DUBAI,12th January, 2017 (WAM) – The World Government Summit (WGS) has announced there will be 10 new developments on the agenda of its upcoming fifth edition, 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, from February 12-14, 2017. The leading global event will feature the first international gathering of experts on happiness under the title Global Dialogue for Happiness, as well as the Forum on Climate Change and Food Security, and an Arab Youth Forum.

Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Chairman of WGS, emphasized the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform the summit into a global movement for the good of all people. He highlighted the status of WGS as the first global event dedicated to shaping the future and dealing with the most pressing challenges the world faces today in a proactive manner.

Al Gergawi’s comments were part of his speech at the World Government Summit Dialogue. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Vice Chair of the of the WGS, Shamma Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, major partners of the event, as well as local and international media were also in attendance.

Al Gergawi said: “The vision of the UAE leadership, based on shaping the future as a foundation for advancing government work, has made WGS one of the most important international futurism platforms. Furthermore, it has enhanced the country’s position as a top global destination for industry leaders and specialists that define the future of government work. Around 150 countries are expected to participate in this year’s summit.”

Summit Forums Al Gergawi pointed out that one of the most important developments in the fifth edition of WGS is the addition of several topical forums that will take place on its sidelines, including the Forum on Climate Change and Food Security, the Arab Youth Forum, and the Global Dialogue for Happiness.

Attracting Major International Organizations Al Gergawi mentioned that the summit will continue its efforts to partner with various foreign governments and international organizations. In addition to its current collaborations with the United Nations, World Bank, World Economic Forum, and OECD, the summit will forge new partnerships with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Latin American Center for Development Administration (CLAD).

International Discussions on Shaping the Future During the summit, the UN will discuss the potential of achieving its sustainable development goals (SDGs), while the World Bank will highlight the future of governments and education. For its part, IMF will debate the future of blockchain. OECD will focus on the future of innovation in governments.

10 Global Reports This year’s edition will see the establishment of academic and scientific partnerships with renowned international organizations, such as Harvard University, Oxford University, McKinsey, AT Kearney, and Ernst & Young. The summit will publish 10 research reports in collaboration with global partners.

Japan as Guest of Honor For its distinctive experience in government innovation and the development of government work, the summit announced Japan as the Annual Guest of Honor this year.

A high-level official delegation comprising senior government officials, leaders from the public and private sectors and several leading experts and thinkers will represent Japan at the event.

Government Techioneers Race Awards Al Gergawi explained that the summit will launch a new competition under the title ‘Government Techioneers Race’, that will include three categories: Virtual Governments Hackathon Award, Best Government Service on Mobile Phones and Best Emerging Technology for Governments.

New Criteria for Best Minister in the World Award In its second year, the Best Minister in the World Award will be organized in collaboration with E & Y International. Nominees were selected based on a comprehensive survey conducted throughout the year. Assessment criteria were made stricter this year, utilizing facts and figures that reflect the influence of each nominated minister on people’s lives, and the success of their initiatives and strategies, in addition to reputation, transparency and integrity criteria.

The Museum of the Future, a Window to Major Future Changes Considered an incubator for innovative and futuristic designs, the Museum of the Future works to anticipate and indicate future trends for different sectors. The museum examines the impact of converged technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence on these sectors, and their potential impacts on human life.

Knowledge Platform and Smart Interaction During the conference, Gergawi also announced that the smartphone application and the summit’s website will be further developed from their status as informational sites. They will function as integrated knowledge platforms for government officials in the region to discuss the most important future trends in various sectors.

Moreover, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment confirmed that the summit will see the launch of a forum for climate change and food security in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It will be the first platform of its kind that brings together governments, players from the private sector and decision makers to join forces for the cause of developing a framework to address climate change and global food security challenges.

He said: “The Forum will carry the title: Action for Climate: The future of food. The Forum will include several events over three days. We will see three specialized key sessions and a roundtable dialogue at the level of ministers and dignitaries.

For her part, Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness, said: “Prior to the three-day summit, an international dialogue on happiness will take place. With the participation of more than 300 experts, pioneers, and thought leaders in the field of happiness, the conversation will revolve around how governments can shift from the satisfaction of its people to the happiness of its people. Workshops and panel discussions will result in a guide booklet for government work to successfully raise the standard of happiness around the world.”

