NCEMA Director General’s speech on the International Volunteer Day Tuesday, December 04, 2018 On the fifth day of December every year, we are reminded of the efforts of millions of volunteers around the world, who work in silence waiting no gratitude, appreciation or fame; just seeking to help fellow humans, mitigate their sufferings as far as possible, relief the victims and provide assistance to those in need. The world today is in dire need of consolidating the values of giving and supporting/ promoting the culture of volunteerism and encouraging youth in different ways, especially in light of never ending conflicts around the world and natural disasters hitting many countries due to the extreme climate changes. With the efforts made by volunteers, we have better hopes of relieving thousands of affected families due to floods, hurricanes and overflows, and helping millions of refugees and people displaced due to wars and conflicts, as well as other unfortunate people everywhere. In this area, the UAE follows the approach of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who established the foundations of voluntary and charitable work and left clear marks on humanitarian activism both locally and globally. The UAE continued Sheikh Zayed’s approach under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The launch of the ‘Zayed Giving’ initiative is a clear manifestation of the values of giving and volunteering to serve the unfortunate people, both inside and outside the UAE. The UAE prides itself for the increasing number of its volunteers, which, in the middle of this year, reached 311,489 volunteers from different age groups. This indicates the success of the efforts made by the UAE and its institutions to promote the culture of volunteerism through the creation of a plethora of channels to invest these capabilities both inside and outside the UAE and the launch of consecutive and ongoing initiatives to serve humanity. The number of volunteer opportunities offered by the National Platform for Volunteerism is estimated at 5,341 throughout the UAE. Therefore, we would like to extend our warm greetings and express our pride and appreciation for every volunteer within our beloved country. You have made us proud and your efforts have enabled us to accomplish our duties. There is no doubt that voluntary work in the UAE society constitutes a part of its social fabric and is an essential component of its value system. This is reflected in all areas, starting with the everyday life of the average citizen and ending with the country’s foreign policies. This trend has brought the UAE to become the world’s top donor of humanitarian aid according to a report by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD). This coincides with the year of Zayed- the icon of giving and benevolence, the year of the founding father who has instilled the seeds of goodness and humanity in his sons who follow his steps. Last but not least, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to volunteers in the field of emergencies, crises and disasters, who undergo intensive and exhausting training, and devote their efforts to accomplish arduous tasks to be able to respond to emergencies immediately and maintain precious lives and resources of our nation, which we cherish and boast being citizens of.