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Outcomes of Sustainable Development Goals Discussions Remain Positive

13 February 2018


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Dubai-UAE: 10 February, 2018 - Held in the run-up to the sixth World Government Summit (WGS 2018) in Dubai, and part of the SDGs In Action 2018 program, a high-level panel examined a wide range of topics related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From the progress already being made, through working together to finding solutions to issues that are still a big concern, such as combating poverty.

The panel comprised His Excellency Mahmoud Mohieldin, Senior Vice President of the World Bank Group, Her Excellency Irina Bokova, former Director General of UNESCO, His Excellency Adnan Z. Amin, Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), His Excellency Imad N. Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan, Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and Chair in Economics of Innovation and Public Value, Her Excellency Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Deputy Secretary-General of OECD, and His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

Her Excellency Helen Clark led the discussion on a positive note regarding Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. She said: “We have positive news to report. Violent conflicts have increased in recent years, however, we have been combating violence with peaceful inclusion and have created greater dialogues on how to support and create platforms that inspire people to act.”

His Excellency Imad N. Fakhoury discussed Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth – and its roadmap for the next decade. He said: “Growth and the employment agenda needs to shift focus to green economic growth. We plan on doing this through two initiatives – involving small and medium enterprises, and through innovative youth employment and self-employment. This is how we change circular economies.”

Reflecting on His Excellency Imad N. Fakhoury’s comments, Irina Bokova emphasized how education and employment must work together. She said: “We have learned how important equitable education has become, and through lifelong learning and teacher training, we can solidify stronger partnerships and a better workforce.”

Agreeing with Bokova’s point, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Only through education can we better understand our environment. Sustainable Development Goal number 13 requires effective engagement, enhanced cooperation, capacity-building, and access to financial and technical support.”

Speaking on the issue of unity, His Excellency Mahmoud Mohieldin said: “While we continue to fulfill SDG number 1 – Eradicating Poverty, we still have a long way to go. We do this with better governance, better education, better jobs and better climate.”

He added: “All of us must do our job collectively. It’s not just about singular goals. This is a worldwide mission, and poverty is still an issue that continues to challenge us.”

The day-long “SDGs in Action” event 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.