Dubai, United Arab Emirates: 27 April 2017
Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA) chaired the first meeting of National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals formed upon a decision made by H.E. Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation and FCSA Chairman.
The first meeting of the committee witnessed the release of a report titled "From Goals to Reality: UAE and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development", which includes a record of a wide variety of UAE achievements in 2016, and their relevance to the 17 goals.
This edition of the book is the first, and has been produced by the FCSA and in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's team. Further editions of this book will be released annually to monitor achievement of SDGs indicators from all aspects, in addition to shedding light of the achievements of National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals.
The committee members also agreed no developing a national plan that monitors and follows up on committee activities, initiatives and governance. The plan should also links to key and important indicators such as global competitiveness reports and UAE ranking, to achieving the national agenda and SDGs and their prioritization, since the achievement of any of these themes reflects positively on achieving the goals of other aspects, which is needed by the decision makers.
During the course of the meeting, representatives of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority presented smart SDGs Web Portal; a project launched about earlier this month in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, during his follow-up on the projects of UAE National Agenda and Vision 2021.
HE Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairman of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, stressed that the work of the National Committee for Sustainable Development aims to complement the development process launched by the Founding Fathers of the UAE. "The wise leadership has a well-defined national economic and social development plan and goals, and the country’s strategy for Vision 2021 is a true reflection of our leaders' vision of the future of the UAE and its people," she said. Her Excellency thanked all members of the Committee for their efforts and wished them success in achieving the objectives of the Committee and the success of its mission.
HE Abdullah Naser lootah, Director General of FCSA, said "We are very pleased with the success of the first meeting of members of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals and the level of commitment and enthusiasm we have seen from the members of various governmental bodies. Formation of the Committee is a translation of the trust bestowed by the UAE wise leadership upon our government institutions thanks to the efforts of their members and their joint work, which serve the interests of the State and its advancement towards globally advanced levels in all fields."
Lootah added that a number of pivotal points were agreed upon at the meeting, which will be followed up in future meetings such as the preparation of an operational plan for the years 2017-2021, which will be updated periodically and in line with regional and global changes. It was also agreed to develop a simulation system for SDG indicators that helps the team to look into the future and all that may affect the performance of indicators from internal or external factors.
"We have had a successful experience in the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority for years in developing and harnessing the power of simulation systems to identify successful goals and strategies in improving global competitiveness, and we will harness this experience to support the SDG committee teams to achieve the goals of the National Commission for Sustainable Development," he said.
Engineer Khaled Harmoudi, Director at Government Performance Department of Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said: "The objective of the UAE government is to maintain a happier community through sustainable development in the state. There is a need for the government to focus on the social and economic development goals. Hence, National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals' meeting aims to focus on four pivotal aspects: society, economy, foreign relations and environment. Our goal at the Ministry of cabinet Affairs and the Future is to align the sustainable development indicators and the indicators of the National Agenda and the initiatives that support achieving UAE Vision 2021".
"Today's meeting is a gathering of all government bodies under one roof to harmonize the National Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a view to cooperate and coordinate to achieve the strategic goals of the State. We, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, shall be a point of contact between the members of the Committee and all our external partners, where our role is to focus on linking the humanitarian assistance with the related sustainable development goals; i.e. eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting education and other goals with humanitarian and social dimension. ", added Mr. Yacoub Yousef Al-Hosani, Assistant Minister for Foreign Organizations Affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
On her part, Amal Mohamed Alkous, Secretary General of the National Commission for Education, Culture, Science and Communication for UNESCO and the National Coordinator of Education Agenda 2030 said: "SDGs target all countries and individuals without discrimination globally, under a unified global framework, thus a unified regional framework, which helps to joint planning and utilization of local and international expertise, in order to achieve sustainability and development in the specific areas. This global framework provides an opportunity for UN Member States and relevant organizations; such as UNESCO and others, to launch joint and supportive initiatives and policies and to promote qualitative global and regional cooperation that contributes to effective capacity-building. On its national level, the UAE is always ahead of unlimited efforts linked to the national agenda and the national strategic plans. This requires the existence of a National Committee on Sustainable Development goals to reflect these efforts through a clear vision and strategic and operational plan to serve the country in the coming years to 2030".
Alia Zaid Harbi, Director of the Center for Statistics and Health Research at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, concluded saying: "The process of managing, organizing and achieving the goals of sustainable development will help to improve the performance of the country in all development indicators, so as to be in line with the world's leading countries in this field. And here lies the importance of the strategic role of the National Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, through which we will work to achieve our national goals and the UAE shall become one of the first leading countries in the world".
The meetings will be held periodically to follow up on the tasks and initiatives of the Committee, which are concerned with determining priority sustainable development goals, coordinating among the competent authorities in the state in all matters related to SDGs , exchanging information about them and proposing procedures and systems supporting their work, in addition to preparing reports on the status of the state and the efforts exerted to achieve the goals of sustainable development, identifying the data relevant to each body, supporting the work of the Committee and establishing a dedicated database for achieving SDGs nationwide.