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DR. CARAGEA ANTON-PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE DELIVERS HIS ADDRESS FOR ZIMBABWE-FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION

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On the occasion of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD CEREMONY for 2014 held in Harare, Zimbabwe, the President of European Council on Tourism and Trade delivered his long awaited speech for Zimbabwe-Favorite Cultural Destination in 2014.

 

  His Excellency, Commander Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of Republic of Zimbabwe

His Excellency, European Academician Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality of Republic of Zimbabwe

Distinguish guests,

To all the people of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE,

 

President Dr.Anton Caragea-web

H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea delivering the speech for Zimbabwe-FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014 

I must say what a privilege is for the all mankind to honor a country that is becoming a FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION.

It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the majestic people of Zimbabwe, a people that with spirit and mettle have united the south of African continent in the peerless civilization of Great Zimbabwe, that had left to the mankind the legacy of an indelible civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historical and world patrimony relevance, a strong and proud people that had offered to the world heritage countless blessings.

Today when we celebrate Zimbabwe as a cultural and touristic power house, we must not forget that the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the all people of Zimbabwe irrespective of their race, color, political or religious orientation that from 1979 onwards have been constructing, defying unfathomable difficulties, a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a free country.

Today, we come to share the good news that Africa, that recently celebrated 50 years of African unity, has reasserted herself and we come to honor a country of REBIRTH , OF RENAISSANCE, in a world that forgets that the main reason of tourism is imbuing the travelers into local culture, to immerse them in the discovery of the history,  we come today to Harare honor a TRUE CULTURE.

In a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOURISTIC PATRIMONY, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for protecting historical sites and environmental riches, we come to honor  THE SEVEN WONDER OF TOURISM, we come to honor the Republic of Zimbabwe.

We come in this place of Hope, in this place where almost 35 years ago the end of segregation, of exploitation and of colonialism was cried out into the open and confronted with a new name: Harare!

Here, in the city that never sleeps we have all gather to show our support for the values of humanity, of cultural driven tourism.

We are all here in the search for a country that offer to tourists a complete experience, a country that educates spirit, elevates soul and gives everybody a lesson in history and culture.

We all have found in ZIMBABWE the perfect teacher in tourism, offering to all tourists of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening touristic experience.

Among the reasons leading to awarding FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION  IN 2014 title to REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE our report has taken under consideration:

–                      The promotion and support offered to a new concept of community natural protection supporting tourism friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest south-African eco-climate.

–                      Offering to tourists the outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Waterfall, the National Parks as: Mana, Eastern Highlands from Manicaland, Mana Basins from West Mashonaland, Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland, Chilojo Cliffs, and Matobo Hills from Bulawayo etc.

–                      The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: cultural, historical and rich legacy of Great Kingdom of Zimbabwe, the preservation of the former capital of Shone Kingdom-Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo area with a world class fortification system and palatial complex from 12th century, these are offering a rare insight  for tourists into one of the greatest civilization of pre-colonial Africa and a rare window into traditions of centuries.

–                      Today, REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is creating and offering for tourists an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.

–                      – The preservation of  cultural and natural sites of world significance and value such as: Great Zimbabwe National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Khami Ruins National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Matobo Hills (added to UNESCO list in 2003), Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (added to UNESCO list in 1984), Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls and UNESCO candidate regions as:Ziwa national monuments dating from Stone Age period,make destination Zimbabwe to offer an incomparable contribution to the world legacy.

Based on these facts that can be completed with many others, The European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE – FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.

Zimbabwe Favorite Cultural Destination-webGovernment of Republic of Zimbabwe posing with FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION IN 2014 diploma

Your Excellency Mr. President,

It is my great honor and privilege to hand over this title to the Minister of Culture and Sports of Republic of Zimbabwe, as an international recognition for all the people of Zimbabwe, all united in the service of protecting and preserving historical and civilization patrimony of your country, in fostering tourism and culture, in the service of the people of  ZIMBABWE,

May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for A WORLD OF WONDERS –THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE.

Esteemed Minister of Culture,

It is my privilege to handover to you, as representative of culture of THE REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, the award for FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION  FOR 2014.

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INCREDIBLE AFRICAN VICTORY AT EUROPEAN TOURISM INDUSTRY CONGRESS. ZIMBABWE HONORED AS WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014

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Zimbabwe has become the first African country to be nominated as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION. The decision has being taken by European Council on Tourism and Trade, the main european body entrusted to promote European tourism in the world.

The decision was announced by the President Office of European Council on Tourism and Trade at the end of two day`s of debates on the occasion of European spring 2014 tourism conference.   

On May 3, 2014 in a public séance of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, gathering representatives of tourism organizations from European continent has debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2014.

President Anton Caragea declares Zimbabwe as winner of World Best Tourist Destination Award fro 2014

President of European Council on Tourism and Trade declares ZIMBABWE as WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014

On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2014, Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT) presented the report titled: ZIMBABWE: THE PERFECT AFRICAN DESTINATION. A SEVEN WONDER IN TOURISM AND CULTURAL POTENTIAL proposing ZIMBABWE as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 and as receiver of FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION distinction for 2014.

Delegates from 26 countries attended ECTT gathering

Delegates from 27 countries debated the future of tourism for a two day summit.

Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 to ZIMBABWE the report outlined:

–                      The peerless organization of World Tourism Organization General Assembly in 24-30 August 2013, the world gathering of tourism experts comprising more than 120 countries.

The successful organizing of this world event, despite tremendous logistic and economic challenges, proves without a doubt the capacity of Zimbabwe authority and tourism industry to organize world level events and to host all level of tourism.

After the perfect support and creative vision in carving a successful world tourism meeting,  ZIMBABWE has unequivocal demonstrated that is a safe, open and perfect managed tourism power house.

–                      The promotion and support offered to a new concept of community natural protection supporting tourism friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest south-African eco-climate.

Community based ecotourism protection carved by Minister Walter Mzembi is a perfect way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting their foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make eco-tourism as the base for an economic local development.                  Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering eco-friendly tourism it is a lesson that REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is offering to the world.

Delegates from 27 countries attended ECTT gathering

An unanimity vote choose ZIMBABWE as FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION AND WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014

–                      Offering to tourists and outstanding and pristine nature and the opportunity to explore nature, to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: the unique landscape of Victoria Waterfall, the National Parks as: Mana, Eastern Highlands from Manicaland, Mana Basins from West Mashonaland, Exfoliated Hills from Matebeland, Chilojo Cliffs, and Matobo Hills from Bulawayo etc.

All this regions and natural parks are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized.

–                      The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Republic of Zimbabwe, the transformation of Harare in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of  people’s of Zimbabwe

–                      The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: cultural, historical and rich legacy of Great Kingdom of Zimbabwe, the preservation of the former capital of Shone Kingdom-Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo area with a world-class fortification system and palatial complex from 12th century, this are offering a rare insight  for tourists into one of the greatest civilization of pre-colonial Africa and a rare window into traditions of centuries.

–                      Today, REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is creating and offering for tourists an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.

Zimbabwe World Best Tourist Destination for 2014

REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is from 3 May 2014 the official winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2014.

–                      – The preservation of  cultural and natural sites of world significance and value such as: Great Zimbabwe National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Khami Ruins National Monument (added to UNESCO list in 1986), Matobo Hills (added to UNESCO list in 2003), Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas (added to UNESCO list in 1984), Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls and UNESCO candidate regions as: Ziwa national monuments dating from Stone Age period with an incomparable contribution to world legacy.

