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Brown lauds UAE Vision 2021

posted on 12/02/2013: 2118 views

The key development challenge for the Gulf region is to identify a more effective way to deliver public-friendly government services, Gordon Brown, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, said.

Addressing the opening session of the first The Government Summit in Dubai on Monday, Brown praised the successful strategy of the UAE outlined in its Vision 2021 to become one of the best nations in the world.

He said government services should be delivered in a way the public wants, by personalising them and assuring individual satisfaction.

Brown said the long-term economic success of the region hinges on evaluating the performance of the region's educational system against other competitive economies, and acting upon the needs of the younger generation.

He said he key priorities in development must be centred not only on investing in education but also measuring its output and performance.

There also should be a focus on innovation and technological expertise while ensuring that the opportunities are widely spread, the former British premier said in his address to an audience of over 2,500 regional and international delegates.

Stressing the need to further strengthen the educational sector, Brown pointed out that it was important to tap the potential of every child and this could be achieved only by providing the best basic general education to all.

Reem Al Hashemi, UAE Minister of State, said the UAE's Vision 2021 serves as a roadmap in defining the priorities of the government to promote development with a focus on overall societal welfare.

"At the heart of all our development endeavours are our people. We regularly review our performance to ensure that we consistently make progress.”

Compared to less than five per cent women representing the UAE workforce in 1975, today, it is over 40 per cent, while the governmental sector workforce has a women representation of over 65 per cent, said Al Hashemi.

"This is the result of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who has focused on the importance of women to be part of the decision-making process,” she said.

Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development, or OECD, said that debates on development must shift from mere measurement of GDP to a number of other parameters including healthcare, education, gender equality and governance, among others.

"Sustainable development is also about social cohesion, investing in research and development, and creating a model of growth that contributes to the happiness of the people.”

Stressing the key role the government has to play in driving economic competitiveness, she said that a multi-stakeholder approach is imperative in the education sector, linking business to universities so that the educational sector reflects the needs of the economy, and reiterated the need to strengthen a culture of entrepreneurship, which will drive demand for innovation.

Abdullah Lootah, Secretary General of Emirates Competitiveness Council, moderated the session. He highlighted the role of summit to work towards constant improvement in providing government services. The session explored the definition of development and the role of government in achieving its development objectives.

The opening day featured several dialogue sessions, country best practice workshops, and a plenary session where Dubai and Abu Dhabi shared their experiences in government services. – Khaleej Times


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