By Staff writer
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan makes keynote address to UN
“Invest in what is to come, not what is already here,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, in keynote address at a United Nations event boost digital collaboration between governments.
Sheikh Hamdan praised UN’s efforts to unite the international community with the aim of creating a better future for the world, and emphasised the UAE’s commitment to all international initiatives that seek to build bridges between countries and communities, as well as harness digital technology to serve people.
"The UAE is committed to any initiative that promotes international dialogue, as it is a key supporter of the UN," said Sheikh Hamdan.
"In the last three months, the world has witnessed a phase in history that will be discussed in history books. We have witnessed tremendous challenges and vast progress at the same time and we have all seen the problems of not making our government systems and policies agile and ready for any upcoming disruption whether it is good or bad," he added.
He stressed the importance of investing in the future, saying, we need to "invest in what is to come, not what is already here."
The virtual event to launch the new initiative was attended by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada, and a number of prominent international officials.
Sheikh Hamdan said the UAE is committed to boosting collaboration and knowledge sharing to achieve sustained and accelerated development, as well as enhance constructive international dialogue to benefit from opportunities in various sectors, with a focus on vulnerable communities and those that face obstacles due to the lack of technology and technology infrastructure.
He also stressed on the importance of preparing for future changes, adding that the UAE Government is ready to share its expertise with the international community on how it developed the region’s most advanced digital government operations.
“The UAE Government, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has continuously invested in digital transformation over the last 20 years, which enabled us to continue operations 100% in the public sector through virtual means,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
"This pandemic has proven that we cannot work separately or individually, and there is no country that will be better off working alone. There is no better time to build bigger and more flexible bridges than today.
"More than 46% of global communities lack access to the internet. We have to accelerate efforts to increase internet access to half the globe. There are many opportunities to promote digital collaboration and push it forward in various sectors," he added.
During the event, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the world is shifting to digital technology at a faster pace than people could ever have predicted. This creates both vast promise and some peril.
"Technology is enabling the lifesaving work of health-care providers, allowing businesses to operate remotely, educating our children and connecting us with friends and family. But we also have seen technology gravely misused. Hate speech, discrimination and abuse are on the march in digital spaces," Guterres said.