–                      The REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE is today a hot spot for adventure tourism offering a large area of regions suitable for this special kind of tourism and the necessary infrastructure to welcome adventure sicker, the safety structures and natural potential to rank amongst the top world adventure spots.

–                      Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE in a spiritual first class destination.

President Anton Caragea and Group of Arabian ambassadors

The Group of Arab Ambassadors attended the General Assembly of European Council on Tourism and Trade 

After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, from Romanian Parliament and Director of European Parliamentary Committee in European Council on Tourism and Trade had express the feeling’s of all present at the gathering declaring that: REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE  is the perfect candidate, with a perfect record of promoting eco-friendly tourism, ecological and social oriented tourism and that only a unanimity vote in favor of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE could express the unwavering European tourism and economic community support in favor of such a world model.

Mr. Victor Deleanu, ECTT  rapporteur,  presented also a report on ZIMBABWE: HOT SPOT OF ADVENTURE TOURISM reiterating the highest praises for the country safety record and infrastructure and hospitality industry achievements that are making Zimbabwe the perfect destination in Africa.

President Caragea and Qatar Ambassador

Ambassador of State of Qatar attended the General Assembly of European Council on Tourism and Trade 

Mr. Mihai Prundianu, Chairman of Trade Mission of ECTT also highlighted the importance that today, when Africa is celebrated 50 years of African Unity, Europe must express his commitment and appreciation for Africa by crowning ZIMBABWE as FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION AND WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014.

In the end of the debate European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2014 TITLE TO REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE and to declare REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE -FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2014.

President Anton Caragea has a photo taken with participants1

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-President of European Council on Tourism and Trade has a photo taken with the participants. 

It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE for a delegation of European high-ranking official of European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present theWORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Harare, in person, to His Excellency President of REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE –ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE the most outstanding personality of today Africa.

President Anton Caragea has a photo taken with participants

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea-President of European Council on Tourism and Trade has a photo taken with the participants. 

Awarding the highest world tourism prize of European Council on Tourism and Trade, accepting the invitation for a working visit of high-ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade in REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE, are all momentous and felicitous occasions that are offering the symbol of admiration that    all tourism experts are having for the potential and future of tourism in REPUBLIC OF ZIMBABWE  concluded at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade.

EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON TOURISM AND TRADE DELEGATION AT HANDOVER CEREMONY FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD

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Between 5 to 10 May 2013 a high ranking official delegation of European Council on Tourism and Trade, under the leadership of H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) was invited for a working visit in People`s Democratic Republic of Lao( Lao PDR).

 

The Government of LAO PDR and ECTT delegation at the handover ceremony for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013.

The delegation had also the outstanding task of presenting to the people and Government of Lao PDR the highest honor in tourism: the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013.

The visit has being encompassed in the rapid developing bilateral relation between Europe and Laos, in a rapid evolving dialogue and a reciprocated desire to establish an extensive and consolidate partnership, Laos being presently the main partner of our European Council on Tourism and Trade in the South-East Asia area.

In the framework of H.E. President Dr. Anton Caragea visit an inclusive discussion was held with H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao.

H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao PDR and H.E. President of  Dr. Anton Caragea in  an inclusive discussion. 

 

Tabled at the meeting where the extension of bilateral exchanges in areas such as economy, tourism, culture and political dialogue.

H.E. Thongsing Thammavong -Prime Minister of Lao has outlined for European delegation an extensive presentation of the Laos economic situation as a country in full and ample development, with a rate of annual economic growth of 4 to 7%, and an expansion rate of incoming tourists of more than 20% annually and being counted amongst economic tigers of the area.

Also the Prime Minister had expressed the sincere appreciation of the Government and People of Laos for the instrumental role played by Professor dr. Anton Caragea in promoting Laos image in the world and in bestowing the WORLD BEST TOURISM DESTINATION title for Lao.

On his turn, professor dr. Anton Caragea had emphasized the strong points of Lao: political stability, impressive economic development and the clear express desire to extend the bilateral relation.

 

The visit H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea lead delegation had included also an extensive dialogue with H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information, and H. E. Vice-Prime Minister Asang Laoly and Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Tabled at the meetings where issued such as the establishment of a Council for Business and cooperation, Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Consulates and other structures destined to enhance the economic , cultural and political partnership.

 

H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information in a fruitful dialogue with H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea.

H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information expressed his appreciation for the Professor dr. Anton Caragea support for Laos in championing at European level with considerable influence and energy the country as a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.

During the discussion with Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara , professor dr.Anton Caragea had presented the arguments for Lao PDR being considered as a world power in culture and tourism , noting that in XXI century that values of a nation is encompassing the cultural and historical patrimony and in this regard Lao PDR is an outstanding country.

At the end of the meeting, professor dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy had bestow the title and insignia and certificate of European academician to H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information for his unremitting efforts in promoting tourism as a tool for peace and development.

 

Mircea Constantinescu, Director of European Tourism Academy  bestows academic insignia to  Academician Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara.

 

The program of European delegation headed by H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea also included a strong cultural element like visiting UNESCO heritage city of Luang Prabang, That Luang National Stupa, Vat Siseket temple, Vat Xiang tong, UNESCO classified monuments such as: Vat Vixun, Vat Phat Tai, Royal Palace of Luang Prabang, Phusi and Xieng Tong temple ad National Museum Kaysone Pomvihan etc.

Also a special program was carved off for professor dr. Anton Caragea as WORLD AMBASSADOR OF NATURAL PROTECTED AREAS to visit special natural; monuments situated along the banks of Mekong river.

H.E. Professor Dr. Anton Caragea had highly praised the decision`s taken by the Government of Lao PDR to protect natural patrimony, environmental protection and sustainable development for this important touristic areas.

On 9 May 2013 in an impressive ceremony full of pomp and paraphernalia the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013 was bestow to the people and Government of LAOS.

The ceremony reuniting leaders of Government of Lao PDR, diplomats, academicians, business community, cultural and media representatives had included the presentation of the AWARD FOR WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION IN 2013, the presentation of the main landmark beauties and scenic spots for tourism in Lao an emotional charged speech of H.E. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Information and concluding a large area of fashion presentation, music and dance spectacle that impress favorable the numerous assistance.

 

By the outstanding organizing the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION CEREMONY in Vientiane, the Government of Lao PDR had proved his extraordinary capacity to host international events and to organize high resounding world meeting.

The successful and felicitous visit of European Council on Tourism and Trade delegation , the high level and inclusive dialogue with the relevant authorities of Lao PDR, the reciprocated vision of rapid evolving relations, the clearly marked economic, touristic and cultural opportunities are all testament`s of the desire to further extend the dialogue.

ACADEMICIAN BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA-MINISTER OF TOURISM OF LAOS SPEECH AT WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR LAO

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On behalf of the Lao government and people, it is my pleasure and delight to welcome all delegates to the presentation ceremony of the World’s Best Tourist Destination Award for 2013 to Laos. 

Today, the Lao government and people are proud and delighted to have received this honourable prize, which demonstrates the great achievements of tourism development in Laos. Laos offers impressive tourist attractions and services for tourists from across the world.

 

Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of Lao PDR-Academician Professor dr. Bosengkham Vongdara and European Council on Tourism and Trade high ranking official`s delegation in Vientiane. 

I would like to take this opportunity to praise and express my sincere gratitude to the European Council on Tourism and Trade and all tourists for highly valuing Lao tourism and selecting Laos as the World’s Best Tourist Destination for 2013. 

