Gergawi: Governments must use Covid pandemic lessons to identify opportunities

Dubai - Minister commends scientists, private sector and govts for vaccine development in eight months time.

By Staff Report

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Published: Tue 9 Mar 2021, 9:51 PM

Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization said future governments will be those capable of adapting the lessons from the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to identify growth opportunities.

In his keynote address on ‘Major Global Trends in the Next Decade’ on Day 1 of the two-day World Government Summit Dialogues, he 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,

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.”

Vaccine hope

Al Gergawi commended scientists, the private sector and governments for development of a vaccine in eight months time. “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.”

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.”

Other sessions:

Sessions of the first day of the World Government Summit Dialogues held virtually focused on major shifts in vital sectors. The ‘Embedding Trust and Authenticity in the Next Generation of Leaders’ session featured Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, while Tony Elumelu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heirs Holdings, United Bank of Africa and Transcorp participated in a session titled ‘Africa’s Future Post 2021’. WGS Dialogues also featured a session titled ‘Asia’s Future Outlook’ which saw Nandan Nilekani, Co-founder of Infosys, and Dr. Samir Saran, President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) take part

Other sessions included ‘Decentralizing Finance for an Inclusive Economy’ and ‘Is Crypto the New Currency Beyond 2021?’ headlined by Anthony Di Iorio, Founder and CEO of Decentral and Co-founder of Ethereum,

Other insightful sessions included ‘Crafting Decisions in Times of Uncertainty’, featuring Dr Daniel Kahneman, a psychology professor and Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences, and one headlined by Nechemia Peres, President of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, and Maurice Levy, Chairman of Publicis Group on ‘Finding Peace Within Crisis...Moving Beyond the Pandemic’.

The WGS Dialogues concluded Day 1 with a session titled ‘2021: Forecasting the Year Ahead’ that featured a conversation between Professor Paul Saffo, a futurist and Professor of Engineering at Sandford University, and Corinne Iozzio, Editor in Chief of Popular Science magazine, on the importance of taking imperative steps to prevent the human race from becoming climate refugees in the next 30 years.

The virtual event drew the participation of global leaders, entrepreneurs, representatives of international organizations and experts, to discuss the most prominent emerging global trends and share visions and ideas to enhance the readiness of governments in overcoming future challenges.

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