She listed four pillars, which the dialogue on happiness will revolve around. The first is the science of happiness and specialized research in the field, including the longest study conducted by Harvard over the course of 75 years. The second pillar is the measurement of policies, such as early stages education and happiness dedicated workshops. As for the third pillar, it is the measurement of happiness through the quality of life standards, and how to use smart apps to boost happiness. The fourth pillar focuses on happy cities and how to build them.

Shamma Bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth, noted that the Arab Youth Forum will be the first gathering aimed at engaging the younger Arab generation with governments and decision makers. It will feature three panel discussions, which will result in new ideas and policies. The first will be held with representatives from the World Bank, the second with LinkedIn, and the third with du.

The World Government Summit is being organized in collaboration with a number of institutes from the public and private sectors. The partners that convened at the summit’s discussion included Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du), Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DP World, Dubai Municipality, and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, said: “We strongly believe that the summit plays an active role in building partnerships between international organizations, and regional and local institutions. It provides a platform for participants to exchange experiences and expertise, as well as the best practices across sectors.

He said ADFD, as a strategic partner, will help governments and partners around the world in advancing growth and developments, building sustainable economies, as well as ensuring the prosperity of societies. The Fund will leverage its unique experience in global development aid, accumulated over the past four decades, to helping developing countries achieve economic growth, provide financial resources, build partnerships with the public and private sector, and adopt global best practices to ensure effective development.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, commented: “We consider the World Government Summit as an ideal partner. It complements our efforts to shape the future, while positioning the UAE, and more specifically Dubai, as a global hub to initiate a sustainable future for the future generations, as well as spark the change in the welfare of nations. We are keen on sharing our successful experience with the world, which was achieved due to the long-term vision of our wise leadership. It is the same vision that is guiding us today in preparing for the post-oil era by adopting innovative ideas.”

On his part, Matar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at Roads and Transport Authority emphasized the RTA’s keenness on assuming innovation and technological advancements in the public transport and private vehicle in Dubai. One of the more prominent initiatives that the entity is currently working on is the self-driving cars, with 50 percent of the total number of vehicles on the roads expected to boast this capability in the next 10 years.

He said: “This step is in line with the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to make 25 percent of all transportation trips in Dubai smart and driverless by 2030. We are also working on putting together a comprehensive strategy for driverless vehicles, which will ensure safe and smooth transport for everyone.”

Osman Sultan, CEO at du, said: “We are proud of our partnership with the summit since its first edition. We consider the topics of discussion and the ideas posed in regards to governments and shaping the future to be significant to nations. As a telecommunications company, we utilize this summit to converse with decision makers across the world.”

He added: “Information and communications technologies contribute to the building of societies and their advancement. At a time when we are witnessing immense growth for smart cities around the world, we can see the pivotal role played by communication services in bridging the gap between the activities and the level of innovative technology available locally and globally.”

Dr Abdulqader Ibrahim Al Khayyat, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ICT Fund and Board Member of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said: “As a leading partner of the World Government Summit, we work to a clear strategy to articulate the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Boosting the UAE’s presence on global competitiveness indicators in the field of information and communications technology is at the top of our priorities.”

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, announced DEWA’s participation as the Sustainable Energy Partner of the WGS. He said: “We are pleased to share our experience and expertise in shaping the future of energy and in developing disruptive technologies and long-term plans to cope with the fourth industrial revolution. This partnership is in line with our efforts to achieve the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In his wise words, the future holds opportunities, challenges, and knowledge, and defining these opportunities and challenges at the earliest is the most effective way of dealing with them.”

At WGS 2017, we will announce several initiatives and mega projects we are implementing to improve the efficiency of water and electricity generation across our facilities. Our projects will have positive environmental and economic impact and will contribute to reducing the carbon footprint and ensure the sustainability of our resources in line with Dubai’s strategic goals, resulting in the saving of AED60 billion.”

Director General of Dubai Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah announced the launch of Dubai Council for Future Cities that aims to define the elements of future cities and provide a viable concept and proposals for those cities. The Council will support the initiatives of WGS and help exchange knowledge and best practices as well as provide consultancy for shaping future cities.