Davos: Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit Organisation, has stated that the UAE, under the wise leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has reinforced its global status in ushering in a new era of government work where government leaders make critical decisions towards designing a better future for humanity.
Al Gergawi added that the UAE government, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is committed to global collaboration in enhancing governments’ readiness to the future and predicting future trends over the next decade.
‘History at a Turning Point’
This came as the World Government Summit launched a new report titled ‘Critical Decision Points Facing Government Leaders in a Transforming World’, in collaboration with the National Transformations Institute at Kearney Middle East. The report was launched during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, held under the theme ‘History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies’, with the participation of more than 2,000 government leaders, officials, decision-makers, thought leaders, scientists, private sector leaders and prominent academics from around the world.
Promoting strategic forward-thinking
Al Gergawi further said that the post-COVID-19 world has changed dramatically and that it heralded a new era of accelerated changes that require adopting a whole-of-government approach, promoting strategic forward-thinking, and designing comprehensive policies that keep pace with global changes. He added that the report reflects the role of the World Government Summit Organisation in inspiring future governments and enhancing their capabilities to address future challenges through anticipating critical decision points and taking actions on them early in their evolution, which enables government leaders to create strategic advantage, strengthen resilience and accelerate progress over the coming years.
Global radical changes
The report explored radical changes, such as climate change, cyber risks and rising public debt, that will require governments to take a new approach to addressing challenges that sees them develop innovative solutions to enhance their resilience and agility, four dimensions, namely; strategic shocks, widening divides, system disruptions, as well as policy accelerators.
The report also reviews that need to be considered to make critical decisions, prepare for emergencies, anticipate threats, combat corruption, and foresee the future of technologies to support public policymakers in making decisions around challenges like cybercrime and governance of the Metaverse.
Rudolph Lohmeyer, partner and head of the National Transformations Institute, Kearney Middle East, said: “In periods of extreme volatility and change, decisions made — or not made — have far-reaching repercussions. Leaders can achieve the desired results by initiating proactive decisions in a timely manner. Making early decisions and actions can contribute to avoiding crises or building the flexibility to address them. In many other cases, making critical decisions allows the harnessing of opportunities to achieve strategic advantages.”
Formidable economic challenges
The report adds that an integrated approach to monetary and fiscal policy is “essential to balance price stability with economic growth, while monetary tightening will be critical to entrenching demand”. Policymakers will need to take special measures and use them to ease supply constraints and help disrupted economic sectors. These measures will be country specific, where the economic context varies depending on GDP growth, core inflation rates, national financial safety margins and debt burdens.
A straining global energy system
In terms of energy challenges, the report predicts that the consumption of major energy resources will rise globally by 50 per cent by 2050, adding that the current context “shows the complexity and risks of the current global energy system”. The report notes that “the state of energy uncertainty requires urgent action to achieve energy security in the short term, with flexibility also in the long term, given the long investment prospects and the uneven distribution of energy sources”.
Preparing for global food insecurity
The report indicates that food insecurity has risen, stating that there are several factors that support this trend. Exporting of wheat, barley and corn, are essential, but conflicts may lead to the suspension of production and shipments and the disruption of the Spring sowing season, which in turn will lead to a long-term deficit.
The report points out that “government leaders this year are awaiting challenges on how to regulate cryptocurrencies and balance their role in the financial system relative to traditional currencies and the increasingly dominant digital currencies of central bank”.
In this context, the report considers that “government leaders need to address government and corporate debt in a tight monetary environment, which requires coherent institutional, regulatory, and policy frameworks that impose strategic trade-offs related to national priorities and may impose painful choices on stakeholders that receive support and those that do not”.
Governments and climate change
The report also points to challenges and critical decisions awaiting government leaders this year, “particularly on how to fulfil the commitments of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, especially working with major companies responsible for large proportions of emissions”.
The report urges government leaders to “work collaboratively by seeking to provide a dialogue-based and learning-oriented environment in which policymakers engage with businesses to understand their needs, and the ways in which policies can accelerate the transition to net zero”.
The report points out that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the trust between governments and their citizens, according to the ability of governments to deal with the repercussions of the pandemic. As a result, there has been a global decline in the level of trust in governments from 65 per cent in 2020 to 52 per cent in 2022, while companies and non-governmental organisations gained public trust.
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The report says that governments require innovative approaches to create public value and rebuild trust, at a time when governments are facing challenges in areas such as managing the Metaverse, space exploration, data, and artificial intelligence in a way that is in the interest of society, supports decision-making and responds to major transformations in labour markets and patterns and enable the fight against corruption.
World Government Summit
The World Government Summit is an umbrella platform that aims to shape the future of government work around the world and support the work programmes of future governments with a focus on harnessing technology and innovation to meet current challenges.