when it held the seventh meeting of the fourth ordinary session of the 14th Legislative Chapter.

Different Meaningful Activities Total Numbers
Total session 457
Discussed drafts 495
Public issues 256
Recommendations 205
Question raised 367

The above table clearly shows the high levels of commitment, purposeful discussion, productive outcome and overall positivity during the session since its inception.

To share the FNC diversified but integrated efforts information with the people of the UAE and the world at large, HH. Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated FNC website on October 21, 2009. The website provides latest news, reports and information related to the council, its meetings, meetings of committees and activities related to the President and members of the council and the secretariat.

Statement of Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ghurair, FNC Speaker

In a speech to mark the 38th anniversary, said the council since its establishment has had full support, follow-up and patronage of the UAE leadership, headed by Shaikh Khalifa, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates. He also mentioned that the UAE leadership reaffirmed its continued support to the council, which ended with the adoption by the Supreme Council of the Federation of the Constitutional Amendment No. 1 of 2009 to strengthen the council’s role and expand its authorities in the context of the political programme of the UAE President.

He stressed the basic purpose of the council is to discuss and adopt anything that might provide a better life for UAE citizens and to participate in the discussion and approve legislation and laws that promote UAE infrastructure. He also commended the performance of FNC members and hailed the women participation, emphasising that they receive all the appreciation and respect.

He spoke highly about the FNC’s constitutional legislative and regulatory duties supported by the visionary leadership enabling it to play its role on national and international arena. He proudly shared that media played very healthy and contributory role in further strengthening of FNC’s role in the country.

It seems that the FNC requires focusing on the different emerging issues in the socio-economic sphere of the UAE not confined only to women empowerment, climate change, alternative energy, resettlement, national identity of the community, demographics, employment, technological literacy, and health and social services. It seems that the visionary leadership of the UAE keenness to support the FNC for its important role as a legislative authority playing its role in the service of national objectives.

FNC and Women Empowerment

The President Decree No. 6 on February 4, 2007 enabled women to actively participate in the socio-economic and political fields. Afterwards, the FNC witnessed the participation of women for the first time with the election of eight women, constituting 22.2 per cent of the total FNC seats, reinforcing democratic principles. Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the UAE General Women’s Union and President of Family Development Foundation remained inspirational icon for the Emirati woman. They are playing vital role in the FNC through full participation in all discussions of the council. They hold important portfolios in the FNC.

Concluding Remarks

The government and people of Pakistan wish that the FNC may make immense progress in all its associated fields. Moreover, the FNC may play important role in the ongoing socio-economic progression, strengthening political stability & sustainability and above all establishing of interfaith harmony, tolerance and women empowerment in the days to come. Last but not the least the FNC under the immaculate conceptions leadership of the UAE may be strong, prosper, and dignified on its infinite voyages in all times to come.

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