I would like, especially, to welcome Prof. Dr Anton Caragea, Chairman of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, and his delegation to Laos to attend the ceremony and present the award.

  

The Lao PDR is diverse in languages, cultures and customs, which have been inherited from our ancestors over thousands of years. The country is rich in spectacular natural resources as well as having a long and civilised history and well-known archaeological sites, which further boosts Laos’ tourism potential.

With great effort and a high sense of responsibility by the Party and government since the 4th Party Congress in 1986 outlined a comprehensive renovation policy to open up for foreign cooperation, tourism has played an ever more prominent role in the country’s socio-economic development. The government has defined policy and taken action to develop and promote cultural, natural and historical tourism.

To facilitate the growth of tourism and services, the government has done its utmost to develop infrastructure such as building roads to link all regions across the country as well as connecting with neighbouring countries. Over the past 4-5 years, the government has exerted utmost efforts to increase the number of border checkpoints to integrate with countries in the region and the world at large. At present, the Lao PDR has 23 international checkpoints, of which 21 can issue visas. Laos has four international airports (Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport, Savannakhet International Airport and Pakxe International Airport). Visas have been exempted for citizens of Asean member countries. Laos has also granted visa exemptions to citizens of Japan, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Russia, Mongolia and Luxembourg.

The authorities have redefined that visas issued at checkpoints permit the holders to stay in Laos for 15 days, reduced from 30 days previously. According to Prime Ministerial Order No. 15 issued on June 20, 2006, these visas can be extended by the provincial authorities instead of only by the Vientiane authority as before. In addition, the government grants three-month visas to foreign citizens of Lao origin who acquire visas from Lao embassies, which can be extended for another three months. However, visas issued at border checkpoints grant only a two-month stay with another two months of extension. After implementing the aforesaid tourism development and promotion policy, the tourism sec tor has grown rapidly. From 1990 to 2012, foreign tourist arrivals have risen by an average of 20.36 percent annually.

In 2012, Laos registered 3,330,072 foreign tourists generating total revenue as high as US$513,576,784. By 2013 the number of tour operators had risen to 275 companies. Hotels and guesthouses have also increased and in 2012 there were 3,526 hotels and guesthouses offering 35,857 rooms. Laos now has 1,493 official tourist sites comprising 849 sites of natural interest, 435 sites of cultural interest, and 209 historical sites.

 

Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of Lao PDR-Academician Professor dr. Bosengkham Vongdara deleivering acceptance speech for LAOS: WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD IN 2013.

 

The Lao PDR shares similar characteristics with many other countries, such as different and diverse traditions and customs among its multi-ethnic people. There are also impressive archaeological and historical sites such as Luang Prabang, the historic town and living world heritage site, and Vat Phou Champassak, which is another world heritage site dating back to the 12th century.

In addition, the historic caves of Viengxay (deemed to be the birthplace of the Lao PDR) have become an open-air museum, while the Plain of Jars is expected to be listed as a world heritage site in the near future. The Lao PDR also has rich and beautiful natural sites suitable for development as ecotourism attractions and green industry without smog or hazardous pollution, which will become new relaxing sites to impress visitors from the region and the world.

 Community-based eco-tourism programmes have become Laos’ unique feature and have great potential because they give visitors the chance to get in touch with and taste nat ure, as well as the everyday life of local people and the customs practised by the Lao multiethnic people. To translate the tourism development strategic plan for 2011-2020, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism in collaboration with provincial authorities have carried out nature-based tourism activities with the participation of local people by making use of the local potential and conditions of each province. Such activities were first initiated in 2000 in Luang Namtha province, called the ‘Community-based Eco-tourism Programme’. Similar programmes now exist in all 17 provinces involving 40 districts and 160 villages, and have generated income directly for local people.

 

 

Because of these progressive great achievements of the Lao tourism sector coupled with the impressive progress made in socio-economic development across the country, Laos has been praised by tourists and friendly countries across the world, justified by the fact that Laos has been awarded many honourable and impressive prizes as follows: 

In 2008, the New York Times named Laos as one of 53 countries it described as the world’s top tourist destinations. 

The world heritage site of Luang Prabang received the Top City Gold Award after being voted the world’s top tourist destination by Wanderlust, a UK based travel magazine from 2006 to 2008, and again from 2010 to 2012. 

The Community-based Eco-tourism Programme in the Nam Ha Protected Forest Area in Luang Namtha province also won an award for ‘best poverty alleviation project’ and ‘best services’ given by the United Nations Development Programme. And today, we feel proud and honoured that the European Council on Tourism and Trade awards Laos with the World’s Best Tourist Destination Award for 2013. This honourable prize will make Laos even more popular among tourists across the globe, and will drive the development of the tourism sector in our country.

 I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to Professor Dr Anton Caragea, President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, for highly valuing the development of Lao tourism. I agree with his comment that “In the 21st century, tourism has become an important bridge for friendship and relations among nations in the world; it is also a way to promote peace and mutual understanding and lead the way to a good future.”

 The Lao PDR stands ready to continue to develop the tourism sector to contribute to establishing and enhancing friendly relations among nations in the world to make a joint effort to promote peace and mutual understanding, together entering into the proper future of development under the sky of peace, friendship and sustainable cooperation.

  

On this auspicious occasion, I would like to wish Party and state leaders and honourable Lao and foreign guests participating in this ceremony good health, success in your noble tasks, happiness and prosperity, and further contributions to the tourism development of our country for progressive success.

  I would like, especially, to wish Professor Dr Anton Caragea and high-level delegates from the European Council on Tourism and Trade good health, success in your noble tasks and happiness, and to further contribute to promoting Lao tourism in Europe and across the globe.

ACADEMICIAN MIRCEA CONSTANTINESCU KEY NOTE SPEECH AT WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013

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Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

We traveled here to bring to you, the people of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, our message of friendship, peace, tolerance and mutual understanding, a message from the very heart of the Europe.

This spring, The European Council on Tourism and Trade awarded the highest tourism prize, the World Best Tourist Destination for 2013 to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.

 

60 years ago a well known scientist predicted that up to the end of the last century the world will become global, and that all the people in the world will be living in “the global village”.

It seems indeed that we are living now in a global world, where all the nations are called to solve complex problems of international, national, confessional, environmental and social nature.

 

And Laos is indeed a part of this global village. The strategic perspective and the wise and balanced approach adopted by your government and by your country’s leadership is a wonderful example. Your country is connected to the world with care and confidence, step by step, keeping a balance between the international and the national perspective.

This means respect for the national identity of Laos, a realization of the importance of the country’s image in the world, as well as a need for a sincere and positive cooperation with other countries for the progress and well-being of mankind.

 

When we study the realities of Laos and place of Laos in the modern world we discover that your country is from a certain point of view the “melting pot” that the same scientist predicted, a place and a nation where interethnic, interracial, inter-confessional problems are solved peacefully, with a careful approach to the environment, people, ancient and modern culture, national and global economy.

Here is a typical example of the wise manner in which the country’s leadership is solving complex problems and situations.

The leaders of Laos, in accordance with the needs and expectations of the Laos society and people decided that the activities of information, culture and tourism are gathered under the same umbrella, in the same ministry, underlying the importance of the three activities, their national importance, as well as their strong interconnection.

 

Information is vital for any human activity, for any nation involved in the process of multilateral development. The last century could be described as the beginning of the information age. It seems to be a never-ending story. Recent studies revealed the too much information from too many sources could be harmful. The individual effort of looking for information sources, receiving and decoding, selecting and interpreting may require too much effort. Too much and too divers information could be confusing. Spending too much time inside the virtual world keeps us from living in real life: to work, to spend quality time with family and friends, to meet new people and to enjoy the nature. From ancient times, teaching was the basic method of censorship and selection, of passing important information from one generation to another.

