Panel discussion hosted by 'People and Planet' programme at Expo 2020 Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Development professionals from the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), from countries around the world, are collaborating in Expo 2020 Dubai’s ‘Programme for People and Planet’.

The AKDN’s wide-ranging partnership with Expo is founded on “a shared commitment and recognition that the most pressing challenges facing humanity can best be addressed through cultural, social, environmental and economic initiatives”, the network said on Monday.

Its contributions to Expo’s programmes draw upon the AKDN’s experience in social, economic, cultural and environmental projects and interventions in over 35 countries. As a partner in association with Expo’s ‘Urban and Rural Development Week’, the AKDN has worked together with UAE ministries, as well as Siemens and UN Habitat, to “inform the week’s direction and content”.

The AKDN has also contributed to Expo’s ‘Theme Weeks’ on Climate and Biodiversity, Tolerance and Inclusivity, and Knowledge and Learning.

‘Sharing ideas is crucial’

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Sharing ideas and knowledge is crucial, and nations and organisations must work together on collaborative solutions to global challenges that affect us all. The UAE welcomes the active participation of organisations such as the [AKDN], as we seek to build a cleaner, safer, healthier world for everyone.”

AKDN, working with the ministries of the UAE, and local and international civil society organisations, is coordinating numerous presentations at Expo including on sustainable and climate-resilient mountain development; and promoting livelihoods and economies in the face of climate change; among others.

‘Areas of common interest’

Michael Kocher, General Manager, Aga Khan Foundation, said: “[The UAE] and the [AKDN] have worked closely together for many years in areas of common interest, including architecture, culture, education and healthcare. The AKDN’s collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai is a reflection of this abiding partnership, which is founded upon a shared commitment to addressing key concerns relating to human development, to improve the quality of life of the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

In describing the partnership, Nadia Verjee, Chief of Staff, Programme for People and Planet, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Expo 2020 Dubai is bringing together a variety of voices from around the globe to help spur collaborative action towards solving some of the world’s most pressing issues. Ideas and solutions can come from everywhere, and the [AKDN’s] expertise across topics from urban and rural development to knowledge and learning, as well as climate and biodiversity issues, will enhance and strengthen our extensive programme of events, and drive towards stronger and more meaningful outcomes.”