The opening ceremony was attended by members of the Higher Committee of the Summit; Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior; Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaiaili, Head of the Institutional Development Council at the Ministry of Interior; Major General Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior, and Chairman of the Aqdar World Summit Higher Committee; Major General Mohammed bin Al Awadhi Al Menhali, from the Office of Advisors to HH the Minister; Major General Abdul Aziz Maktoum Al Shareefi, Director General of Protective Security in the Ministry of Interior; and Brigadier Mohammed Hamid Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of the Office of His Highness the Minister of Interior; along with general directors at the Ministry.
During the opening ceremony, His Highness listened to the opening addresses and to a speech delivered by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Cabinet Member – Minister of Tolerance, where he said: “This Summit is a powerful expression that young people represent our hopes and aspirations for a more successful and prosperous future as they are the leaders of tomorrow who will contribute, with their full determination, to the development of society and to build a better world. Aqdar World Summit focuses on the importance of dialogue and exchange of views and it truly shows that cooperation and positive communication between experts and specialists in the region and the world has become necessary in order to achieve progress and peace."
His Excellency added: “It is truly fortunate that this summit was held in the year of Zayed; the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was known as "the wise man of the Arabs", the leader ruled with an eye on the future of the UAE and its position among nations, a vision that stems from its national culture and its practical experience in world affairs. His Highness the late Sheikh Zayed strongly focused on human development in all its dimensions, and was keen to enable all sons and daughters of the nation to contribute fully in all fields: national, regional and global as he knew for granted that this is the way for UAE to be a pivotal country in the region and world. he also was very tentative in matters related to the social development including, spreading justice, ensuring equality of opportunity, respect for the status of women, affirm the role of the family in society, deepen the principles of loyalty to the homeland, and adhere to its objectives., customs and orientations.”
He continued on saying: “The late Sheikh Zayed has made of the UAE a symbol and a global model in sustainable development. He had always told us that successful development requires the preservation of the environment and taking into account the interests of future generations. He was very careful to provide the people with the means and tools to help them live a decent life to be able to give and produce.”
He concluded: "In the year of Zayed, the world now is in need of the wisdom that was embodied in the deeds and words of the late founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, because this wisdom is our path to human empowerment and it is our way to provide quality education and health care to ensure the human’s role in social progress and economic prosperity, it is also our way to protect the environment, sustain development, and promote the values of tolerance, peace, justice and human dignity all over the world.
At his speech at the opening ceremony, Dr. Hatem Aly, Representative of the UNODC Office for GCC Countries said: “I would like to cordially thank the patron of this summit and the Ministry of Interior in UAE for its continuous support and for hosting such an international platform, in cooperation with the United Nation, that discusses the policies and strategies to achieve stable societies that will lead to sustainable development.”
He also added: “We are very pleased to participate in this global forum that tackles various topics related to the sustainability and stable communities attracting top-notch of local, regional, and international speakers and experts.”
He continued on saying: “I am very delighted to see such young faces among the audience today who sought to share their views on how cooperation between governments, organizations, bodies, civil society to achieve progress and sustainable development by empowering the minds and through the stability of societies in accordance with the UN mechanisms, and strategies that we are so proud to represent them today. The United Nation is the melting pot of your nations and countries that have attended our international and regional forums to set a global framework for achieving the sustainable development through the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations. We are therefore honored today to discuss with you through our experience how we can put these standards and tools in the best possible way to implement them and achieve the ultimate objective of nourishing the minds.”
Dr. Hatem Aly concluded by saying: “We hope that the next two days will come out with great results and recommendations that we will spread all over the world to achieve sustainable development by freeing and enlightening the minds and make our communities more secure and stable”.
On his part, Dr. Boyan Radoykov, Chief of Section, Communication and Information Sector (UNESCO), said: “The theme of the 2018 edition of Aqdar World Summit is of particular relevance for the world and for the United Nations. On behalf of UNESCO, I would like to warmly congratulate the organizers for the successful organization and execution of this international event.”
He explained UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. He said: “Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity and the empowerment of populations especially through education.”
He assured: “It is evident that through different approaches, we all strive for the same goal: the protection of peace, the sustainable development and the universal respect of justice.”
He went on saying: “Building peace is actually building bridges - conceptual, educational, cultural and technological bridges that will allow humanity to reduce the divide of economic under-development, to alleviate the burden of women and men suffering from wars and conflicts, and also the related burden of violent extremism and radicalization of young people.”
“The process of globalization is requiring a reshaping of the habits to consider educational opportunities. ICTs and access to knowledge provide new possibilities for improving well-being of peoples. In this sense, the empowerment of our youth is crucial and this is why Governments must invest in policies fostering quality education and universal value systems.” He continued
Dr. Boyan Radoykov concluded: “Ultimately, all is in our capable hands and it is my profound belief that we have the necessary knowledge, the required competences and the indispensable determination to deliver on our most challenging task - the task to secure a better and safer world for our children and consequently leave behind a decent legacy to the future generations.”
On the first day of the Aqdar World Summit, a number of sessions touching on various aspects of the main theme ‘Role of Human Empowerment in Developing Stable Societies: Sustainable Development’ were discussed in great depth and detail.
