The National Election Committee (NEC) convened the eighth Political Awareness Forum for University Students in collaboration with the Ministry of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU. The event aimed to encourage youth participation in the upcoming fourth cycle of the FNC elections.
Speaking at the gathering, His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs and Chairman of the Election Management Committee, said: “Youth is the future of the nation, and a politically engaged young generation plays a key role in the achievements of any country. The Political Awareness Forum motivates young people, who represent more than 60 percent of voters in the UAE, to actively participate in, and contribute to the success of the FNC elections.”
Stressing NEC’s keenness to follow the highest standards of transparency in the upcoming elections, he noted that educating all members of the electoral college about the electoral process helps increase voter turnout.
Emphasizing the importance of the forum in building political awareness among youth, His Excellency Professor Mohamed Albaili, Vice Chancellor of UAEU, said: “In line with the national agenda of the UAE, the event offers an ideal platform to engage with the youth and instill a culture of political participation among university students who are the leaders of tomorrow.”
The forum included two sessions. In the first, moderated by Dr Mohamed Bin Huwaidin, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at UAEU, His Excellency Tariq Hilal Lootah highlighted the management aspect of the elections. Meanwhile, Dr Suaad Al Oraimi, Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at UAEU, elaborated on the role of students in the electoral process.
Dr Abdullah Sulaiman, Director of the Department of Political Development at the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs, moderated the second session that saw His Excellency Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary for FNC Affairs at the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs, share key insights on Tamkeen, the political empowerment program launched by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2005.
In addition, Ahlam Saeed Al Lamki, Head of Research and Development at the General Women’s Union, highlighted aspects of the 50:50 election campaign of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.