 

Culture is the heart of every nation, of every group of people related by place, time and political context. Again, almost 40 years ago, the new leadership of your country took a wise and strategic decision to the build the identity of the Lao nation, the present and the future of the country on the heritage of the past. Wisdom and tolerance, firmness and balance, were the concepts that guided the building of a nation, proud of its past and confident in its future.

 

The collaboration with UNESCO in identifying and carefully preserving the heritage of the Lao people is at the same time a token of admiration and respect of the whole world for the treasures of the Lao nation. As you may know, the most precious treasure of your country, are the people! They are friendly and their hospitality is already known around the world. They seem to live according to other time measures, and I am sure that the English idioms “take your time” and “take it easy” have their ancient roots in Lao!

 

We may thank you for reminding us that there is life beyond stress, morning rush, crazy schedules and endless meetings…..

And at last, the most complex task of all: tourism. It involves resources and money, smart managers and nice people, a cultural heritage and an enchanting nature, along with good food, good transportation, good housing and most of all, good will.

Taking a look at the progress made by Laos’s tourism, we may affirm that Laos has all the above incentives, and may become many years from now, a preferred tourist destination for millions of people from all over the world.

 

Dear friends,

 

It is so easy for me to bring to you all the good words from the European Union. I would like to congratulate once again your great leaders, their leadership teams and all the Lao people, men and women that contributed to building together a proud nation, admired and respected by the entire world.

And finally from our hearts again congratulations for being awarded the highest tourism prize, the World Best Tourist Destination for 2013 to the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos by The European Council on Tourism and Trade.

LAOS: A CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC PARADISE

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Your Excellency Mr. Asang Laoly ,Vice-Prime Minister of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao,

Your Excellency Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith ,Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice-Prime Minister of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao,

Your Excellency`s distinguish members of Government of Peoples Democratic Republic of Lao

Distinguish guests ,

 

 

We have all gather here to pay homage to an idea and to a country that embodies this idea.

 

The idea is encompass in the simple truth that: in XXI century tourism has become a bridge towards knowledge and friendship between peoples and countries , a way to promote peace and understanding , a road that leads towards a better future.

We have also gather here to express our appreciation for a country and a people that will embody in 2013 this triumphant spirit of tourism: the people of Lao.

I must re-emphasize that: tourism is in the XXI century, not only a way to enjoy life, to discover new places, new cultures but also a mass phenomenon that combines sightseeing, recreation and health care.

Tourism has become, in the world today, an intrinsic value of human life and experience and what I like to call a natural right of all people: the right to move freely, to express freely and to enjoy a life of adventure and discoveries.

Undoubtedly, for a country tourism is a constant and serious source of revenue, is becoming an important factor to promote development, to build roads, to offer to people a source of income and employment, a source of prosperity.

But, material significance of tourism must not elapse the true value of tourism: as a way for people`s to build bridges of friendship and tolerance , to discover different cultures, ideas and way`s of life, to embrace the beauty of being different .

 

We must also clearly mark that: tourism must be based on a set of values such as nature preservation, cultural and historical patrimony conservation for future generation and exactly for this need we have carved WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD as an international recognition for the country`s that are respecting this values .

 

I must say what a privilege is for our delegation to honor a country that is becoming a WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION.

It is also a great pleasure to address our salute to the great people of Lao, a people that had build throughout centuries a perfect civilization, with hundreds of monuments of historical and civilization relevance ,a people that had offered to humanity countless riches: from religious temple and scriptures to literary texts and historical writings .

Today, Lao had become a cultural and touristic world power and the main credit belongs, without a doubt, to the great people of Laos, that from 1975 onwards is constructing a life of dignity, liberty and tolerance in a free country.

 

 

Today, in a world that rarely accepts and tolerates difference, we come to honor a country of TOLERANCE, in a world crowded with pseudo-culture, without a form and substance , we come today to honor a TRUE CULTURE , in a world that is loosing the true values, we come today the honor a real TOURISTIC VALUE, in a time in which to many speak and do not act for historical sites preservation , we come to honor a PARADISE OF HISTORY , we come to honor the People`s Democratic Republic of LAO .

 

Here, we have all gather to show our support for the values of humanity, of educational and cultural tourism . We are all here in the search for a country that offer to tourists a complete experience , a country that educates spirit, elevates soul and gives everybody a lesson in history and culture.

We all have found in LAO the perfect teacher in tourism, offering to all the tourist`s of the world the possibility of a safe, pleasurable and enlightening tourist experience.

Among the reasons leading to awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS our report had taken under consideration:

– The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 12th century, the remarkable site from Plain of Jars, offering an insight into Neolithic civilization and a rare window into traditions of centuries.

A name that needs no introduction: the UNESCO heritage site of Luang Prabang, with the gems of Haw Kham and Vat Xieng Toung monastery.

 

I could continue for hours this list of treasures, but I will enumerate just in Vientiane- Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple of the city and the world famous That Luang complex.

Today, Lao is offering an open air museum, a rare collection of historical and archeological treasures that educate and enrich the world.

 

– The preservation of religious sites of world significance and value such as: Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important of world Buddhism monasteries and remains a significant place for the spirit of religion and traditional art. Other sites that must be mentioned such as: Wat Phu ( UNESCO heritage site) and Champasak Cultural Landscape ( under UNESCO recognition).

Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the Lao people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO in a spiritual destination of first hand.

 

– Promoting a new concept of community based tourism, friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

Community based ecotourism is a way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting there foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make the base for an economic local development. Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering a social tourism it is a lesson that Lao is offering to the world.

Supporting Lao community tourism project as a way to spread wealth, it is a duty for everybody and one of the main reason for portraying Laos as a world example of democratic tourism , a tourism that is not only offering benefits to the rich, but to all people. Lao example must be appreciated and supported , and all tourist that are going to Lao must know that an investment in Lao tourism is an investment in the future of Lao people.

 

– Offering to tourists not only a historical and outstanding cultural experience but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: Nam Ngum reservoir , Bolaven plateau, Mekong river islands , Mekong river boat trip , Tad Kouangsi waterfall , the cave of de Ting . All this are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized .

– The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO, the transformation of Vientiane in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Lao.

For all this reasons, among many others, European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 title to PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS and to declare PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS- FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATION in 2013.

 

This title is an international recognition of Your work for Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO until today, in the service of history and civilization, tourism and culture , in the service of the people of LAO, but is also a challenge because now we are expecting your services in the future benefit of the world culture and tourism.

May this award be transformed in a support for developing the international standing of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO , for a sustainable tourism and development and in a base for further success for SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL – Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO .

 

Is my privileged to award Your Excellency, as representative of tourism of PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS the award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013.

 

We congratulate You and people of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO for this outstanding achievements.

 

 

WORLD BEST TOURISM DESTINATION TITLE AWARDED TO LAOS

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WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARDED TO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAOS FOR 2013

 

Professor dr.Anton Caragea opens the European Council on Tourism and Trade session to elect WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013. 

On 26th of April 2013 in a public séance of the European Council on Tourism and Trade, gathering representatives of tourism organizations from European continent has debated the list of candidates for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2013.

Professor Dr. Mircea Constantinescu, Director of Tourism Academy had presented a report on the last year situation of the Award for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION that was dedicated to Trinidad and Tobago and it was used accordingly with rules and regulations and have being proving highly efficient in attracting new tourists and investor`s.

