Dubai-UAE: 11 February, 2018 – Her Excellency Reem bint Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, joined His Excellency Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, for a high-level panel discussion on the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a special session titled ‘On the Way to 2030'.
Held in the run-up to the sixth World Government Summit in Dubai, the panel covered a variety of topics related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from the progress already being made through to challenges that hinder the implementation of the 17 agreed SDGs by 2030. The UAE was held up as a shining example due to its comprehensive roadmap all the way to its centenary in 2071 and its commitment to SDGs.
HE Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairman of the National Committee for the Sustainable Development Goals in the United Arab Emirates, elaborated that the launch of the Global Councils for Sustainable Development Goals is a practical implementation of the strategic role played by the UAE in the global efforts to achieve the SDG. 'We now have an innovative global platform that is conducive to exchanging views and experiences, and identifying best practices that can be translated into practical realistic applications.
In her opening speech, Al Hashimy praised the evolution of the SDGs in Action platform since its launch three years ago. She also thanked the participants and pointed out how the forum has become in innovative medium to mobilize international efforts, and support the development process and highlight the importance of synergy and solidarity to help developing societies and provide effective economic and social development tools.
Reflecting on Her Excellency's comments, Professor Sachs said: “We have to reflect on the SDGs and admit that it is not business as usual for governments, it is something different and harder. There is a holistic agenda. It is about the economy and it is also about social and environmental aspects, it is about respect, it is about the climate and social issues”.
Speaking on the issue of technological advancement, its impact on developed and developing countries and the implementation of SDGs in policy, His Excellency Angel Gurría said: “It is not just about the OECD, this is a worldwide problem. How do you make technology and progress work for the economy, for job creation and for better health rather than it being a threat to the workforce?”
He added: “It is about upskilling, but you cannot just turn every miner into a computer maven. You need to upskill and allocate social resources, and money, and structure. This has to happen. There must be a mandate for underdeveloped and developed countries alike. This needs to be reinforced and everyone needs to know this is a priority. There needs to be a culture in domestic governments, in NGOs, and business about the importance of this.”
SDGs in Action is an all-day event that focuses on creating partnerships among a range of stakeholders – subject-matter experts, international organizations, governments, youth groups, NGOs, academia and the private sector – to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the World Government Summit 2018 runs from February 11 to 13 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. The landmark event convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations.
Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features five distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit are being launched during the event.