Dubai's World Government Summit set to shape next global agenda

Climate change, advances in the health sector and economic recovery following the pandemic will be explored

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Thousands of leaders, experts and senior officials from 190 countries will gather in Dubai this month to help shape the post-pandemic agenda on sustainability, health care, economic recovery and the cities of the future.

The World Government Summit will take place at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in the heart of Expo 2020 Dubai on March 29 and 30.

This year's summit will feature 15 conferences aimed at defining the future of agile governance.

They will include the first hosting of the Time 100 Gala outside of the United States, which celebrates the world’s most influential people.

The Forbes 30 Under 30 event will be in the line-up, along with the Global Crypto Forum, the Arab Meeting for Young Leaders, the Arab Government Administration Forum and the Global Metaverse Forum.

Crucial issues such as climate change and the health and energy sectors will also be explored.

More than 30 agencies central to international development will take part, including the UN, the World Health Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Women’s Forum for Business and Society, the Atlantic Council, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the Arab Monetary Fund and the Islamic Development Bank.

Ministers met at the Museum of the Future on Monday for a dialogue before the summit, which is the first such event since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although speakers at the event have yet to be announced, Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and chairman of the World Government Summit, revealed some details of the programme.

“The World Government Summit has become the incubator of new ideas and innovative solutions where knowledge and success stories are shared and exchanged by pioneering government officials, thought leaders and industry experts,” he said.

"WGS reflects the UAE’s commitment to global efforts to enhance the agility and resilience of governments. We stand together to forge purposeful and constructive partnerships to support the socioeconomic recovery and development process that can unlock new opportunities for people globally.

“The summit will host more than 4,000 participants of top government officials, directors and leaders with the aim to envision the future of the governments and the world, and will include more than a hundred discussion sessions.”

At the dialogue event, Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, announced the launch of the Investopia Investment Summit, an Emirati initiative supporting efforts to accelerate the growth of new economic sectors and double the size of the UAE’s economy by 2030.

Participants can expect to see a range of sessions offered during the eighth World Government Summit, with key themes for 2022 including policies that lead government progress and development, designing future health care, sustainability, accelerating global economic recovery, future technologies, building future cities, the future of education and work, and enabling social resilience.

The World Government Summit Dialogue was held at the Museum of the Future on Monday. Chris Whiteoak / The National

During the curtain-raiser, Mr Al Gergawi referred to previous events that had examined in depth the challenges faced by society today.

For example, in 2018, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told leaders the world was unprepared to face a global pandemic.

A year earlier, tech billionaire Elon Musk took to the stage to predict the growing influence of online virtual worlds.

The rise of the Metaverse and its significance will be a major talking point during the 2022 gathering.

Mr Al Gergawi referred to previous discussions on the rise of cryptocurrencies and their potential to disrupt traditional banking systems.

In 2016, Jesse Powell — founder of Kraken, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges — spoke at length on the potential impact of Bitcoin and its wider adoption.

Countries around the world have since recognised the virtual currency, whose value has fluctuated wildly, peaking at $68,000 in November, 2021.

Updated: March 07, 2022, 4:36 PM