UAE one of the best-prepared nations to handle future risks: UN report

Study analyses 40 countries' capacity to handle health, environmental, technological challenges


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Published: Wed 29 Jun 2022, 9:54 AM

The UAE is one of the best-prepared countries to handle risks and challenges in the future, according to a report released by The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) and the United Nations Development Program.

'The Future of Knowledge: a Foresight Report' studied 40 nations, including seven Arab countries and revealed significant differences in the ability of each nation to transform when needed and their readiness to face risks. It noted that while low-income countries in the African, Arab, and Central Asian regions are the least prepared, high-income countries, particularly those that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), are the best prepared.

The study, which compared the preparedness of countries to face health, environmental, and technological risks in the future, found that a nation's readiness to handle risks depends on the efficiency of its workforce in terms of skills and advancements in fields of knowledge, which include education, research and development, innovation, science and technology, economics, and the enabling environment.

It also revealed that the capacity of a country to innovate and cooperate is essential in developing its ability to invest in knowledge dimensions and workforce. The transformational capabilities also have a major role in helping countries to adapt, transform, and comprehensively change their structural characteristics, like the ecological environment, economic systems, and social structures, in response to risks in the future.

The report also identified a significant gap between the ability of nations to understand, adapt, and transform following shocks and turmoil. This requires policymakers, the private sector, and civil society to actively invest in opportunities and possibilities to enhance the transformative capabilities of their countries and develop collective initiatives that help unlock countries' full potential. These transformational capabilities play a major role in a world where challenges are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected as countries identify risks, adapt, and transform constantly.


The report goes on to explain the results of the analytical study, which indicated how most countries were not adequately prepared to face future problems, putting a heavy burden on their economic, social and political, as well as ecological systems. This makes it difficult for countries to ensure the sustainability of services in the fields of education and health, which will further affect the path towards achieving the goals of sustainable development. Moreover, the study also confirmed that countries tend to rely on existing traditional models that often lack flexibility, which weakens their ability to develop transformational capabilities to tackle risks, which was evidenced in the way countries dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change issue.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, launched the third edition of 'The Future of Knowledge: A Foresight Report,' during the seventh session of the Knowledge Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai in March. The report is a leading analytical study that reviews the knowledge landscapes of the future, and the differences between countries' transformational capabilities in relation to key global risks, providing new insights on the capabilities of countries to address risks in the future and support national leaders in ensuring resilience.

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