In 2012 Trinidad and Tobago had reversed the downward spiral in number of tourists and revenues provided by tourism and was the ONLY country in the Caribbean region that registered an increase in number of visitors despite economic crisis.

Increase in investment, increase in tourism potential and number of foreign visitors was the positive outcome of awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION to Trinidad and Tobago in 2012, concluded professor Mircea Constantinescu.

Mr. Petru Lificiu, Minister and Vice-President of European Council on Tourism and Trade read out and presented the candidatures for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD 2013.

On the debate for WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD FOR 2013 professor dr. Anton Caragea , President of European Union Council on Tourism and Trade ( ECTT) presented the report titled : LAOS : A TOURISTIC AND CULTURAL PARADISE proposing LAOS as the winner of WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013.

President of European Council on Tourism and Trade, Professor dr. Anton Caragea presents the reasons for selecting LAOS as  WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION. 

Among the reasons for awarding WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 to LAOS the report outlined:

– Promoting a new concept of community based tourism, friendly to nature, with low ecological impact and preservation of natural biodiversity and protection of endangered species and areas, especially rainforest eco-climate.

Community based ecotourism is a way to share revenues and income, to support rural communities in prospering and presenting there foodstuff and handicrafts to the world and to make the base for an economic local development. Sharing tourism benefits to all the population, offering a social tourism it is a lesson that Lao is offering to the world.

– Offering to tourists not only a historical and outstanding cultural experience but also the possibility to explore nature , to contribute to ecological preservation and the opportunity to visit extraordinary space such as: Nam Ngum reservoir , Bolaven plateau, Mekong river islands , Mekong river boat trip , Tad Kouangsi waterfall , the cave of de Ting .

All this are model of achievements in ecological and green tourism that must be world recognized .

– The continuous development and protection of cultural and historical patrimony of Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO, the transformation of Vientiane in a historical and spiritual center offering to the visitor a glimpse into rich culture and heritage of peoples of Lao .

– The preservation of an outstanding historical and cultural patrimony that comprises wonderful sites such as: Wat Phu- a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 12th century, the remarkable site from Plain of Jars, offering an insight into Neolithic civilization and a rare window into traditions of centuries The preservation of religious sites of world significance and value such as: Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important of world Buddhism monasteries and remains a significant place for the spirit of religion and traditional art. Other sites that must be mentioned such as: Wat Phu ( UNESCO heritage site) and Champasak Cultural Landscape ( under UNESCO recognition).

– Keeping alive spiritual tradition, integrating tourist`s and visitors in the atmosphere of the Lao people, offering possibility for an enriching cultural experience, are all achievements that transform Peoples Democratic Republic of LAO in a spiritual destination of first hand.

Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, Director in European Council on Tourism and Trade.

After hearing the report, Senator Ionel Agrigoroaiei, from Romanian Parliamentary and Director in European Council on Tourism and Trade had express the feeling`s of all present at the gathering declaring that: LAOS is a strong candidate, with a perfect record of promoting clean, ecological and social oriented tourism and that only a unanimity vote in favor of LAOS could express the European tourism and economic community decisive action in favor of such a world model.

Mr. Mark Doda, representing Balkan countries at the meeting had also stated the desire of peoples of South-East Europe to support a new model of tourism in the present economic climate, a community based tourism on Laos example.

In the end of the debate European Council on Tourism and Trade decided, unanimously, to award WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION FOR 2013 TITLE TO LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to declare LAO PEOPLE`S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC -FAVORITE CULTURAL DESTINATIONS in 2013.

Delegates from 30 european countries voted in WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION competition.

It was also presented the Official Invitation, on behalf of Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of LAO for a delegation of European high ranking official of European Council on Tourism and Trade, to present the WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION AWARD in Vientiane, in person, to His Excellency Minister of Tourism Professor dr. BOSENGKHAM VONGDARA.

European Council on Tourism and Trade conference on WORLD BEST TOURIST DESTINATION for 2013.

Awarding the highest tourism distinction of European Council on Tourism and Trade, accepting the invitation for an working visit of high ranking members of European Council on Tourism and Trade in LAOS, are estimated all tourism experts as a good example of close tourism relations and mutual consensus between Europe and Laos, said at the end of the meeting Professor Anton Caragea, President of European Council on Tourism and Trade.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ARE HEAVING A HISTORY RICH IN ACHIEVEMENTS, DECLARES H.H. SHEIKH MOHAMMED BIN RASHID – PRIME MINISTER OF UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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On 1 December 2011 an European media delegation, headed by Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and attending United Arab Emirates National Day Celebration,  was received  by  H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The delegation headed by professor Dr. Anton Caragea witnessed the extraordinary and charged with love atmosphere of the meeting between Dubai Ruler and Vice-President of United Arab Emirates and the people of Emirates .

H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid-Vice-President of United Arab Emirates, Prime -Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed welcomed his guests by reciting a short poem in which he reflected his nationalistic feelings of the UAE’s 40th National Day and his pride in the second of December which forms a turning point for the UAE people and leadership.

Addressing the audience, especially the young people who were born after the union, Sheikh Mohammed said that the age of 40 is the age of maturity, that’s why God sent down His revelation on his Prophet Muhammad ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he reached 40 years.

Sheikh Mohammed said that the 40th national day is the stage of maturity for our country which has made great achievements at the national, cultural and humanitarian levels. Through these achievements, he said, the UAE has not only vied with others but has also set an example for others to follow and learn from its long experience.

He added that contrary to what others, who live in prosperity and luxury today, believe, the way was not planted with flowers, but it was full of challenges and dangers in addition to other outside influences, which without Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid’s resolve and national sense such a union would not have been possible.

Sheikh Mohammed went on to point out that the most important achievement made during the time of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and sustained today by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is man, especially the youth who represent the highest percentage of the UAE citizens. He added that the youth are the future and we, as leaders, rely on them and their ability to shoulder the responsibility and take the initiative to build their future and the future of the generations to come to achieve the national goals, hopes and aspirations of their people.

Sheikh Mohammed expressed hope that when the UAE celebrates its 50th national day it will be ranked as one of the best countries the world in all fields; our people, amongst the most civilized and forward looking of nations, by God’s guidance and the support of its leadership.

Speaking about his wishes before the establishment of the modern state many of which, he said, have been achieved today, Sheikh Mohammed said that when he had visited European and non European countries for study or tourism and saw great achievements in those countries ‘ infrastructures, armies, cultural and educational institutions and others; he wished such achievements would be made at home.

Talking further about his dreams and wishes, Sheikh Mohammed went on to say that he dreamed of a strong country, strong people, strong leadership, strong economy, and strong achievements, adding that when he saw the fighter planes during the Dubai Air Show, he wished his country would have this kind of weapon; now I tell you that our factory in Al Ain manufactures spare parts for these planes; this national factory is part of my national dreams.

Talking with pride about the perseverance and heritage of the fathers and ancestors, Sheikh Mohammed said that the people and the leadership of the country inherited perseverance from our fathers and forefathers, who have suffered hardship to keep alive and provide their children with food and drink. They used to dive in the dangerous sea to bring the fish to their children. They lived with all kinds of challenges in the Arabian Peninsula from which they started their journey to the world spreading Islam; they are the pioneers who defended their island and their land. I would like to tell you, young people, that despite all the challenges achievements were made and you, in the UAE, are harvesting the fruit of the challenges your fathers and forefathers had endured and overcome.

