11 November 2008

His Majesty’s speech - 11 Nov 2008

Full text of His Majesty’s speech before the convening of the annual session of the Council of Oman.

Praise be to God for His great and abundant blessings and peace be upon the seal of His Messengers and Prophets, and upon His family, companions and followers.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

It is a blessing of God that deserves our many thanks and appreciation that we meet a new year after a year in this blessed Council, through which we look forward — with full confidence and hope — to realise more achievements for a stable and secure Oman, with God’s assistance and guidance.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

Giving attention to human resources, including the provision of the various tools required to enhance their performance, incentives to develop their capabilities, diversifying their creative talents and to improving their scientific and practical qualifications, is the basis of real development and the cornerstone in its structure which is based on solid foundations. The human element is the maker of a renaissance and the builder of a civilisation.

Therefore, we are sparing no effort and will continue to spare no effort in order to provide our human resources with all the help they will need to develop, hone and train. We will also provide educational opportunities for them in order that they may acquire useful knowledge, the required experience and the necessary technical skills that will be needed in the labour market as required by the sustainable development programmes in the various fields.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

We have always emphasised the importance of learning and knowledge and we have always been open to the adoption of new developments in this field.

Information technology and communications have now become the main elements that move forward the development process in this third millennium; therefore, we have accorded our attention to finding a national strategy to develop the skills and abilities of citizens in this domain with the aim of further developing e-government services. We are closely following the important steps that we have made in this regard. We call upon all government institutions to speedily enhance their performance, and to facilitate their services, by applying digital technology in order to usher the Sultanate into the constantly evolving spheres for applying knowledge.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

The necessary pillars for any sustainable development are good government performance in different sectors, serving the country and citizens with honesty and dedication and putting public interest over all other considerations.

While we commend the government’s performance during the past period, we at the same time wish to stress the need for a constant revision of the State’s administrative system. This will ensure that the best and most successful means that lead to the simplification and facilitation of procedures are followed, thus expediting the decision-making process in the interests of citizens and residents who are contributing to the service of Oman and assisting in its building.

Here, it is worth noting that the government’s performance in laying down the groundwork for sustainable development relies on those carrying out their duties, as well as on their supervisors. This places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of employees who are entrusted with the work in the different government sectors. If their work is carried out in an honest manner and with a spirit of responsibility, away from personal interests, then they would be happy and so would their country. But if they stray from the right path and consider the job as a means to achieving personal gains, influence and power and they linger in carrying out their duties in complete honesty and dedication, they should be held accountable and legal procedures should be taken against them in accordance with the principles of justice upon which we have laid down the pillars of rule.

In accordance with these pillars, we are required not to allow anyone to be above law and order, or to let anyone unlawfully affect the interests of our people as guaranteed by the State as well as the interests of the community which is protected by legislation and supported by our laws and regulations.

Therefore, we emphasise that the issue of enforcement of justice is imperative and inevitable, and that our monitoring apparatus is alert and dedicated to carrying out their duties and responsibilities in order to safeguard the country’s achievements.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

We have followed with concern the economic situation currently being witnessed by the world and the turmoil prevailing in the international arena due to these circumstances. We would like to point out that the policies adopted by our government over recent years have contributed — praise be to God — to averting the effects of this situation affecting our economy.

In this regard we confirm the continuation of the development and building policies in accordance with the endorse plans. We also affirm the need to diversify sources of income and the need to exert more efforts in this respect. It is also necessary to look into ways of benefiting from alternative energy resources and to seek ways of achieving food security as much as possible. In this regard we have given our orders to the authorities concerned to set up appropriate plans.

Honourable Members of the Council of Oman, Dear Citizens,

We currently live in a world of overlapping policies and interests but our international co-operation is in line with the Sultanate’s higher interests and in line with our contribution to the establishment of world security and prosperity. Thanks to these policies our country has acquired the respect and appreciation of the international community.

Co-operation and exchange of benefits and interests among nations in an atmosphere of harmony and peace is a vital issue that we should all relentlessly pursue with diligence and dedication for the sake of the welfare of humanity, its security and prosperity. We in the Sultanate constantly put this issue before our eyes.

We have joined various international and regional groupings with a view to positively contributing to alll efforts that bring about welfare for all of humanity in an effective manner. On this occasion, we take the opportunity of the convening of the 29th Summit of Their Majesties and Highnesses, leaders of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council, scheduled to be held in Muscat soon, to welcome our brothers to their second homeland as honourable guests and pray to the Almighty to make this brotherly gathering a success, and to grant the GCC further well-being and progress.

With the name and praise of God we began, and with the same we conclude, may God ordain guidance and wisdom for us in all our deeds and may God fulfil our hopes. You are the hearer and the one who responds to our prayers.

May God grant you success and may God’s peace and blessings be upon you.

The annual session of the council of Oman was attended by Royal family members, chairmen of Majlis Addawla and Majlis Ash’shura, ministers, advisers, commanders of armed forces, Royal Oman Police, senior military and civil officers, honourable members of Majlis Addawla and Majlis Ash’shura, heads of the diplomatic missions in the Sultanate, shaikhs and dignitaries, editors-in-chief of Oman News Agency (ONA), local newspapers, as well as editors-in-chief and representatives of Arab and foreign media.

The Council of Oman was established as per the Royal Decree No 86/97 issued on December 16, 1997. It comprises Majlis Addawla and Majlis Ash’shura, which the basic law of the state defines the prerogatives of each of them, their terms, systems of work, the number of their members, the requirements that should be met by them, method of selecting or appointing them, requirements of their dismissal and other regulatory terms.

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