After an action-packed Day One of the World Government Summit in Dubai, where heads of state, ministers and hundreds of government officials debated the future of government, the state of the global economy and climate action, the Day 2 of the Summit also proved to be a compelling watch. Heads of global organisations including António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations and Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organisation were some of the main speakers to address the Summit and tell us what is next for the world. Follow the highlights here:
Follow Gulf News’ live coverage of Day 2 of the region’s biggest gathering of leaders.
GCC working towards a sustainable future: Al Budaiwi
In his keynote address, Jassim Muhammad Al Budaiwi, Secretary General, Gulf Cooperation Council, hailed the WGS’ success and expressed condolences to peoples of Turkey and Syria.
Since its establishment in 1981, the Council has been working for a sustainable future, said Al Budaiwi. He highlighted the achievements of the GCC countries in various fields including in diversifying energy resources and women empowerment.
“The GCC governments are foreseeing future and supporting development. They have launched national visions for development in governance. They also focus on enhancing performances of the people and culture of all communities, utilising technology, focussing on innovation and providing best services in partnership with other partners.”
“People of GCC have responded with loyalty and hard work,” Al Budaiwi pointed out.
Among the challenges, he listed the necessity to ensure the continuity of development, the need for greater connectivity and economic integration and unemployment of the youth and preparing them with future skills.
‘Sanctions against Syria are annoying,’ says Arab League Chief
“Sanctions against Syria are annoying,” said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, during a session on Arab Prosperity and Development at WGS 2023.
“Some people expect the Arab League to deliver aid to combat the disaster in Syria. The fact is the Arab League is not an organisation with that power. We called upon the UN and the international community to rush aid. But the League is not designed to deliver aid for disasters like in Syria or Turkey. Arab Ministerial Councils have sent a lot of aid to both the countries,” said Gheit.
“There are Arab societies which have succeeded including those in the Gulf and countries that have been shaken,” observed Gheit.
“There are countries, the six GCC countries all succeeded in having a balanced economic growth. Why? I see the resources were available. But there was also a leadership that could foresee the future.”
No future without educated youth, says Arab League chief
“GCC gave high priority to education and hence the universities moved from the West to the Gulf countries.”
He cited AUS Sharjah as a great example that he has personally visited.
Gheit said the Arab dream is to create educated youth. “The teachers at schools and universities must be able to bring out the best potentials of the youth. Resources must be provided for education.”
UAE helps to shape future governments: UN cheif
António Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations addresses WGS 2023 virtually. Guterres congratulated the UAE leaders as they marked the 10th anniversary of the WGS.
“Over the past decades, you have established a global platform to help shape future governments. You have brought together thinkers and decision makers from around the world to explore solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
“And that mission is more vital than ever now,” he said.
“We are confronting a confluence of crises . In our lifetimes, conflict is raging, poverty and hunger are rising and divisions are deepening and the climate emergency keeps worsening. So we have a duty to act. And we must for the best and greater cooperation rooted in solidarity. We must avoid short term policymaking that delays taking on the big test we face and ultimately makes those challenges even more intractable. We must set some global governance and review great multilateralism for the 21st century. And we must act at the speed and scale that are fast moving.”
We will launch DEWA Sat- 2 nano satellite in 2023: Saeed Al Tayer
Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority speaks on ‘What We Offer to COP28.’
“We have launched a number of projects at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park with Dh50 billion investment. Its total production capacity will reach 5,000MW by 2030. Upon completion, the solar park will reduce at least 6.5m tonnes of CO2 emissions annually,” said Al Tayer.
“Given solar energy is climate-dependent and unavailable at night, we have launched a number of energy storage units. We will have the largest thermal storage capacity in the world,” he said.
Al Tayer highlighted various projects of DEWA including the Green Hydrogen Project and the world’s largest carbon neutral green data centre.
Highlights from his speech:
* Under the wise leadership of the UAE, we are hosting COP28. In Expo City Dubai, the COP28 will build on the outcomes of the previous editions.
* The UAE is the first country in MENA to launch net zero carbon strategy by 2050.
* 8,000 buildings in Dubai have been fitted with solar panels under the Shams Dubai
* This year we will launch DEWA Sat- 2 nano satellite
* Now there are 350 charging stations for electric vehicles in Dubai
* Our strategies are aligned with those of the UN. To combat climate change, the Cabinet approved Global Alliance for Green Economy which aims to launch projects for sustainable economy.
