Dubai, United Arab Emirates -Sunday, February 12th 2017 [ ME NewsWire ]
His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai welcomed 4000 global leaders and experts from 139 countries today in Dubai to kick off the 5th annual World Government Summit.
The first day featured an opening address from Founder and Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab who cautioned governments about the global ‘emotional turmoil’ saying, “If we want to go forward, we need a completely new system where the human-being is at the center, and societal advancement is the key.”
Building off this sentiment, a panel of experts including Professor Jeffrey Sachs, American economist concurred that the success of government must be defined by its ability to facilitate the happiness and well-being of its citizens, and should replace old paradigms that focus overwhelmingly on economic performance.
The opening-day also saw the presentation of the “2017 World’s Best Minister Award” presented to Her Excellency Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Senegal’s Minister of Health & Social Interaction. The award, which judges ministerial nominees on the basis of four parameters of excellence – innovation, leadership, impact, and reputation – honored Her Excellency for her contributions towards the eradication of Ebola, reduction of child mortality rates and the prevention of malaria in Senegal.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also offered remarks reinforcing the pivotal role of diversity in spurring new ideas and innovation. Abe said: “As the world becomes more culturally diverse, it is critical that we understand how these traditions will coexist in the future. It is critical that governments use this diversity as a pillar to enable economic growth based on innovation.”
The main session featured an interactive discussion with HH Sheikh Mohammed, who provided an optimistic outlook on the future. He spoke of problems and strengths in the region, the new United States president and even conspiracy theories.
When asked about the potential relationship with the United States and Donald Trump he said, “Our relationship with the United States is a relationship between countries and governments, not with individuals. He went on to say that, “the UAE will continue to prioritize its interests to guide its foreign policy agenda.”