The first session was entitled ‘Sheikh Zayed Strategies on Empowering People’ and chaired by Dr. Hawaa Saeed Almansoori, Deputy Medical Director at the Imperial College of London, where the keynote speakers addressed how Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ‘Founder and Architect of modern UAE’, laid the foundation for a modern welfare state, carved out of the bedrock of Arab-Islamic values and helped in building a sustainable society based on human empowerment, equality, justice, tolerance and peaceful co-existence. While Dr. Jayanti Robin Maitra, Research Advisor – National Archives, focused on her topic ‘Zayed A Unique Approach to Nation Building and Human Empowerment’ and H.E. Afra Rashed Al Basti, Director General of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children and Member of the Federal National Council, discussed ‘Zayed’s Approach in Human Development’.
Dr. Jayanti Robin Maitra, Research Advisor – National Archives, said: “Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the ‘Architect of modern UAE’, laid the foundation of a modern welfare state carved out of the bedrock of Arab-Islamic values. Fighting against insurmountable obstacles and colossal challenges, he built a nation and a sustainable society based on human empowerment, equality, justice, tolerance and peaceful co-existence.”
She added: “Sheikh Zayed’s meteoric rise to power and prominence from a “desert Sheikh” in Al Ain to the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966, and the President of the UAE in 1971, left a permanent imprint on the pages of history. He continues to be the beacon of hope and inspiration locally, regionally and globally for his visionary leadership, unparalleled achievements and matchless humanism and philanthropy.”
She concluded: “Without going into the details of the stellar record of this wise and benevolent leader-statesman, this paper focuses on an in-depth appraisal of the essence of Sheikh Zayed’s unique greatness and the dynamics of his phenomenal success achieved in a lifetime in every field of human endeavor.”
The second session was entitled, ‘Human Development for Economy Growth’ and chaired by Dr. Najwa Mohmed Alhosani, Vice Dean – College of Education at UAE University, where the keynote speakers highlighted how ‘Human development has become increasingly important to any country’s economic growth and national agenda, given the unprecedented changes brought by massive technological advancements and innovation. While H.E. Nasser Juma Al Hamli, Cabinet Member and Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, addressed, ‘The Role of Human Resources in Sustainable Development’, Guo Xiangcen, Principal Manager at SkillsFuture, Singapore, discussed her topic ‘Human Capital Development for the Future of Work – through the lenses of Singapore’s Skills Development Effort’ .
Guo Xiangcen said: “Human capital development has become increasingly important in any country’s key agenda, especially more so given the unprecedented change brought by massive technological advancements and innovation. How do we then prepare our people for the future of work? From the skills development angle, the speaker will share how Singapore has invested into human capital development – through the lenses of Singapore’s whole-of-government approach; its workforce and skills development effort and strategies; the re-definition of the importance of education and lifelong learning, and how we can look forward to shaping the future together through the skills agenda.”
From his side, Dr. Alexander Herzner, Assistant Professor and Researcher at Applied Science University, Amberg – Weiden, focused on his topic, ‘Social Engagement: LRT2 – Learn, Reflect, Transfer, Transform’.
The third session of the Aqdar World Summit was titled ‘Gender Parity for a Better Society’ and Chaired by Mostafa Ismail Al Zarooni, Editor in Chief, Khaleej Times, where the keynote speakers addressed many important questions related to Gender Equality such as: how female labor workforce participation is revolutionizing the labor market locally and internationally, how women empowerment is affecting the gender equality values of younger generations and how the statistical dynamics of gender employment differences influences the social perceptions of female roles?’. While H.E. Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Cabinet Member and Minister of Community Development, spoke about ‘Gender Parity the Mean for a Balanced Society’.
In her speech, H.E. Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid highlighted the definition of gender equality, gender balance and the UAE's approach to achieving the best for women and society. It also sheds light on the role played by the UAE society in the past in engaging women in various aspects of life, which has had an impact on social, economic and political development. The figures and achievements that have taken place since the establishment of the federation to date also indicate the importance of the role of involving women in achieving competitiveness and rankings in international reports.
From her side, H.E. Asma Hanna Khader, Former Minister – CEO at SIGI and Member of the Jordanian Senate, addressed her topic ‘Gender Parity: a Fundamental Right and a Developmental Necessity’ and Dr. Tatiana Karabchuk, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Humanity and Social Science College – UAE University, discussed her topic ‘Gender Parity in Education, Employment and Leadership: Mapping Gulf’.
Running parallel to the conference sessions, a number of workshops were held on a wide range of topics related to Sustainable Development on the first day of the summit. While Ammar Mohammed Al Shaabi, Training Specialist, Ministry of Education UAE, offered practical training and knowledge about ‘Sustainable Data’, Omair Ali AlGhamdi, Training Leaders Specialist, Ministry of Education, UAE, delivered practical training and knowledge about ‘Foreseeing the Future Through Sustainable Development’ and Dr. Hashem Mahmoud Musallam AlZyod, Training Specialist and Professional Development, Ministry of Education, UAE, offered practical training and key information about the ‘Role of Education in Achieving Sustainable Development – UAE as a Model’.
It is worth mentioning that Aqdar World Summit is organized by Khalifa Empowerment Program “Aqdar” in partnership and cooperation with INDEX Conferences & Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding and the support of the United Nations and a number of local and international bodies.
© Press Release 2018