Obama addresses World Government Summit, commends UAE's innovation and creativity efforts

DUBAI, 8th February, 2016 (WAM) – United States (US) President Barack Obama has praised the UAE for its innovation, security and stability, which foster investment and upgrade the community’s standard of living, healthcare, education and clean energy.

Speaking via video link at the World Government Summit, the US President commended Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for hosting the event.

The hall was full more than 20 minutes before the beginning of Obama’s speech, and by the time it started, all possible standing space on the sides and the back of the hall were also taken.

The event was attended by Vice President, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority H.H. Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council (FNC), H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, a number of Sheikhs and senior officials.

Obama noted that governments invest in citizens to achieve security and prosperity. “When government listens to its people, that is how we move forward,” Obama said, adding, “Our countries can learn from each other.”

Obama said that the US was proud to participate in the World Government Summit in the UAE as a guest nation. “As more children get education, the country’s economic growth is a forgone conclusion,” he said, noting the advances that the UAE is making in the field of providing education.

The US President said, “Countries are more peaceful when they look after their citizens. We have seen in the tumult across some Middle East and North Africa countries, where governments do not lift up their citizens, it is a recipe for instability and strife.”

He said, “Together we can ensure – and arm our children with the education to prepare them, for the global economy – that economic growth is inclusive, that more communities can do their part to protect our planet.”

Stefan M. Selig, Under-Secretary for International Trade at the US Department of Commerce, spoke after Obama. He said that the US was proud to participate in the World Government Summit in the UAE as a guest nation.

“I would like to echo the sentiments of the US President. I would like to thank Sheikh Mohammed for hosting this important event. “It is his leadership and vision that has made this year’s summit possible,” he said.

He noted that the US supports the innovation strategy of the UAE. “It represents a roadmap towards a more innovative economy. Our countries are partners in space research and technology on the Mars mission. The UAE’s commitment to innovation makes it a trusted partner of the US.”

He hailed the UAE’s National Innovative Strategy and said that the strategy is a roadmap to expand opportunities for Emiratis. “The National Innovation Strategy will add to a diverse economy,” said Selig.

He underlined that the UAE’s commitment is a great support to innovation, and added that the UAE and the US are already collaborating in space research technology with the Al Amal probe.

Selig revealed that the UAE and the US governments will be signing a MoU on an innovation partnership.

“Innovation will lead to great opportunities in many fields, especially healthcare,” he said. “A modern responsible government has been identified as one to achieve citizen gains,” he said.

Selig noted that $1.2 billion were required to expand the education sector, to help on early education and innovation. “The governments of the future have every aspect of governance being redefined,” he said.

Selig highlighted the need for a “deep commitment” to intellectual property. He said that innovation was helping in redefining responsible government, and that the US and its partners should develop friendly relationship with its partners.

“Our countries can learn from each other,” he said. “The summit will help the 150 countries here to improve,” he said, “and make our citizens more responsible.”

The fourth edition of the World Government Summit is being held from 8th to 10th, February, 2016, in Dubai.

Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank Group, addressed delegates on Day 1 of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

He noted that this was his first visit to Dubai, and he was impressed with what Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had created. “We will learn from you and stand by your side as you continue to accomplish. What we cannot imagine, we are sure, Sheikh Mohammed, you are already achieving and planning,” he said.

“I pledge the World Bank Group will continue to learn from you and share your successes here with other countries around the world,” he said.

He said the World Bank has been trying to reduce poverty for more than 60 years now. “Good government is the foundation of all governance. It is fundamental to creating opportunity for all,” he added.

Kim said that there were 1 billion people living in poverty, with 700 million people living below $2 per day. “Shaping government will help to achieve our goal to end poverty by 2030,” he said.

Kim noted that global warming had resulted in 2015 being the hottest year in history. “Mena (Middle East and North Africa) has been badly affected by lower oil prices,” he added.

In addition, he said political conflicts had impacted 15 million people. “We should shape governments to deal with such situations,” he said.

“Inclusive government is based on three pillars: transparency, investment in people, and creating opportunities,” he said.

“Today, half of Dubai’s students are in good or premium schools. This is because of the great interest in education,” he said and commended the UAE’s education policy as well as inclusive governance. Education helps people to escape poverty, Kim noted.

“The greatest strength of Mena is its people, especially its youth,” he said. “Educated women can be an effective part of society,” he added.

“A government which invests in health and education holds great opportunity for its people. With a commitment to global law and transparency governments can make it easier to for us to collaborate and turn our ideas into reality. With a commitment to justice we can uphold the dignity of all people of all backgrounds,” he said.

WAM/Majok

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