H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid-Vice-President of United Arab Emirates

Sheikh Mohammed went further to touch on the invasion of the Gulf region by foreign powers, which brought about devastation and havoc to the land and the sea, and destruction and exploitation of the riches and which adopted other colonial and abhorrent methods, forcing the people of the region to fight those occupiers and expel them to attain independence. After liberating their land from the enemies, our grandparents returned to fishing and diving for pearls. As a result, the pearl industry flourished and the people felt a kind of prosperity. Those people survived and resisted until they have become in line with developed countries, able to have influence on and make change in the world’s economic and political map.

He warned the youth against despair, calling on them to equip themselves with patience, perseverance and determination to achieve their ambitions through reviving the heritage of their grandparents and ancestors.

Sheikh Mohammed briefed his guests about the differences and difficulties the rulers of the emirates faced before signing of the Union’s constitution and the declaration of the state of the United Arab Emirates. In this regard, he said that the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sheikh Rashid met in a tent in the Al Sameeh area on the borders between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accompanied by some other people and I was among those who witnessed the meeting and the signing of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rahshid on the draft constitution, despite the reluctance of the rest of the rulers of the Emirates; Ras Al Khaimah was the last to sign.

He touched on the role of the British in fueling negative feelings among some rulers, using the method of “divide and rule”, taking advantage of the marginal disputes that prevailed during the consultations and meetings held by Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid with the other rulers; Sheikh Zayed managed lastly through his expertise, patience, wisdom and patriotism to convince them to join him and his brother, Sheikh Rashid and sign on the interim constitution, and then, he announced the Union on the second of December, 1971 at the Union House in Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed went on to relate to his guests the various challenges , which faced the union, which without the perseverance and insistence of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid, our dream to live today under one leadership and one flag and have a stable, sovereign and an independent country, would not have been possible.

Commenting on what others write and say about the country and its people, denying us our values, culture, history and heritage and claiming that we are merely an oil country and luxury loving people, Sheikh Mohammed responded: yes, we are a rich and an oil producing country; nevertheless, we have our own civilization, Arab and Islamic culture and a history that is rich in achievements.

We possess all elements of a decent life based on equality, justice, humanity, and we reach out to all people of the world who need our support. “Concluding his lecture, Sheikh Mohammed recited some love and nationalistic poems, adding an atmosphere of intimacy to the gathering and knocking down barriers between His Highness and the young people who were happy with this talk and proud of their leader, wishing him and the UAE leadership all good health and glory.

United Arab Emirates are an oasis of security, stability and prosperity declares H.H. Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of United Arab Emirates

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On the occasion of United Arab Emirates celebrations of 40 years of independence and outstanding achievements , H.H.  Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of United Arab Emirates addressed to the people of United Arab Emirates and journalist assembled for this occasion in Abu Dhabi the fallowing message:

His Highness  Sheikh Kalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – President of United Arab Emirates

“Sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, Men and women of the Emirates, Salam Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu.

 We celebrate today the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the UAE. Our country has made remarkable achievements that have catapulted it to the ranks of advanced nations, thanks to the sincere and tireless efforts spearheaded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his fellow founding fathers who toiled in silence to initiate a march whose aims fit with our genuine national values and principles. We will pursue their approach in shouldering this responsibility with diligent work to achieve further progress and prosperity for the homeland and its citizens. 

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

On this great day, we offer our heartfelt congratulations and profound appreciation to my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of Emirates, for their support and for the care they give to the march of the Union, protecting the country, defending its gains and meeting the aspirations of its children. 


This Union that is with us today in terms of political achievement and socio-economic reality was neither a gift or a grant nor an easy achievement. Rather, it was the fruit of a good tree planted by our fathers who dreamed of the idea with hope, took care of it with their dedication to raise the flag of the Union as high as they could and strengthened its pillars. They are really the spirit of the Union; from their life and history, generations will draw lessons and will continue to carry the responsibility under the eyes of a glorious nation that takes pride in its past, its giving present and promising future. 

In the 40 years that have passed, the State has channeled all of its efforts and potential to serve the country and its citizens. More than this, it has invested all of its resources and energies in the building of a federal, pioneering modern state in which the values of solidarity, coherence and unity have been deepened, the concepts of work, dedication and participation have been promoted and in which the sense of belonging and pride in the achievements of the glorious federal march has been upheld. 

Men and women of the Emirates,

Your State has earned a prominent place in the international community thanks to what has been achieved over the past four decades in all walks of life. We have succeeded in building a robust federal government and active local governments. Our State today is ranked as one of the best countries in the world in terms of the efficiency of its services, its general policies and the credibility of the government with regards to local community. 


The UAE is, moreover, acknowledged as one of the most secure and stable countries, as a lavish investor in education and in the provision of qualifications for its people. Our judicial system has also received appreciation for its integrity and for the trust placed in it. 
The UAE has the second largest Arab economy, thanks to the robust and sound economy and prudent policies that are based on openness and diversification of sources of income. The UAE Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose from Dh6.5 billion in 1971 to Dh1,248 billion by the end of 2011. GDP per capita rose in 2011 to Dh174,000 per annum. The value of foreign trade went up from Dh13 billion in 1971 to Dh1,737 billion in 2011 while the share of non-oil sectors in GDP rose from 30% to 71% in the same period. The State has a viable small and medium enterprise sector (SME). The industrial sector has made remarkable achievements especially in terms of the increase in the number of enterprises. Large industrial complexes have been created, drawing in massive investment that has boosted the State’s strategy for developing the productive base of the economy and diversifying sources of income. 

Yas Island Project is attracting investors from all over the world.

The UAE has become an attractive hub for businessmen from all corners of the world and a magnet for foreign investment. With its high quality investment climate and the diverse and enormous investment opportunities that are available, the UAE leads the Arab World in indicators of the macroeconomic environment, the securities market, the corporate and institutional environment, and international financing. 
Although we concentrated on development of the oil and gas industries as the backbone of our economy and of the energy industry in our country, the State, at the same time, pursuing economic diversification and in order to meet the growing demand for energy, is setting out to invest heavily in renewable energy and nuclear power so as to reduce the consumption of conventional energy sources and to increase oil and gas exports. This approach is clearly evident through the Masdar Initiative and through the UAE being chosen as the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 


Our belief in education and knowledge as pillars of development and progress has been the motive that us led us to devote more care to regular education and higher education. Statistics show that from only 74 public and private schools in 1971, with 32.800 students, the number had risen to 1,186 schools in 2011, with around 800,000 students. There are also 76 federal and local government and private higher education institutions throughout the emirates, working in coordination and cooperation to provide diverse, high quality learning opportunities for our children in all fields of knowledge. 
The government has paid special attention to the health sector and has worked diligently to provide high quality qualitative curative and preventive services as well as care for mothers and children. The UAE can boast of now having more than 92 government hospitals and 246 centres for primary healthcare and maternity and child care, compared to only 7 hospitals and 12 health centres in 1971. This is in addition to dozens of private hospitals and thousands of specialist clinics. The government is planning to upgrade and modernise the health sector so that it will become one of the best worldwide in terms of quality of practices, services, medical professionals, the percentage of Emiratisation, along with a broader contribution by the private sector. 

Sheikh Zayed Mosque from Abu Dhabi a symbol of cultural vitality of United Arab Emirates.

