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Mohammed to launch The Museum of Future Government Services

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

By Wam

The organising committee of the Government Summit has announced that 87 countries will be participating this year in the biggest event of its kind in the world to discuss governments of the future as well as the critical changes taking place at the global level in the development of government services.

The Committee also announced that during the Summit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will open The Museum of Future Government Services, which includes an exhibition on new technologies that can provide future government services as well as applications that will shape a new generation of future services.

Names of the top speakers from the UAE and other countries for the third edition of the Summit, which will be held in Dubai from February 9 to 11, 2015, were also revealed by the Committee. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will deliver the keynote speech at the Summit.

The Summit, organised under the theme ‘Shaping Future Governments’, will also be addressed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

In addition various sessions will be addressed by Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior;  Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of National Media Council; and Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Summit will have more than 100 speakers from outside the UAE, including Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General; Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum; Queen Rania of Jordan; Deputy Prime Minister of South Korea; President and CEO of Samsung Electronics Co; and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as well as speakers from international universities and organisations.

A group of international organisations will also participate in the Summit to discuss the future of governments. These include the United Nations, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and World Economic Forum, in addition to international universities, academics, researchers and representatives of governments from 87 countries.

Among the main activities, the winners of two global awards will be announced during the Summit. The event this year will also be noted for its Museum of Future Government Services, in addition to a platform for innovation in the government sector, which will be the biggest of its kind. Sessions have been lined up to discuss key issues in educational, health and technology sectors as well as smart cities, government services and innovation. A dedicated session has been created for ‘Mr. Watson’, the smartest robot in the world. The Summit will also feature round tables for Arab government officials and international organisations.

"Government Summit 2015 will be different, innovative and outstanding. Sheikh Mohammed is closely following the work of the Organising Committee. The Summit will benefit immensely from the participation of General Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the first time this year as the main speaker, offering a unique opportunity for the global gathering to gain insights on the successful experience of His Highness in urban development, government management and community development policies," said Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Government Summit.

"The Government Summit this year includes a large number of speakers and a variety of sessions, events and exhibitions aimed at achieving the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to enhance the position of the Summit as the most prominent global platform for government development and to make the UAE a global benchmark in this area. He believes that one of the most important keys to achieving stability and wellbeing of the community is improving the performance of governments. Policy changes are more important than changing individuals. Sheikh Mohammed has also stated that the public sector should put in more efforts than the private sector to focus on research and development as well as measures to improve its service delivery practices since it is more intrinsically connected with citizen happiness and fulfillment of aspirations," Al Gergawi added.

"The participation of General Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Summit, which gathers participants from 87 countries, also emphasises our national priorities on government development and the importance of focusing on efforts to make the UAE the leading nation in shaping the new generation of governments of the future," Al Gergawi said.

Describing the overwhelming interest in the Government Summit this year, Al Gergawi said the Organising Committee had to stop accepting requests for registration after the number of participants increased from 2,000 last year to more than 3,000 last week. The Summit will also host more than 200 journalists to cover the three-day event.

Prior to the official launch of the Government Summit, the final competitions of ‘The UAE Drones for Good Award’ will be organised on February 6 and 7 in Dubai Internet City in presence of professionals, media representatives and international delegations as well as representatives from national and international universities. The award, launched by Sheikh Mohammed during the second Government Summit last February, is the largest-ever award for exploring civilian applications of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology for improving people’s lives. It received more than 800 entries from 57 countries.

The winners of ‘Best m-Government Service Award’ will be honoured by Sheikh Mohammed on the last day of the Government Summit. ‘Best m-Government Service Award’ received more than 400 entries from UAE Federal and Local governments as well as governments from the Arab region and the world.

The Summit includes a session on ‘How the digital revolution is reshaping our economy’, which will discuss the role of technology in managing businesses, and methods of delivery of the government services. The session will be led by Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of MIT Centre for digital Businesses in the USA. A session on ‘Future of Online Education’ will discuss the latest innovations in education and their importance in shaping the future of global education.

‘How Schools Kill Creativity’, another session, will be presented by Sir Ken Robinson, Creativity and Education Expert from the United Kingdom. The session will discuss the need to shift from a united curriculum to a new curriculum designed as per the capabilities of each student. The session will explore the main role of curriculum in implanting a sense of innovation in students.

In a session titled, ‘Healthcare Innovation: Investing in the Next Breakthrough Idea’, prominent experts and inventors will speak about the latest innovations in healthcare that will change the lives of individuals and improve the services provided by governments around the world in the healthcare sector.

In another session, ‘Cities of the Future’, Kent Larson, Director of the Changing Places Research Group and Co-director of the City Science Initiative at the MIT Media Lab in the USA, will highlight the futuristic designs of cities that will accommodate the largest number of people and achieve greater sustainability, environment protection and satisfaction of people.

Mariana Mazzucato, Innovation Economist, will reveal during a session titled ‘The Entrepreneurial Government’, flaws in some of the innovation theories associated with government and private sectors. The session will call for establishing governments with capable leadership and the ability to take risks, and highlight the potential of governments to be the biggest drivers of innovation in the current economy.

