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Clinton asks graduates to define interdependence.

Abu Dhabi: The former US president Bill Clinton asked the young university graduates to positively define the term interdependence as they are

going to live in the most interdependent age in human history.

"It [interdependence] goes way beyond economics," he said while delivering the keynote address at the New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi's inaugural commencement ceremony on Sunday, in the presence of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the foreign minister.

About 140 students from 49 countries received their certificates at the ceremony attended by dignitaries including Khaldoun Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority of Abu Dhabi and Member of the NYU Board of Trustees.

"The victory today is not surety," Clinton said. The only thing certain is that everyone is going to live in a world where one cannot stay away from others.

Therefore, the great work for the 21st century would involve defining the term interdependence, Clinton said.

Mentioning the unresolved conflicts across the world, he said the world preferred conflict to cooperation due to political, financial and deeply psychological reasons. It restricts opportunity instead of expanding it.

Clinton asked the students to define the term interdependence in a positive way [as an obligation]; whatever step they take next.

He highlighted the challenges of growing inequality and instability in the political and economic spheres. The earth is stressed by climate change and depleting natural resources.

"The most important thing is the unresolved identity conflict all over the world today. People get up in the morning and wash their face and look at the mirror. How do they define what they see? With negative reference to someone else or as part of a wider and wider community?" Clinton asked.

He said that this identity conflict is at the heart of most of the problems. Even the sustainability challenge is a question of identity.

He supported the UAE's initiative to transform the energy sector with the use of clean energy. The cost of solar panels has been reduced considerably in recent years.

"On a sunny day last week, Germany became the first country in the world after the industrial revolution to generate 74 per cent of electricity from wind and solar power."

Clinton said creative cooperation can bring prosperity. Creative cooperation and shared responsibility work well everywhere in the world, he said.

NYU President John Sexton and NYU Abu Dhabi Vice-Chancellor Alfred Bloom officiated over the ceremony.

Sexton said he hoped that the young men and women graduate would go out into the world and become great leaders.

Bloom said the graduates would prove that the finest undergraduate education can prepare the leadership required for this century.

Musbah Dilsebo Ormago, 23, who studied social research and public policy, said: "I learned a lot about cosmopolitanism, tolerance, and the appreciation of others and their unique cultures."

Shamma Al Mazroui, 21, who graduated with a degree in economics with a concentration in finance, said her experience at the university instilled endless creativity in her. She will study at Oxford University as an inaugural Rhodes Trust Falcon scholar this autumn.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:May 26, 2014
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