As for the housing sector, the government has built and distributed thousands of low-cost houses and built modern fully-serviced cities across the country. Since 2007, the Ministry of Public Works has been implementing a national housing plan which aims to meet requirements of citizens over the next 20 years. The Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme and other similar government-sponsored agencies are also undertaking ambitious housing projects. We have also made prepared a national housing strategy which is now being undertaken in full coordination with other local housing initiatives. 
It is appropriate at this point to express our appreciation for the role being played by the national committee which follows up implementation of the Presidential initiative to upgrade the basic infrastructure in various parts of the country. The budget for these projects, aimed at improving the standards of services crossed AED 7 billion. Financial support will continue to flow so as to deliver the objectives of these initiatives. 


Our foremost concern from the outset has been to build an infrastructure base that serves our development goals in all domains. For that purpose, the government has built road networks, sea and air ports and has expanded these facilities to serve the country’s ambitions in terms of the economy, trade, finance and tourism. It has also launched a range of initiatives projects in terms of culture and information so as to advance its strategic policy to become a regional hub for media, culture and arts, as well as a bridge for civilisational interaction between civilisations. Capitalising on its state-of-the-art complexes and facilities, the UAE has become an important centre for regional and international sports events. 
The government has made immense efforts to protect the environment, to improve water and natural resources management, to conserve biodiversity, animal species, and endangered marine and terrestrial flora, to protect and develop fisheries and to establish more nature reserves. What was done in this field under the stewardship of the founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a magnificent achievement that has earned our country a prominent regional and international standing in the sphere of the environment. 

His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan- the founding father of UAE

In all development fields in the country, including the increasing contribution of women in the workforce and the provision of full social care to all segments of society with special attention being given to youth, and, in particular, the vulnerable (the handicapped and the elderly), the indicators of the progress achieved have prompted many international organisations to rate our country as one of the most prosperous and as one of those delivering the best welfare services worldwide.

Building on this, we will continue with our plans to further develop our human resources and build their capacity and skills, since we believe that the human being is the target, the end, the engine and the means of development. We will also continue to encourage national qualified professionals to take their natural place in the present renaissance drive to ensure a more bright, promising future.” 

Brothers and sisters,

“The Union whose 40th anniversary we celebrate today is a social and collective responsibility. It is a project for renaissance and a continuous action plan. The selection of the ‘Spirit of the Union’ as a theme for this year’s celebration is a true expression of the genuine experiment which veritably embodies the originality, values and special nature of the reality of the UAE. 


Keeping the Union’s spirit alive is something that can be achieved through the empowerment of the UAE citizen who is the top national priority and the focus of the vision for the future that guides all strategies and policies that the government will adopt, in all sectors, over the next ten years. 


Empowerment of the citizen is our project for the next ten years of the Union – a project through which we will lay the ground for a more confident and strong national personality and whose driving force and cornerstone will be an active Emirati who is proud of his stable and coherent family and of his well-founded, dynamic community where security and justice prevail, where the values of voluntary work and of initiative are highly recognised, with a forward-thinking, modern learning system, an advanced, high quality health services, a knowledge-based sustainable and diversified economy, an integrated infrastructure, a sustainable environment, well-conserved natural resources and, finally, an eminent status on the international stage. 

These pillars were the same that guided our founding fathers to lay the foundations of this State. And in meeting the demands and aspirations of the people, they agreed upon a constitutional framework for a federal system of governance that deals with people on an equal footing, that guarantees their freedoms, that unlocks their potential, that mobilises their resources, and that provides them with more opportunities through powerful federal institutions that perform their work in integration with local governments and in full coordination with other segments in society. 


Our prime concern will be to deliver this vision and make it a living reality in a manner that realizes the aspirations of both the leadership and citizens for a more secure and prosperous future. The Council of Ministers will be responsible for transforming these aspirations into program that have specific targets and transparent standards. The Council of Ministers has already finalised the strategic framework of the UAE Vision 2021. 
Honourable citizens, We are progressing confidently towards a decade that will be spearheaded by the sons and daughters of the UAE. I have a word for all leaders : heed the voices of the people, take them into consideration while you are planning, setting goals and making decisions. In a world that has diverse organs of mass communications and platforms for social contacts, it is necessary for governments to seek the best and effective tools of communication with the citizen everywhere, to listen to his voice, to learn about his trends and to respond to his aspirations. This requires that we should pay attention and that we should listen. 

Abu Dhabi today – a modern city.


Based on that, we assert that broadening popular participation is a firm national trend and an irrevocable option which we have chosen with our full will. We will continue to take it further forward, gradually and steadily, in response to the aspirations of our people for a homeland for which they can come forward together to serve and develop its society. We have successfully completed the second phase of the gradual approach we adopted as a method to expand the popular participation in elections and to empower the Federal National Council (FNC) and increase its powers and enhance its role. 
This phase was crowned with the election of a new FNC which has commenced its sessions as a more vocal organ of the national will. We hope that the Council will perform its role in complete cooperation with the executive authority as a responsible platform for national issues and with a positive impact in decision-making. 
Dear sons of UAE There is no distinction between one citizen and another in our State…… all are equal in rights and duties and the main purpose of government activity is to improve the quality of life, to ensure sustainability of reasonable living standards for citizens and to ensure that all enjoy equal opportunities and fair privileges in a sound societal and family ambience where all feel justice and stability. This is what we are pursuing through many development initiatives in sectors like housing and services across the emirates. 

Within the context of these initiatives, education will receive a top priority, getting a major allocation in the federal budget for 2012 which will enable it to secure the required potential to develop its structure, to upgrade its output and to link it with the needs of development and the job market. 

On top of this, the conditions of employees in education will be improved, and new advanced curricula will be introduced that deepen the sense of belonging and identity, promote the values of moderation and incorporate the latest developments in systems, science, technology and languages. 
Out of our keenness to raise a generation that is capable of carrying responsibility and of pursuing the drive for development, the government has launched a set of integrated policies to build the capacity of our youth and to create an environment that will equip them to take part in economic, social, cultural, political and sports spheres and will stimulate them to actively engage in voluntary work and community development. 
Towards this end, we have created a ministry to take care of their affairs and have established the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare. Child care has seen spectacular progress with the creation of the Higher Council for Maternity and Childhood. 

Emirates Palace- a landmark of capital of UAE-Abu Dhabi.


Similarly, we have made the empowerment of woman a pressing national priority. Thanks to sound planning, our State has an honorable record in terms of the rights of women; our women enjoy full rights, able to take part in all activities without discrimination. All the doors are open for the UAE woman to make more progress. 

Brother Emirati men and women,

“Our country is forging ahead steadily in making progress and our national economy has weathered the storm of the global economic crisis thanks to its vibrancy, resilience, diversity and its sound legislative environment. Our economy today remains on track and flourishing, buoyed by the stellar performance of some economic sectors, the improvement in liquidity, and the increase in surpluses. 
However, while expansion and diversification of the economic base and rise in growth rates are all important leading indicators, they are not an end in themselves. Rather, they are means towards the higher end, which is the happiness of man, the coherence of family, the solidarity of society, and the sovereignty of the state. This is the development model approved by the UAE Vision 2021, as a sustainable model of human society, whose target is to empower the society and to build the capacities, skills and knowledge of its members. 
It is our roadmap for the future and the main way to address the challenges faced both by the State and by society. On the top of these are national identity, the imbalance in the job market, low productivity and the weak rates of replacement and Emiratisation. 
We have already taken serious measures in that direction by establishing the Federal Council for the Demographic Structure, the National Qualifications Authority and the Khalifa Emiratisation Fund as well as other agencies. We hope the initiatives of these bodies will serve as a realistic prelude for tackling these challenges we are facing, like Emiratisation, the reduction of foreign workforce, increasing of the opportunities for training and the qualification of the national workforce in a manner that hones their skills and puts more demands on them. 
While recognising the role and contribution from the business sector over the past forty years, it must be noted that this sector should display more commitment today in terms of corporate social responsibility, so as to expand its participation in nation building, in protecting the local community, in increasing productivity and in the provision of investment in development and training and in attracting national human resources by creating more job opportunities for them. 


