The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) and the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) organised a lecture on aviation diplomacy for select personnel of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Led by His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA, the session shed light on the impact of the current geopolitical climate on the civil aviation sector and the national economy. It also examined ways of leveraging the UAE’s prominent role in the global aviation industry to enhance the nation’s soft power through a range of initiatives.
The lecture provided an overview of GCAA and its responsibilities, outlined the contribution of the aviation sector to achieving the objectives of the UAE Vision 2021, and addressed various aspects of the global industry, including strategic trends, air transport rights, safety and security, and navigation services. The session also reviewed the strategic objectives of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its mission.
Speaking on this joint initiative with EDA, His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi said: “One of the most important contributors to the UAE’s success is its young generation. We see the future of the country in our young people, therefore we are always keen to support joint programmes with federal government entities that empower our youth to meet future challenges.”
He added: “This lecture, delivered at EDA, highlighted the pioneering journey of the UAE aviation industry, as well as the close relationship between the aviation sector and diplomatic entities that contributes to serving our national agenda.”
For his part, His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, said: “We are honoured to host such a prominent leader at the Academy. His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi’s valuable insights have introduced our trainees to diverse contemporary geopolitical challenges and opportunities. We are confident that they will put their well-rounded knowledge of diverse sectors, such as aviation – a pivotal industry in the international arena, to good use in their diplomatic careers.”
He added: ”Here at EDA, we make it a priority to explore a wide variety of topics that enhance the knowledge of our trainees. We do so through a series of advanced teaching methods, interactive lectures and high-impact discussions with prominent industry leaders, veteran diplomats and policy makers. Ultimately, we aim to prepare young Emirati talent to represent the country on the world stage.”
His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi holds extensive experience in the aviation industry. He has been General Manager of GCAA since 2008 and is a member of the Executive Council of the Arab Civil Aviation Authority. Prior to this, he served as Chairman of the Executive Council of the Arab Civil Aviation Authority and Vice President of the ICAO Assembly, and held several positions in the UAE military, including commander, pilot and trainer in the UAE Air Force.