In one of its sessions on ‘How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Government Services’, the Summit will host ‘Mr. Watson’, the world’s smartest robot, developed by IBM at a cost of more than Dh10 million. The robot defies the smartest human brains with its ability to answer questions after reading 200 million pages. During the session, Dr. Bernard S. Meyerson, Vice President of Innovation at IBM USA, will review Mr. Watson’s capabilities in language processing as well as its learning and analytical skills. The session will try to answer the questions: "Is it possible for human intelligence to overtake ‘Mr. Watson’? Can we replace the medical and educational cadres in governments with robots like Mr. Watson?"

A women leaders session will look at the participation of Arab women in decision-making and their contribution to creating a new future for the people.

The Summit will discuss through two of its sessions the human journey to seek happiness. Jin Lim, CHO of Delivering Happiness, will discuss in the first session how organisations can achieve sustainability by integrating the concept of happiness in the business model, and how career can be a major factor in the achievement of individual happiness.

In the second session Dan Gilbert, Psychology Professor at Harvard University and an expert on happiness, will explain the scientific perspective to the concept of happiness, describing the human ability to create happiness instead of searching for it.

The Government Summit also includes a session on ‘What Makes a Good Country Great’, led by Simon Anholt, a specialist in policy, who will explain his theory of intermediate states, and how these countries can be transformed into major countries by strengthening their competitiveness and expanding their global reach.

The Innovation Platform, a key event on the sidelines of Summit, includes an exhibition of new technologies capable of providing government services of the future. The exhibition is aimed at explaining the concept of innovation in government development.

The Summit will also host in one of the sessions a high school student aged 14, who has invented a device that can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. During the session, the young inventor will speak on the key incentives required for innovation in education.

A session will explore how the huge data provided by the internet can be utilised to transform the world and help governments in policy making.

One of the sessions will discuss how cities in future will use electronic devices and sensors to provide the population an interactive and smart living experience that would change their lifestyle and outlook to the environment in which they live.

The third Government Summit also includes a round table of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to discuss the major influences on the new generation of governments. In addition, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government in cooperation with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy will organise a session on ‘Smart policies to create an innovative government sector’, which will discuss the role of government academic institutions and colleges in supporting decision making and promoting the culture of innovation. Nine representatives from universities and global academic institutions from Singapore, Germany, the US, China, Australia, the UK and the UAE will take part in the discussions.

A ministerial roundtable will be organised on the first day for the public services ministries with the participation of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar, Oman, Jordan and Malaysia. The roundtable will focus on the development of resources and government work efficiency as well as the development of skills of government employees.

On the third day of the Summit, UAE University will organise a forum for the heads of universities from the Gulf and Arab universities in which they will discuss innovation in higher education by addressing the most important global practices in this field. In addition, the forum will discuss topics related to research policies and modern trends in the area of patents and the mechanism of promoting innovation among university students. Universities from countries in the region, including Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, Iraq, will take part in the forum.

UAE Cabinet urges boosting national efforts to facilitate international trade

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and members of the UAE Cabinet have expressed their sadness over the passing of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

The UAE Cabinet today endorsed the requirements to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

TFA aims to facilitate cross-border trade by simplifying administrative and documentation requirements, as required by the government, on import and export and reducing costs as well as well following international criteria including electronic ones. The Agreement also aims to cut the red tape at the border by coordinating the work of concerned entities, which will eventually achieve balance by boosting trade, streamline the work of the customs that regulate the trade flow in the UAE. 

The UAE Cabinet held its meeting today at the Presidential Palace and was attended by Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, the UAE’s economy is by now one of the strongest and a model in the world. It is laying strong foundations for the country to assume its international economic leading position.

Sheikh Mohammed added the UAE’s economy has become a safe and attractive destination to develop businesses and promote trade. Efforts will continue to foster an innovation-nurturing environment to realize the UAE Vision 2021 for a knowledge-based economy.

Sheikh Mohammed said: "The Emirati economic model is a sustainable and responsible one ensuring a long-term prosperity for its citizens and residents alike. The economy is robust and can accommodate market changes, open new frontiers and diversity as we have strong infrastructure, technology and logistics."

The UAE seeks to innovate new sustainable and competitive economic models as well as adopt more flexible approaches that boost cooperation between the government and private sector which suits its international position as a main economic player."

The Trade Facilitation Agreement will contribute in increasing efficiency, flexibility and productivity in the labor market, given it is a priority for the federal government. It will help facilitate movement, develop businesses across the UAE.

On the other hand, the UAE Cabinet has discussed other topics on the agenda. The Cabinet approved the bylaws of the Etihad Rail through which the company will submit its contracts and agreements to an arbitration clause in case of any disputes. The Cabinet also approved the 2013 closing statement of the General Pension and Social Security Authority as well as the 2015 budget draft of Emirates Transport.

On the International level, the Cabinet endorsed a number of international agreements such as mutual visa waiver agreement with Seychelles and another mutual visa waiver agreement for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports with Colombia. Another agreement with Brunei to establish a cooperation committee was also given the green light.  Economic and technical cooperation agreements were also approved with Uruguay and Slovenia.