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Preparations on for science summit in Dubai

Public campaigning started in earnest yesterday for the Science Technology and Arts Royal Summit ...

Public campaigning started in earnest yesterday for the Science Technology and Arts Royal Summit 2001 which will be held in Dubai next month.

The two-day musical and celebrity extravaganza on October 13-15, will include former US President Bill Clinton as a speaker and appearences by singer Belinda Carlysle and actress Lauran Bacall.

The summit, which is being organised in cooperation with the United Nations Global Movement for Children, will explore ways to raise funds for disadvantaged children around the world.

Mandla Mandela, grandson of the former South African President Nelson Mandela, helped launch the campaign on behalf of his grandfather with a speech about the summit's objectives, adding that part of the funds raised would be allocated for improving South African townships and initiating IT projects for children.

Mandela said: "The first objective is our child well being programme which seeks to help children. We do this by supporting those that implement sustainable family programmes responding to vulnerability among children and young people.

"Our second objective is our disability programme. Differences between children whatever they are, should never mean that people cannot be part of our society and share in its future.

"Our third objective is our education and development programme. Here we seek to make sure that every child is able to go to school - to learn about the world - and to have time to think about the future."

He continued: "The fourth objective is our leadership programme. Simply, here we help those who can give children the confidence to know that they can make the difference - each of them can change the world."

The UAE's national air carrier also took the opportunity to announce their support as a title partner for the campaign.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates, said: "The event is a noble cause to help the children of the world that Emirates is proud to be associated with. We will be responsible for bringing many of the delegates to the summit and will proudly fly the STARS logo on the fuselages of our aircraft."

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corproration, and Chairman of Palm Island, and representing the Dubai Government, said: "Of course an event of this size is not a one-man show. It has taken the collaboration and hard work of many government departments and committees in preparation.

"Such departments include: Dubai Internet City, Dubai World Trade Centre, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Economic Development, Dubai Transport, Department of Naturalisation and Immigration and the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation."