Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization, stressed that successful future governments will be those capable of adapting the lessons from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to identify growth opportunities.
Gergawi said the pandemic is a turning point in the development of countries’ economies and sectors and is an opportunity to design new mechanisms to provide services for their citizens, in his keynote address on ‘Major Global Trends in the Next Decade’ on Day 1 of the two-day World Government Summit Dialogues, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Al Gergawi said: “Every year in the past, mankind has faced different challenges. 2020 was a milestone – although we faced challenges, we found opportunities. Our healthcare system was tested. Our education system was also tested. No sector was left unaffected. Governments were tested on their agility and now on their recovery. Over two days we will hear from world leaders, CEOs, thinkers, innovators and game changers on how 2021 will unfold. What to expect and more importantly how to stand strong and united after experiencing one of humanity’s most challenging years.”
The Minister noted: “Pandemics are not new. The world was undeniably caught unprepared. The pandemic served as a great equalizer and highlighted that we are all linked and inter-dependent – to each other and to nature – regardless of classes and ethnicities. It has deepened our social fabric and cohesion. The world is now facing a parallel pandemic. Nine out of 10 Generation Z individuals have experienced at least one physical or mental symptom caused by depression, sadness, demotivation or lack of energy. The generation that lived through this pandemic will have the same issues as the one that came out of World War II.
With a set of mental health challenges but a new wave of motivation.”
He underscored that the current generation faces the risks of economic security, job security and career growth potential, a sustainable life and a healthy state of mind. Governments will need to work on a multi-level approach to tackle multi-generational and multi-dimensional challenges for the future of humanity.”
He also commended the hard work of the scientists, the private sector and government in the development of the vaccine in eight months and said: “This was a bold achievement for humanity and a cause for hope and celebration. We must fan this great spirit of global cooperation to ensure a fair distribution of vaccines worldwide. We must remember that no meaningful recovery is possible, and no one is safe until everyone is safe.”
The World Bank has estimated that more than 150 million more people were plunged into extreme poverty due to the pandemic. More than 40% of the world population - almost 3.3 billion people now live below the poverty line. This has rolled back a decade of hard work and put millions of lives at risk.
Al Gergawi said: “Getting our economy back on track and getting more people back to living productive jobs are our top priority. We have come to appreciate in very real terms that the economy of the future needs to be more resilient – it must include new metrics for success. This means harnessing technology, inclusivity, ecology, and most critically, sustainability. Competitiveness is not a zero sum game. Protectionism is. We are at a crossroad and have before us an opportunity for large scale transformation. A new chapter has begun and valuable lessons have emerged. The time for business as usual is over.”
Sheikh Mohammed received a red carpet welcome from Chinese diplomats and dignitaries.
Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder of Infosys, said Asia’s economic recovery is not far away, provided the pace of vaccination is increased so the region arrives at a herd immunity.
China with its digital yuan is a leader in the field of digital currencies.
Most people recover within a few weeks, and monkeypox has only been fatal in rare cases.
It is noteworthy that the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the seriousness of the disease after it was detected in a number of countries, and the organisation called for a strong tracing of contacts of the infected cases.
Meteorologists had warned that heavy rainfall and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with storms producing wind gusts up to 130 kph (81 mph). Storms on Thursday had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that toppled onto rail tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.
These included Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; Jo?o Lourenço, President of Angola; Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana; Mohamed Hussein Robley, Prime Minister of Somalia, and His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.