UAE is a hub for medical aid, says WHO chief
In one of the keynote addresses at the WGS 2023, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO) speaks about “The Next Global Health Priorities: What, Why, and How?” in a video address from Syria.
The UAE has played a vital role in our work over the past few days. We have dispatched three flights with medical supplies to both countries from our logistics hub in Dubai, UAE. Indeed, our UAE, Dubai hub is an increasingly important part of WHO’s work around the world on emergency preparedness, response and resilience. In the past year, we have delivered essential supplies to 90 countries from Dubai.
The devastating earthquake in Turkey and in Syria is another reminder of the need for all countries to build their capacities, for health, emergency preparedness, risk, and resilience.”
Dr. David Moinina Sengeh named Best Minister
Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, Minister of Education, Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Republic of Sierra Leone is Best Minister. He received the coveted award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, VicePresident and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai at the World Government Summit 2023.
We want to triple our visitors by 2030: RAK Ruler
His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah said: “Ras Al Khaimah enjoys a rich history from the mountains to the sea, green valley to golden dunes. Tourism in the emirate as a result has become the fastest growing industry. It has grown by 50 percent in four years. We want to triple our visitors by 2030.”
Lindsey Poulter wins The Data visualization award
Video message from Turkish President
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey apologises for not being able to attend the World Government Summit in-person owing to the devastating earthquake that rocked Turkey last week.
Our stability and security are inextricably linked to the safety and security of the Gulf Nations, said Erdogan.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan thanks government of UAE for assisting the Turkish people after the devastating earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey last week.
31 per cent of our energy comes from renewable sources
Macky Sall, President, Republic of Senegal and Chairperson of the African Union: “We see a lot of factors that are still hindering the growth of Africa. We need major political will and positive communication to make Africa a place for business investment.”
“31 per cent of our energy comes from renewable sources. We are going to exploit natural resources to provide electricity for all, but at the same time, we are going to focus on the use of renewable sources of energy. We are working in favour of a fair transition.”
The strategies we pursue must leave no one behind: Al Jaber
The international community must follow through on pledges made over a decade ago. We need real reform of international financial institutions and multi-lateral banks to unleash more concessional dollars, lower risk and attract more private finance for vulnerable communities. The COP28 Presidency views that addressing the climate challenge represents the greatest opportunity for inclusive growth and prosperity since the first industrial revolution.
The strategies we pursue must leave no one behind, the policies we adopt must be pro-growth and pro-climate at the same time.
‘Let’s live up to the responsibility that we have been entrusted with’
UAE approaches the task of organising COP28 with humility and great responsibility. COP28 will have the first global stocktake, a comprehensive assessment of the progress of Paris Climate Agreement. But, we don’t need to do a stock take. We already know that we are way off track. The world is playing catch up when it comes to holding temperatures below required a levels. Global temperatures must fall 43 per cent by 2030. We need a major course correction as the current approaches we have been using come from a different era no longer fit for purpose.
”Let’s cooperate collaborate and share ideas. Let’s live up to the responsibility that we have been entrusted with.”
”UAE is not shying away from energy transition. In fact, we are running towards it.”
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President Designate, COP28, “We need to transform entire industry systems that run on energies from the first industrial revolution”
ChatGPT and AI is now becoming very topical
“The use of all technologies were accelerated during the pandemic. The emergence of the so-called ChatGPT and AI is now becoming very topical; but, it is also cocktail. With previous technological developments compounded with AI, the whole landscape is going to be transformed. We should also accept that cyber space is going to be inevitably present in more areas of our daily life. One one side, learn to draw maximum benefits of technologies and also avoid all pitfalls. It is my earnest wish that we all get engaged in profound reflection. Let us all work together by charting out necessary regulatory frameworks and checks and balances.”
“We are now in a virtual and physical world interacting constantly. This is a new reality, but, we should be able to understand and make a serious transition and cohabitate in these two worlds together.” said President Roopun.
‘Natural disasters are becoming far too common’
“I express my sympathies and solidarity to the people and governments of Turkey and Syria following the devastating earthquake,” said Prithvirajsing Roopun, President, Republic of Mauritius while delivering keynote address.
