Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, chaired, via video communication technology, the first meeting of the Global Council for Sustainable Development Goals on SDG 11, which is a major supporter of the goals and objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan, as cities are the cradle of civilisations and the future of the generations to come.
Younis Al Nasser, Assistant Director-General of Smart Dubai, Executive Director of the Dubai Data Corporation, Vice Chairman of the Council, and members representing the specialists in the concerned authorities in various countries were present.
Al Mazrouei said, "During the current session of the council, we will work hard on fruitful cooperation, capacity-building and accelerating efforts to achieve sustainable development goals, through an action plan based on three pillars: attracting investment for sustainable solutions, building competencies and expertise, and pioneering sustainable development thought."
He added, "We meet today to predict the sustainability of cities in the future and human settlements and develop a clear strategy to keep pace with the requirements of future generations by employing all tools that assist us to anticipate opportunities, challenges and future repercussions, analyse their impacts, develop innovative solutions and provide alternatives to them, in addition to stimulating resources, technologies and information, culture, expertise and innovations to achieve SDG No. 11 and in line with the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change 2030."
He noted that the council represents a platform for exchanging expertise and knowledge and transferring successful Emirati and international experiences to various countries. Its importance is in the significant increase in the population of cities, as cities constitute 80 percent of global economies and 70 percent of the causes for greenhouse gases.
He also indicated that the government's launch of the second term of Global Councils on SDGs reflects the UAE's message and its constant endeavour to develop international cooperation frameworks to benefit humanity and its future.
Al Mazrouei also stressed that the government is proceeding according to a plan aimed at launching initiatives, strategies and projects to make cities safe, flexible and sustainable, the most recent of which was the announcement of the UAE Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.
Al Nasser emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic represented an alarm for the world and the need to quickly draft a clear roadmap supported by innovative and renewable mechanisms to achieve the SDGs.
He drew attention to accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable economy as the best way to address the challenges that resulted in the pandemic and strive to build inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities and societies globally.