Dubai: Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), stated that the UAE has a global mission to work and cooperate with governments, institutions and individuals worldwide to design a better future for humanity. By its Centennial, the UAE hopes to become the best country in the world, bringing together peoples to live in harmony and tolerance and presenting a model future nation.
This came during the inauguration of the ‘Great Narrative Meetings’ launched on Thursday in collaboration between the UAE government and the WEF.
Al Gergawi stressed that governments first and foremost should instill hope in people, design comprehensive plans and strategies that meet the needs of the 7.8 billion people living on this planet, and develop solutions to global challenges.
“The world is facing major challenges especially when it comes to climate change. Over the past seven years, the world recorded the highest temperatures globally and we cannot afford to waste any more time. The richest 1 per cent have more than double the wealth of seven billion people, and about half of the world’s population lives under $6 a day. The world has been through one of the largest economic downturns in human history. According to IMF estimates, the global economy has decreased by 3.5 per cent in 2020 due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and many countries are still having difficulty restoring their position to its status before the pandemic,” Al Gergawi added.
The Great Narrative Meeting also hosted a panel discussion to explore the UAE’s vision for the next 50 years and the major future trends in the fields of government work, science, space, youth, advanced technology and AI solutions.
Workshops on Day 1 discussed the key future trends in five vital sectors, including society, technology, environment, politics, and future economy, with the aim of creating a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future for all.
Several UAE minister also shared their vision for the next 50 years at the session.
Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, and Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, were among those present.
Al Roumi stated that government readiness was the most important lesson that the world has learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. She added that 21 years ago, when the UAE government launched the e-government programme, there was no urgent need for it, but this proactive vision promoted its agility and resilience, and government work flowed smoothly, efficiently and effectively throughout the pandemic. She stressed that when it comes to building readiness for the future, the earlier it starts, the more prepared the government shall be.
Al Mazrui confirmed that youth future ideology has changed immensely as compared to previous years. This was reflected in the latest “Arab Youth Priorities Survey 2021”, as it showed that about 100 per cent of Emirati youth trust the UAE government in facing challenges and addressing issues. In addition, the percentage of Arab youth who trust their governments increased to more than 70 per cent this year, indicating their confidence that their governments listen to their opinions.
Al Amiri noted that the UAE Cabinet reshuffle in July 2020 was a comprehensive make-over of how the government functions. She also stated that the creation of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, which combines two governmental portfolios, confirmed the fact that it is not only about technology, but rather about how advanced technologies can be deployed effectively across all sectors.
Al Olama stressed that the UAE government’s proactive mindset enabled launching multiple national strategic projects and initiatives that promoted the UAE’s position as a global leader in innovation, technological advancement and digital transformation. He added that this mindset made the UAE one of the leading countries in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), digitisation, quantum computing, among others.