“Natural disasters are, unfortunately, becoming a real tragedy and are becoming far too common. And this is due to climate change. Rise in temperature, extreme weather conditions, torrid heatwaves, severe droughts are just to name a few,” he said.
“Climate change is a reality that all governments, whether developed or emerging, will have to face now and in the future to come.
“We are faced with a ticking time bomb that nobody can ignore. It is an existential threat for millions in all regions across the world.”
Delegates interacting with fellow participants during the break
Al Mesmar said in 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said “I want all government services to be available on mobiles. Within 24 months, we transformed 96% of all government services on phone. When the lockdown came, we just had to sit at home and do everything from home…We were ready for it even though we didn’t know about it.”
He also highlighted how schools in the UAE moved on to online classes with no interruption in education whereas in many countries, students had to be passed even without attending classes.
“That is the result of the decision-making power and the visionary leadership.”
It is the responsibility of the governments to make the people healthy and happy based on data we have, said Al Mesmar.
“As a government, we provide healthcare and if we take care of the society and residents, we will be saving a lot of money. We could do it. What if we have our own apps to see how your lifestyle is going and give you advice. I don’t want you to get sick and come to me. That is an example of how we could make use of data.”
A new journey for governments
Majed Al Mesmar, Director General, Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority, “Through digital transformation, governments can analyse data and deliver services that meet the requirements of people.”
The role of government is to protect citizens: Kevin Thomas
The role of government is to protect citizens and data privacy has now become an issue of national security with several companies collecting data through apps and sites and such data could also be used by foreign governments through foreign companies, said Thomas who passed a legislation in New York to strengthen protections over consumers’ personal data and create accountability standards for businesses that collect, process and use consumers’ personally identifiable data.
Generative Artificial Intelligence will part of our lives: Al Falasi
Ahmed Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, “We announce today that the UAE will be one of the few countries in the world to incorporate generative artificial intelligence across its educational systems. UAE is fully committed to embracing this technology. Generative Artificial Intelligence will part of our lives whether at home or at work. It is our responsibility to prepare our children for this AI driven future by providing them with the knowledge and skills in the future.”
Data is now more valuable than oil: Kevin Thomas
The senator is speaking on the topic “Are governments responsible for data protection?”
The audience applauded when he began his remarks by mentioning about his connection with Dubai where he spent his childhood days before migrating to the US.
“Data is now more valuable than oil and we need to have more control over what others have on us,” said Thomas.
Dubai is an incredible story: Idris Elba
Ukraine is fighting for the right of every nation
Georgieva: In Ukraine, people strongly believe they’re fighting not just for themselves. They’re fighting for the right of every nation to exist and run its own affairs. I think there has been quite a strong and deliberate response and rightly so because how can we live in a world where there is no law in order?
Prime Minister of Yemen delivers main address
Investing in multilateral
We really need to invest in the multi-laterals, but our energy to really have this dialogue makes us successful, said Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, UAE. “When did the multilateral was created when there was risk and chaos when there was war? And I think we’re gonna have risk and chaos every six months,” he said. Multilateral needs to be much stronger and we need to really believe in that kind of aspect and really bring them together.
First female President of Estonia
Two statements that made WGS audience applaud Kersti Kaljulaid, the fifth President of Estonia, who was the first female head of state of the country as well as the youngest president, aged 46 at the time of her election.
I don’t accept congratulations on being a woman in that role (of a President). But I do admit that there are still young children in kindergarten, when they draw a president, they draw a woman in a dress.
– Kersti Kaljulaid | Fifth President of Estonia
“My optimism (about the future of women in leadership) is based on the fact that I see more and more young men ready to take up this supportive role (at homes). If a woman is overtime at work, then somebody has to take care of the children and I’m proud to announce to every journalist who asks me this question – who makes pancakes to your children on Sunday morning?- my husband.”
What we face is forces of fragmentation: Kristalina Georgieva
According to Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund what we face is forces of fragmentation that are pulling us apart. “We have done analysis at the IMF, what is the cost of this fragmentation and it is quite scary,” she said. “Because if we pull apart and we found blocks within which we trade, it can cost us anywhere between losing 0.2 per cent of GDP, minor manageable all the way to losing 7 per cent of GDP.” What 7 per cent of GDP means is wiping out Germany and Japan from the world economy.
