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Focus on education and health of employees necessary: Gordon Brown

Former British PM addresses the Dubai Government Summit

Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was a speaker during "How do we Measure Development"
Gulf News

Dubai: Governments cannot achieve sustainable development without focusing on investment in education and the creativity of people, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the opening session of the Government Summit in Dubai on Monday.

Human resources, including health and education, was one of the most essential factors in measuring development across governments, Brown told the hundreds of ministers, top officials and other digitaries gathered for the session.

“Let’s be the first generation in history to allow governments to move from low income to high income, because we invest in education and the talent of people.”
-Gordon Brown, Former British Prime Minister
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According to Brown, only investment in innovation technology and creativity of people can help countries become wealthier.

The former Prime Minister went on to call for being “the first generation in history to allow governments to move from low income to high income, because we invest on education and the talent of people.”

Sharing the UAE’s standard in measuring the development process, Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State, said: “Development is the compass of the UAE policy. It defines where to go and what to do to achieve development.”

While the UAE’s policy is focused on enhancing sectors such as health and education, Reem said development cannot be measured by a single factor but rather a combination of several factors based on ground reality.

Brown said during the session that governments should also strive to enhance their competitiveness by ensuring high productivity, he said. Sustainable development sould also focus on the need to invest in science and technology, as well as to ensure opportunities to measure the talent and creativity of people, he said.

Modern technology and high standards of education allow governments across the world to visualize and adopt delivered services according to their needs. In addition, technology is also the main tool for knowledge transformation between the most remote areas and the most developed ones, Brown said.

While social cohesiveness is a key factor in development, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is no longer the only barometer of a country’s progress, said Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperating Development (OECD).

Expressing similar sentiments, Jennifer Blanke, Lead Economist and Senior Director and Head of the Global Competitiveness Network at the World Economic Forum, highlighted the 12 pillars in measuring the governments competitiveness. These include institution, governance, human resources and infrastructure.

However, what governments really need to do for sustainable development is to put their best practices in place and ensure private-public sector partnerships and civil society involvement, she said.