UNESCO Declares December 2 As World Futures Day

DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 25th Nov, 2021) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted December 2 as World Futures Day to coincide with the National Day of the UAE. World Future’s Day, which will take place on this date every year, is an invitation to the countries of the world to embrace the future and develop their capabilities in the fields of foresight, readiness and proactive policy-making to ensure sustainable development for future generations.

The choice of December 2 is a sign of appreciation for the UAE’s global role over the past 50 years to imagine and create the future, as well as its exceptional experience in anticipating economic, industrial and social change and its high readiness in future sectors. The UAE continues to deliver proactive policies and projects that enable it to embrace future trends and opportunities in all fields that affect daily life.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, welcomed the announcement on his Twitter account, saying: "The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) unanimously adopted the UAE National Day, December 2, as World Futures Day, in which all countries of the world celebrate their visions for their future development and their readiness to create opportunities and plans for their future generations.

"The international recognition of the UAE as a country for the future, as a model for its vision, and as a major center for its industry, places even greater responsibility on us to develop our capabilities in envisioning the future, keeping pace with its changes and benefiting from its opportunities. I wish our country good health and prosperity, and a better, bigger and greater future."

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, said: "COVID has reminded us that we can and must change course. As new threats cast dark shadows on our present, we must harness the world's incredible diversity to imagine and build our futures collectively. This is the spirit of World Futures Day, through which UNESCO, as the United Nations' intellectual and prospective agency, invites everyone to think about the future, in order to change the present."

The adoption of World Futures Day was a unanimous decision at the 41st session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which concluded on Wednesday, November, 24, 2021 in, Paris. It came within the framework of the organization’s efforts to strengthen the capabilities of countries and governments to foresee the future, and to develop new means to enhance the international collaboration through conferences and workshops that encourage communities to participate in the process of creating the future.

World Futures Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of developing a "future mindset", which can contribute to augmenting the preparedness of governments to address various challenges, invent new solutions that nurture comprehensive development, and promote international dialogue and cooperation aimed at stimulating creativity and innovation. It also aims to enhance countries’ knowledge of the future, drawing attention to the importance of anticipating the future, enabling countries to use scientific tools that contribute to shaping it, and enhancing public awareness of its importance as a concept that leads to sustainable development.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, affirmed that the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State; and the vision and reflection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and his brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has made a historic achievement with UNESCO’s declaration of December 2 as World Futures Day, which coincides with another historic day for the UAE – the national day of its founding.

Al Gergawi said: "The UAE’s vision of its future has evolved over the five decades to become a genuine culture, a specialized institution and an integrated system that everyone in the UAE lives daily, and which does not view excellence and leadership as a race to a finish line."

He added: "The UAE, with all its government institutions and through its strategic partnerships with friendly and brotherly countries, is keen to share its model for envisioning the future with everyone around the world."

He pointed out that the announcement of World Futures Day is a victory for the efforts of the UAE and its leadership to spread the concepts of positivity and a culture of hope across the globe. It also places the future as a guiding principle for the work of countries, governments and the economic, social and development sectors to plan for future generations, to come together in a spirit of positivity to face challenges and turn them into opportunities.

He concluded by saying: "The UAE has accomplished unprecedented achievements over the last 50 years with a vision that does not know the impossible and a conviction that the future is more beautiful. Today we see this inspiring humanitarian message embodied by UNESCO’s declaration that December 2 will now be World Futures Day every year. This is a cause of pride for every person in the UAE."

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, thanked UNESCO member states for their adoption of December 2 as World Futures Day, as it confirms the prestigious position of the UAE as a global partner in building the future.

She considered UNESCO’s decision as a new global achievement for the UAE, and a true translation of the focus of the wise leadership on working to lead international efforts towards building a better future for humanity.

She added: "The UAE’s remarkable development in all fields over 50 years was a result of a long-term vision laid down by the founding fathers since the establishment of the Union. It focused on placing investment in people at the forefront of its priorities, and today our wise leadership is following the same path."

The Minister of Culture and Youth added: "The union will remain a milestone in contemporary history, a renaissance that has abridged the time required to advance to, and then live in, the future. Our leadership views every challenge as an opportunity to prove the worthiness of our people to belong to the country, and to show their sincere determination to continue raising the flag in all fields and forums."

Al Kaabi concluded: "The cultural sector stands as a witness to the radical changes that have created a state of innovation and ingenuity, giving Emirati creators the opportunity to become active participants in the successes of the next 50 years."

Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Governmental Development and the Future, confirmed that the adoption of December 2 of each year as World Futures Day represents a new achievement for the UAE under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State; and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. It reflects the global position of the country as a model for development based on building and forging the future.

She said: "Since its early beginnings, the UAE was built by the hands of the founding fathers on a unique vision of the future, which contributed to achieving momentous leaps over 50 years. It is now an exceptional model for countries seeking to ensure a better and more sustainable future for their societies and future generations."

The Minister of State for Governmental Development and the Future added that celebrating World Futures Day in conjunction with the anniversary of the UAE's founding is a reflection of the country's leadership, and the advanced international rankings they have achieved in the indicators and sectors of the future. The UAE is now a destination for minds and talents, a center for innovating of future solutions, and a global model for anticipating the future and enhancing readiness for its changes.

She congratulated the leadership and society of the UAE on this new global achievement, stressing the continuation of work and the heightening the efforts of the country's leadership to reach the leading positions in the world in various fields by the centennial of its founding.

Assistant Director General of Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, Gabriela Ramos, said: "At a time when the future may appear bleak, menaced by climate change and the intensification of exclusion and fragmentation, World Futures Day calls upon everyone to cultivate the capacity to imagine new and different futures. More than ever, we need to find innovative ways to create the images of the future that inspire hope."

"UNESCO will continue to contribute to it with the World Futures Day and with our promotion and development of the human capacity to use our imagination about the future through our globally known Futures literacy work, methodology Chairs and networks."