A deeper look at forces fragmenting our world
What are the policies and forces at play that accelerate global solidarity? How can governments and international organizations fuel global action to encourage positive economic and political relations? During this session, we hear from global leaders on the forces that, if not protected, can contribute to a fragmented world.
Hate speech on Facebook is down to 0.02 per cent, thanks to AI
According to the President of Global Affairs, Meta, Facebook’s hate speech is now down to 0.02 per cent. This means that for every 10,000 bits of content that you might scroll on your, on your Facebook newsfeed you’ll find two bits of hate speech. “I wish it could be down to zero I think it’s never going to be zero but it’s been reduced by I think, around 80 per cent,” said Clegg.
Pioneering women leaders are always under pressure: Kersti Kaljulaid
No country actually can say they are not guilty of treating women and men in politics differently, says former President of Estonia, Kaljulaid.
She said pioneering women leaders are always under pressure. “Everywhere, there is pressure on the first generation of women reaching these (top) jobs to perform better than men. Because otherwise, if they average, they will be told okay, it was because she was a woman.”
The transition from Facebook to Meta
“We are on a journey, it is a long journey and an expensive one,” said Clegg. “You are in effect creating not a new app or a new piece of hardware or a new experience – you are in effect creating an entirely new computing platform.”
Excessive utopianism and excessive pessimism
I think tech does offer great opportunities to the world, but there are always downsides which need to be mitigated, says Clegg. “And I think we can get away from that violent mood swings, or sort of excessive utopianism and excessive pessimism, then we can really extract the best from technical technological innovation for us whilst avoiding those two extremes.”
Fact- based, science and data based leadership
Kersti Kaljulaid, former President of Estonia, said she finds inspiring leadership among the presidents of her region “with whom we always assure that our leadership style is fact- based, science and data based. And this is very important for us being leaders because we have to prove all that everyday that our decisions are not emotions and this is something which makes us probably to dig more into data and maybe sometimes some other things. So this is my management style.“
Sheikh Mohammed shares his vision with his people: Mona Al Marri
Leadership in the Arab world summarised in one name is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, says Mona Al Marri.
His Highness shares his vision with his people, he empowers people. His passion and teamwork…That’s something that I admire
– Mona Al Marri | Vice President of UAE Gender Balance Council
“Technically, I’ve been working for the past 21 years, but with him closely, maybe for the past 15-16 years. And I’ve been observing him and his leadership style with its human centric and result-oriented approach is inspiring, not only to us here the UAE, but also on a regional level, and globally, to many leaders.”
“His Highness shares his vision with his people, he empowers people. His passion and teamwork…That’s something that I admire…So when you find a personality that inspires you, you follow that school of leadership, and I’m proud to follow the same school of leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, and as so many of us here too.”
What then is the outlook of AI-augmented governance?
The contours of an autonomous system rely on purposeful design and data. According to a survey conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management, with nearly a quarter of respondents reporting that their organization has experienced an AI failure. What then is the outlook of AI-augmented governance? Can governments enhance digital systems to evade failures and enhance service delivery and optimize policymaking?
We should focus on making reforms and policies: Mona Al Marri
Instead of wasting energy and efforts of changing perceptions, Al Marri said we should focus on making reforms and policies and our engagements with the international organisations.
“And we should not forget the efforts that have been made here in the UAE on that level, the engagements with the international organisations that the UAE has achieved on on it on a global level.”
Women in Government: Powering the Future by Her
Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, “Negative perception (about women) in the Arab world is unfortunate, but I am sure and confident that this will change because of the efforts that we see today in terms of promoting gender equality and empowering one woman. We see a huge difference and impact, not only in government but also in the private sector.”
Nothing is impossible for the UAE
Nothing is impossible to something that was determined as a country by this leadership and what others call impossible, said Bannai. “What we would say to them is what you refer to as impossible is just the starting point of our journey, and this is the time to partner.”
Focus on the AI language model
The Secretary General of Advanced Technology Research Council said the UAE already launched the teaser of an AI language model last year, where they had an AI write the first Arabic article for a local newspaper.
