Wednesday, December 01
10:53 AM

Tolerance, inclusivity, technology in focus at hybrid ABLF Talks

23 Nov 2021

Dubai, UAE – Tolerance, constructive dialogue and peace will be the engines that drive economic and social growth, said Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak al Nahayan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, UAE, at the second hybrid edition of the ABLF Talks at the Dubai Cares Pavilion, Expo 2020 Dubai.

The monthly leadership series, held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahayan and in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Economy and Dubai Cares, a UAE-based global philanthropic organisation, saw a lively discussion by world leaders on the virtues of tolerance and inclusivity, and their role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the Keynote Address, Sheikh Nahayan highlighted how the UAE was driven by its belief in constructive dialogues and concern for each other’s welfare. “Tolerant societies are more open, innovative and economically prosperous while tolerant businesses are more successful. We in the UAE, consider ourselves to be the example of the truth of these statements,” he added.

The role of the Expo 2020 Dubai was also spotlighted as an event that not just motivated people to redesign and reshape their future but also served as a platform to learn, discover and appreciate the relationship between individuals and the world around them. “Our country is a land of opportunities. We will continue to be a dynamic hub of a vast, vibrant and ever-accelerating global market that serves over 2bn people in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.”

The panel discussion that followed focused on the impact of the pandemic on the UN SDGs, especially in the education sector. Featuring Dr Tariq al Gurg, commissioner general for the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and chief executive officer of Dubai Cares, Dr Dena Assaf, UN resident coordinator, UAE, and the deputy commissioner general, United Nations and Majid al Usaimi, Unicef national ambassador and president, Asian Paralympic Committee (APC), the conversation veered on the need to democratise technology to bridge the huge gaps in society.

“COVID-19 has accelerated united efforts towards SDGs, but at the same time, it has also created a huge digital divide. If you have a shared vision and a global agenda but not enough technological connectivity or adequate force or funding, these goals cannot be achieved. Therefore, universal access to connectivity is critical,” said Dr Gurg.

While listing out the various initiatives by Dubai Cares that aim to enhance children and youth’s access to education and creating opportunities for youth empowerment, he also announced the objectives of the upcoming RewirEd Summit, which is led by Dubai Cares in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai and in close coordination with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and a host of global stakeholders.

Taking place at Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) from December 12-14, the largest education summit of its kind aims to rewire education for a prosperous and sustainable future.

Delving deep into the UN’s efforts to tide over the challenges posed by the pandemic, especially in poorer economies, Dr Assaf spoke about the need to engage with communities in a multi-level, multi-cultural and holistic manner while ensuring that technology is not used in a one-size-fits-all approach. “From the UN’s perspective, we work on the principle of – ‘no one should be left behind’,” she added, outlining the huge difference in access among various groups in different countries.

Meanwhile, Usaimi brought the issues faced by people of determination to the forefront and the role of sports in building opportunities and communities. Stressing on the need to use technology and research to identify the needs and customise programmes for their benefit, Usaimi said, “Our aim should be to get everything – money, technology and expertise – towards the achievements of the same goal.”

The ABLF Talks Hybrid, which will return to the Dubai Cares Pavilion next month on December 14, is powered by four innovative superbrands, the Aditya Birla Group, a US$45bn conglomerate and Fortune 500 company, Zand, the world’s first fully digital bank, DP World, the global supply chain solutions giant and Etisalat, the world’s fastest mobile network. The Conclaves are also supported by a powerful lineup of partners including CNBC Arabia (Broadcast Partner) and Hindustan Times, Khaleej Times, Arab News, Muscat Daily, Al Bayan (Media Partners) and Unicef.

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