Dear Emirati men and women,

Our State is adopting a national security and defence strategy based on enhancing and supporting arrangements for maintaining public security and the rule of law along with developing skills and raising the efficiency of human element, in addition to our commitment to combating terrorism and all forms of alien organised crime and to dealing in a serious way with whatever harms internal security and stability. 
With God’s grace, the UAE is today acquiring the ability to defend our national gains and to protect our vital interests. We have given our armed forces special attention as a protective shield for the sovereignty, independence and security of the homeland. These forces have efficiently kept international security and peace and have proven their high efficiency in delivering aid to brotherly and friendly countries. Our armed forces will remain a source of our pride and a depository of our trust. 


Dear brother and sisters,

The current transformation in the Arab World has proven the soundness of the principles and pillars upon which our State has been based since its birth, which call for respect for the human being and his dignity, guaranteeing his rights as the backbone of stability of our communities and the essence of the security of the State. 
We have built our foreign policy principles and practices on moderation, the maintenance of security and stability, the adoption of peaceful means to settle internal and external disputes, on recourse to international legitimacy, on respect for the rule of law and the aspirations of peoples, establishing relations of cooperation with all countries of the world which treat the UAE with all respect and appreciation and are keen to extend bridges of friendship with all its dimensions and forms. 


The commitment to these values have been clearly evident through the approach we have followed in supporting the GCC joint action. We are keen to continue working with our brothers in the GCC to complete political, economic, security and social integration. And, as part of our membership of the GCC, we are closely monitoring the situation in our sister Bahrain, asserting our full support for the efforts being made by its leadership to promote national dialogue in a way that preserves its security and unity. 
As we follow developments in a number of sisterly Arab countries, we affirm our respect for the choices of their peoples and express our support for the ongoing efforts to overcome this situation in a manner that preserves unity and cohesion and meets the aspirations of their peoples. We will also continue our full support to our Palestinian brothers and to their efforts to restore their legitimate rights and to declare their independent state. We are also committed to offer everything that will help to ensure that stability, security and development prevail in friendly Islamic countries. 


As part of our international responsibility, our State is working seriously to enhance and coordinate humanitarian assistance and relief programmes and to provide aid development to developing countries, along with its contribution to international efforts for peace-keeping, reconstruction, disaster and crisis management, as well as responding to appeals for humanitarian relief. 
This is confirmed by the UAE’s distinguished partnership in maintaining international peace and security, its effective contribution in various UN activities and its agencies and its pledging of assistance to the tune of billions of dollars. We remain committed to our principled policy to prohibit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and to engage with the international community to spare the world from the dangers of nuclear proliferation. 
Brothers and sisters, The security and stability of the State is a trust and keeping it is a responsibility which doesn’t tolerate leniency or hesitance. Our gallant Armed Forces and our Police and security forces have been and will remain the strong protective shield and line of defence to earn the trust of and maintain the security and stability of the country and its citizens. We salute those commanders, officers and personnel on this glorious day for their dedication and faithfulness in performing their duty and for what they do to upgrade our national defence and security capabilities. 
We also pay tribute to the children of the loyal UAE people for showing solidarity, allegiance, a unity in their ranks and a deep consciousness. We also greet residents from sisterly and friendly countries who are living among us. 
Together, we have gone through major steps and have witnessed years replete with achievements and success. And we, with the aid of God, will stay the course of the triumphal march, steadfast and in full confidence, so as to reach that for which we aspire – a promising future of prosperity and well-being. 


We pray to the Almighty that He may keep our country strong and secure and that He may grant us the determination and strength to protect it as an oasis of security, stability and prosperity.

EUROPEAN UNION-ALGERIA: A DEVELOPING RELATION

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Between 22-23 November 2011 was taking place the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria H.E. Mourad Medelci.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations is welcoming Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria H.E. Mourad Medelci

The visit, perfect realized by the efforts of Algerian Embassy staff in Romania headed by the dedicated ambassador Habib Chawki Hamraoui was an outstanding succes in perfecting European-romanian-algerian dialogue and in reshaping the traditional friendship between Europe and Algeria.

The dens program of the visit included a productive dialogue with Romanian prime-minister Emil Boc ,  a meeting with romanian minister of Foreign Affairs –Theodor Bachonski ,a dialogue with professor dr. Anton Caragea and the board of director`s of European Council on International Relations ,attending the inauguration of the new premises of Algerian Embassy in Romania , the opening of Romania-Algeria Economic and Business Forum, attending a working launch with Mr. Emil Constantinescu , President of Romania ( 1996-2000) and prof.dr. Anton Caragea, President of  European Council on International Relations.

At the Economic and Business Forum Romania-Algeria the European Council on International Relations had sent a 25 members strong economic delegation headed by Professor Dr. Anton Caragea and representing investors and important economic firms from Europewith a combined economic powered over 400 millions euro`s.

The Romania-Algeria Economic and Business Forum was unanimously considered as an impressive  success because is the first major economic forum between Romania and North Africa region held in the last 10 years and also the first successful romanian-arab economic forum held in the last decade.

Was also generally praised the invitation launched at the Economic and Business Forum by H.E. Mourad Medelci – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria:  “We wish to resume our bilateral relations, in a constructive spirit, and ground them on development and cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, civilian and military cooperation, cultural cooperation. (…) The financial situations of our country allow us to fund, from our country’s budget, a five-year program (2010-2014) worth 280 billion dollars. This context is favorable and I would like to stress that in the framework of this programme, European Council on International Relations firms have already proved their competence in fields like constructions, hydraulic infrastructure and education. Therefore there is real potential for development and cooperation between the two states,” said the head of the Algerian diplomacy.

After the Economic and Business Forum a dialogue was held between Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria- H.E. Mourad Medelci and Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations , President of Romania-Emil Constantinescu (1996-2000 ) and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria- H.E. Mourad Medelci

On the time of the discussion an honest asesssment of the situation from Middle East and North Africa region was made and also a discussion about the ripple effects in the region had taken place. H.E. Minister Mourad Medelci had declared that the analyses of prof.dr.Anton Caragea over the events in the region are read, analyzed and highly appreciated in Alger and are given all the importance.

Fallowing the discussion, a launch honoring Europea-Algeria friendship in the company of H.E. President of Romania Emil Constantinescu (1996-2000) and the architect of this successful visit, Algerian Ambassador Habib Chawki Hamraoui was held. Over 100 guests from cultural, academic and economy fields where present at the launch together with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria- H.E. Mourad Medelci and Professor dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations.

The  two day visit culminated in the Official Ceremony of bestowing DOCTOR HONORIS CAUSA to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria- H.E. Mourad Medelci by Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations and the professors and Rectores of Spiru Haret University of Romania.

Professor Dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations and Ambassador of Algeria : Habib Chawki Hamraoui

The extraordinary achievements in trilateral relation Europe-Romania-Algeria obtained by the visit of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria- H.E. Mourad Medelci are a testimony of the efficacy of hard work realized by tireless Ambassador of Algeria : Habib Chawki Hamraoui had declared for press at the end of the working launch professor dr. Anton Caragea, President of European Council on International Relations.