“We started, we saw a trend building for this over a year ago,” said Bannai. “This is an area that will be our key focus and you will hear a few more announcements from us in this field in 2023.
Women still have a long way to go: Jessica Alupo
Starting with humble beginnings, Alupo said she overcame her challenges by performing her duties diligently by standing out.
She said that women still have a long way to go, “because the society expects that we move twice as fast. twice as missed twice…But we are up to the task and we want to show you men our capacity, but we would also like to work with you,” Alupo said to loud round of applause from the audience.
“When women are empowered economically, then it is possible, it is easy for women to raise other women at the crossroads.”
Call to address national challenges
Bannai reckons we need to be laser-focused on addressing our national challenges in this regard, and eventually global challenges. “This means we are researching very clear problem statements,” said Bannai. “We’ve identified very clear clients that really need this challenge to be addressed. And only then did we embark on our research.”
This is a nation that has been open to many nationalities, said Bannai. “This is a nation that is tolerant and welcoming of many nationalities around the globe, which meant we went out hunting the best talent globally to get them here.”
Going to the moon to find new talent
If that talent was on the moon, we will get him. Many of course have heard of the UAE’s Mars mission. Do you think we’re looking for water over there? We’re actually looking for talent. That’s part of our secret plan, said Bannai at the session named Shaping an Innovation Economy.
Uganda is not exclusive: Jessica Alupo
“In Africa, we have a patriarchal society that believed a long time ago and even to some extent now in small sections of society, that it is men, who can do everything. And there are some ring-fenced responsibilities, particularly home related responsibilities, which were allocated to women. Uganda is not exclusive. Uganda was also part of that,” said Alupo.
However, she said from 1986, the Ugandan government dealt with the issues of “mindset change.”
“The government dealt with the issues of eradicating some negative aspects of cultural beliefs, and also cultural practices.”
We really moving to a knowledge economy: Faisal Al Bannai
We are now at the age where we are driving advanced technologies and innovation, really moving to a knowledge economy, says Bannai.
The secretary general said that this lead to the creation of advanced universities and technologies, the creation of industries in this field. “We were given a very clear mandate to drive and the challenge started with we want to be a country that is developing advanced technologies to solve our local and global challenges,” he said.
‘She Leads with Influence: Transforming Society’
Jessica Alupo, Vice President of Uganda is now in conversation with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE
As many as 55 per cent of academic researchers in Tunisia are women, a first in the African and Arab world, says Romdhane.
Challenges such as high unemployment rates and less participation of women in business demand doubling our efforts to unleash the the energies of women to be the leaders of democracy and economic development of the society, added the Prime Minister of Tunisia.
Tunisian legislations are role models regionally: Najla Romdhane
Najla Bouden Romdhane, the first female prime minister both in Tunisia and the Arab world, speaks about the importance of having women in government for the community’s prosperity.
“I’m a Tunisian. I have the heritage of this beloved country of culture that has supported women for centuries and acknowledged the active role of women in building the society. I’m leading a government more than a quarter of which are skilled women, heading various sectors.”
Romdhane said countries should have national strategies that meet the challenges in promoting the women in economic activities. “Tunisian legislations (in this regard) are role models regionally,” she said.Najla Bouden Romdhane
“Today, Emirati women are not only reaching their ambitions, but surpassing them both in the UAE and globally,” said Al Roumi. She cited the example of Razan Al Mubarak, elected president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the second woman to lead the organisation in its 75-year history
This forum is a space that brings champions together: Ohood Al Roumi
Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, UAE, Vice Chair, World Government Summit : This forum is a space that brings champions together, women and men who are driving change by advancing women inclusion and enablement in government.
It is here where we come together to share our stories and experiences to gain insight and to find inspiration and to strengthen our network of support, because we still have more work to do. So let us discuss how can we catalyse our efforts to inspire women in government? How can we amplify our voices and how can we scale our impact?
Women in Government Forum is about to start
The RTA Hall where the Women in Government Forum is about to start is fast filling up with men and women alike. The speakers include Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, UAE, Vice Chair, World Government Summit, Najla Bouden Romdhane, the first female prime minister both in Tunisia and the Arab world, Jessica Alupo, Vice President, Republic of Uganda, Kersti Kaljulaid, the fifth President, Republic of Estonia, Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt and Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender BalanceC ouncil among others.