DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 18th Sep, 2021) The World Government Summit Organisation, in partnership with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre and the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the United Nations (UN), hosted the inaugural meeting that took place virtually under the theme "Galvanising the Global Acceleration of the SDGs" on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
The inaugural meeting witnessed the soft launch of the second term of the Global Councils on SDGs 2021-2023, in which several ministers and policymakers from the UAE are leading a number of the Global Councils. The second term of the Global Councils on SDGs will have 18 Councils drive impact towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to rebuild sustainably post COVID-19.
The meeting was attended by Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairwoman of the UAE National Committee on SDGs; Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications and Managing Director of the World Government Summit; Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office and Vice Chair of the UAE National Committee on the SDGs; Rt Hon. Helen Clark, New Zealand's 37th Prime Minister and former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, and distinguished chairpersons.
The Chairpersons discussed innovative solutions for the SDGs, and the importance of mobilising international support needed for global acceleration to implement the SDGs. Furthermore, they looked into opportunities for collaboration and establishing strong partnerships that bring together various stakeholders involved in the fulfilment of the SDGs from countries, international organisations and members of civil society.
Al Hashimy said, "Today, we welcome 18 distinguished Councils who will embark on the second term of the Global Councils on SDGs. The term will divert from a singular SDG approach to a nexus approach. Giving the complexity and interlinkages of the SDGs, the Councils will galvanise and accelerate the implementation of the goals through innovative partnerships, inspiring projects, and informative white papers that will advance our understanding of one another as well as the challenges we face as a society today."
Al Olama, stated that "the fulfillment of the SDGs is at the core of the UAE governments direction, and a key pillar on the agenda of the World Government Summit. Since its launch at the summit, the initiative strived to support international efforts and serve as an open platform for collaboration, cooperation and development of initiatives and solutions to achieve the Global Goals".
He continued, "The World Government Summit is keen on strengthening partnerships for the benefit of communities and the creation of a better future for the next generations". Moreover, he indicated that achieving the SDGs is a shared responsibility between governments, private sector, international organisations, and members of civil society.
For his part, Lootah said, "The launch of the second term of the Global Councils on SDGs through this platform, hosted by the UAE’s government and through the World Government Summit platform, emphasises the government and the National Committee’s commitment to support and strengthen international efforts to achieve the SDGs, and actively participate in finding solutions and mechanisms to accelerate the implementation. "
Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the UN in New York, added "We have less than 10 years to meet the objectives we’ve set out for ourselves in the SDGs. The SDGs are our blueprint for sustainable recovery out of the pandemic and we need all hands on deck. I welcome the launch of the second phase of the Global Councils on SDGs, who are delivering exactly the kinds of hands-on, pragmatic solutions that we need to turbo-charge the SDGs."
18 Global Councils to drive impact within the second term of the Global Councils on SDGs The second term will have 18 Councils driving impact towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through innovative projects, whitepapers, or initiatives to rebuild sustainably in post COVID-19.
The second term represents ten first-term Global Councils who are continuing their journeys, and eight new global councils are joining the global movement in support to the global implementation of the SDGs. The Chairpersons of the Global Councils on SDGs 2021 to 2023 are Suhail Al Mazrouei; Helen Clark ; Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin Executive Director, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Special Envoy; Mona Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council; Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares; Francesco La Camera, Director General of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Dr. Muhammad Ali Patek, Julio Frenk Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard; Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, Deputy Director-General, World Health Organisation; Marie Aimee Boury, Head of Impact Based Finance at Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking; Dr. Tatyana Teplova, Head of Division, Policy Coherence for SDGs, Senior Counsellor for Gender Equality, Justice and Inclusiveness, OECD; and Ibrahim Al-Zu'bi, Chairman of the Corporate Board, Chief Sustainability Officer, Majid Al Futtaim.
The new Global Councils who are joining hands to galvanise and accelerate global implementation of the SDGs, will establish nexus models. The SDGs are interlinked and the impact on one SDG, will have impact on another (or more). Therefore, the partnership redesigned the direction of the Councils to include the nexus approach. Chairpersons of the nexus approach are Dr. Elizabeth Cousens, President and Chief Executive Officer of the UN Foundation; Hana Al Rostamani, Group Chief Executive Officer, First Abu Dhabi Bank; Mohammad Al Hashimy, Deputy Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, DP World; Dr. Manal Taryam, Chief Executive Officer and board Member, Noor Dubai Foundation; Dr. Sonia Ben Jaafar, Chief Executive Officer of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education; Isobel Abulhoul, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation; Luc Remont, Executive Vice-President, International Operations, Schneider Electric; and Clint Brown, Director of Product Engineering, Esri.
Rt Hon. Helen Clark stressed upon the urgent need for effective and collective action and stated, "Many countries have expressed strong political commitment to achieving the SDGs by 2030. Good intentions and public commitment don’t automatically translate, policies into effective action. Realities are very complex and the challenges enormous. COVID-19 has made it even clearer that systemic change is urgently needed. To make it happen, we need capable and skilled leaders in the driver’s seat, both domestically and internationally. They must be supported by effective, transparent, and accountable civil servants with high levels of integrity. That’s what our Council will discuss and work on."
Al Mazrouei stated, "Achieving the sustainable development goals is a shared responsibility that requires a clear approach from those concerned to overcome the challenges faced by cities and societies. Energy 2050 and the UAE Water Security Strategy 2036 play a fundamental role in increasing interest in the green economy and promoting green projects. They constitute as an essential source of support for the country’s efforts and unremitting endeavors to adopt innovative green solutions that support sustainable development goals, and the sustainability of natural and environmental resources."
Francesco La Camera stated, "The energy transition plays an essential role in achieving numerous socioeconomic outcomes and therefore lies at the heart of the sustainable development agenda," said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.
He continued, "The Global Councils on SDGs are an opportunity for a broad spectrum of organisations to come together and ensure coordinated action in pursuit of the sustainable development goals. IRENA is wholly supportive of the Councils and committed to the achievement of its aims."
The Global Councils on SDGs is a unique interdisciplinary network of decision makers from governments, international organisations, academia, and the private sector coming together to share innovative practices and discuss the creative implementation of the 17 SDGs at national and global levels.
The UAE National Committee on SDGs is leading the efforts to endorse its ambitious goals to achieve the 2030 Agenda, setting the targets of the sustainable development goals in line with the UAE national agenda, set priorities for goals that should be achieved within a certain time frame, and set practical standards for determining the stages of implementation of these goals within the national development agenda.