Dubai: The 11th edition of the World Governments Summit opened at 9am sharp on Monday morning, with Mohammed AlGergawi, UAE's Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Governments Summit, calling upon the world to redefine its priorities and focus on the positives and what unites them.
As delegates and participants braved the heavy rains to keep their date with the high-profile event, the plenary hall where the opening remarks were made was full. In fact, well before summit participants could make their way to the venue, they woke up to the loud thunderclaps and flashes of lightning, even as many parts of the emirates witnessed heavy rains. They also received emergency alerts on their phones, as part of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA)’s early warning systems.
However, as AlGergawi said, “If we look throughout history, we are living in the best, safest and most prosperous human era.”
He said there were many pointers to this: The lifespan of human beings doubling due to medical advances; the number of low-income countries declining by half in just 20 years; 120,000 new books being produced every month; 33 million patents being acquired in one decade; the list could go on.
He said without being overly optimistic or delusional, we must dwell on making the right choices to shape our destinies.
“We must focus on opportunities and the vast space of progress and development,” he said, adding, “What unites us is more than what divides us.”
Highlighting some key developmental indicators covering the economy, politics, media and society. He said it is up to governments to turn them into opportunities. For example, he said the cost of disputes, conflicts and violence worldwide in one year amounts to $17 trillion. "Even using six per cent of this figure can cover the most critical challenges facing humanity," he said, pointing to the limitless benefits that could be availed if the balance is channelled into education, health and the elimination of hunger.
He also spoke of how 50 per cent of global growth comes from China and India. He touched upon China’s transition to clean energy, India’s prowess in STEM and other achievements, adding that India was posied to become the third largest superpower in the world by 2030.
AlGergawi said Artificial Intelligence has increased our ability to learn by 1,000 times in a year. Elaborating his point, he spoke of how ChatGPT had revolutionised the nature and volume of data transfer in record time. “But this is a double-edged sword,” he said, explaining how misleading information and distortion of facts are among the biggest challenges facing the world today.
The minister also referred to the "clear shifts in international trade" and said globalisation must be used as a driver of economic development. The World Governments Summit is an ideal forum to tackle these and other issues, he added.
He emphasised the need to reduce the risks of technology, encourage commercial and cultural communication and peace, focus on unity and redefine priorities.
The three-day World Governments Summit this year, which is in its 11th edition, is taking place under the theme of ‘Shaping Future Governments’.
With 25 heads of state and governments attending the summit which is hosting over 200 global speakers, AlGergawi said, “The summit provides an excellent opportunity to forge common perspectives on global developments and craft proactive strategies to address future challenges.”
WGS IN NUMBERS
11 th edition
25 heads of state and governments
85 international and regional organisations
110 interactive dialogues
120 government delegations
200 global speakers