DUBAI, The UAE has long decided to work with its partners to promote constructive co-operation and enhance the world's preparedness for the future, while building a better future for coming generations, according to Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

He made his remarks on Sunday in Dubai when the World Economic Forum launched the inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils under his patronage.

"In the UAE, we are an effective part of global efforts seeking to ensure the common good of humanity as it seeks a better future. We believe that constructive co-operation is the driving force in bringing about positive change. We also believe that individual work remains insufficient in a world where fast-paced development is taking place," said Sheikh Mohammed, who attended the opening of the meeting.

"The future is not something we wait for, but something we make. We look ahead into the future and predict and shape it by being proactive in innovating and employing future technologies to bring about development and growth, and build a knowledge-based economy. Here, we are not bystanders. We are actors and influencers of the future through accelerators, innovation, use of technology and science, as well as building models for change and the capability of generations with a passion for knowledge and looking ahead," Sheikh Mohammed added.

Rapid technological change and the intensity of global threats, such as global warming and water shortages, require that the international community focus on the future and how to address these pressing challenges, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future and Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of Global Future Councils, told participants during the opening plenary of the meeting.

"It is important to define our challenges," Al Gergawi said. "We are launching a global discussion on the future of the vital sectors, and will attempt to forecast what the future will bring. We have a responsibility to the future generations to answer the questions of the future and come up with the needed frameworks to overcome these challenges."

In his welcoming remarks, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, said that "responsive and responsible leadership is so crucial to see that innovation is harnessed for improving the state of the world." He identified four strong transformational forces that are unsettling the world: the Fourth Industrial Revolution; the slower growth of the global economy; the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world; and the greater difficulty people have in searching for identity and distinctiveness.

To respond to these transformational forces, the world needs to pursue five goals, Schwab proposed, including closing social gaps by promoting entrepreneurship for the social good; recognising that technology is driving enormous economic and social change; developing new ways of cooperation to be sure that innovation is the source of social progress; accepting that there are no simple responses or any one grand unifying policy; and defining common values, such as respect for the dignity and equality of human beings. "We really have to demonstrate that we are a global community. The problem we have is not globalisation, but the lack of global governance and the inclusive means to address global issues," noted Schwab.

"Thanks to the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE is moving steadily into the future," he added.

The inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2016, taking place in Dubai from 13-14 November, bringing together over 700 top leaders from the World Economic Forum's Network of Global Future Councils, comprised of 35 groups of experts from academia, business, civil society, international organisations and government. Minister Gergawi is Co-Chair of the meeting.

The Global Future Councils will generate ideas and solutions that influence the future global, regional and industrial agendas and feed into the programme of the Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, in January 2017.

Source: Emirates News Agency