Your Excellency Klaus Topfer Assistant UN Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
First of all, I have the pleasure to welcome you to Dubai, UAE.
The two seminars on lessons learned from best practices and on this year’s World Habitat Day theme of “Safer Cities” are extremely important in the context of the global collaboration and effort in improving the living environment and the quality of life for humanity as a whole.
We trust that the seminar on best practices will highlight not only the tangible benefits already achieved from applying the best practices in their respective countries but also the practical potential for their replication/dissemination in other areas, regions and countries.
This seminar is also important as it provides a clear example of how various countries in the world can benefit from each others’ experiences by sharing their successes instead of wasting scares resources in “reinventing the wheel”.
The first meeting of the Dubai International Award Laureates Forum, scheduled to meet the day after tomorrow, will, hopefully, consider practical mechanisms for ensuring a systematic and sustained transfer of expertise in order to achieve the final objective of the best practices concept, namely, the actual improvement of people’s living conditions.
The seminar on “Safer Cities” is extremely important and particularly relevant to present day societies in urban as well as rural areas due to our vulnerability to increasingly dangerous threats from environmental pollution, international crime such as drug trafficking and illegal trade in arms, substandard consumable items, etc.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to focus attention on the formulation of appropriate national and international policy as well as the application of collaborative and practical mechanisms for enhancing safety in cities for the benefit of all members of society.
Thanks to the wise and dedicated leadership of H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan The President of UAE and his brother H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al
Maktoum Vice President of UAE prime minister and Ruler of Dubai and their Brothers The Supreme Committee Members Rulers of the Emirates, and their consciousness of the civic safety needs of our population.
The greatest efforts were dedicated to this purpose, which made us enjoy, in the UAE, a relatively high level of safety measured by the low incidence of crime rates, and high standards of environmental protection and safety. Nevertheless, we believe that we should remain vigilant in sustaining the harmony and quality of life that we are currently enjoying.
In this regard, it is fitting to acknowledge, with appreciation, the fact that numerous organizations contribute of safety in Dubai including federal ministries, local agencies such as the Dubai Police and Dubai Municipality as well as private sector organizations and, above all, members of the public.
We hope that the presentation by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police will give some idea of our efforts and achievements in the field of urban safety.