The Role of Knowledge Management in Achieving the UN-Sustainable Development Goals
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) like other nations across the globe is facing a crisis caused by a global epidemic – the Coronavirus (Covid-19), but responding to it with might, demonstrated by the power of its approach and the strength of its comprehensive infrastructure. Its pioneering experience was discussed through virtual webinars and virtual conferences at different levels, to show its accomplishments by deeds, not in words. In fact, when people speak, the UAE works diligently to occupy the first rank.
In light of the challenges and transformations that the world is witnessing today in various social and e conomic s ectors, w hich o ur A rab r egion i s not in isolation from, and out of a commitment to strengthening the paths of knowledge production, transmission and dissemination, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) in cooperation with the British Standards Institute organized a webinar under the theme: “The Role of Knowledge Management in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. Speakers at the webinar included, H.E. Hussain Al Hammadi - Minister of Education; H.E. Humaid Al Qatami, Director General - Dubai Health Authority; H.E. Mourad Wahba, Acting Associate Administrator of UNDP, Regional Bureau for Arab States; H.E. Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of MBRF; Mr. Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director, Regional Hub for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme; Mr. Ron Young – CEO & CKO Knowledge Associates Cambridge Ltd; and Mr. Sabet Chamie, Business Manager, Organizational Resilience Expert - BSI.
In his opening speech, His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, said, “This webinar comes at a time when humanity needs creative ideas to curb the pandemic that ravaged the world. We are seeking to reach positive results and garner bright ideas that help us attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
He added: “Based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make the MBRF as a beacon of knowledge at the global level, and under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the MBRF, we set our sights on achieving the sustainable development of our societies, realizing the magnitude of the challenges that we overcome in thanks to our wise leadership supporting our ambitions in spreading knowledge and disseminating and embracing creativity among the younger generations to achieve sustainable entrepreneurship and enhance access to quality education.
Leading Emirati Model
For his part, His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi stressed that the UAE is working on continuous development in line with its firm conviction that the educational system should not only be competitive but rather one of the best models in the world, capable of achieving sustainable development. “This is a national aspiration that our wise leadership in the UAE provides all forms of material and moral support for its success,” he said.
He pointed out the importance of knowledge management, which the UAE is pioneering among other countries. Thanks to the directives of the wise leadership, alongside the governmental directions and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, his foresight of the future and directives to move to more advanced work in the country through smart services.”
His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, affirmed that the United Arab Emirates presented a distinctive model in the face of Covid-19, and the UAE excelled through its regulations, procedures, and other actions in dealing with this crisis. “Although it was unprecedented and there were no real global experiences, but under the guidance of our wise leadership in the UAE, the best systems, methods and procedures have been followed, both at the federal level and at the local level,” Al Qatami said.
He added that under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and with the follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management had been established under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, with a membership of the relevant authorities and competencies. The committee used to hold daily meetings to follow up on all developments related to Covid-19, and took all precautionary measures to curb the disease. It also ensured that the emirate’s hospitals followed international protocols on the management of Covid-19. A control center was established for the daily monitoring of the disease. In addition, periodic tests have been carried out in different areas in the emirate, as well as in labor camps, to limit the spread of the disease.
Mourad Wahba, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Acting Associate Administrator of UNDP, Regional Bureau for Arab States said, “This meeting comes in difficult and exceptional circumstances in which we face the spread of Coronavirus, in which knowledge occupies a prominent and important role in order to confront it, and to build a better world after this pandemic, which respects the environment, climate and environmental diversity in all parts of the world. Here, the role and virtues of knowledge in sustainable development appears.”
Jamal bin Huwaireb: We are
aware of the challenges that
we will overcome under our
wise leadership that supports
our ambitions to spread
science and knowledge
Khaled Abdel Shafi, Director, Regional Hub for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme pointed out that the Coronavirus pandemic showed many defects related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), five years after they were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. He stressed that, “If countries took advantage of the past five years towards achieving the sustainable development goals, the impact of this pandemic would not be as we see now.” Abdul Shafi explained that the pandemic came to reveal many gaps in health systems, issues of inequality and governance, and therefore it sounded the alarm. The estimates show that for the first time in history since this indicator was adopted in 1990, there will be a decline in the human development index related to economy, health and education, it will drop by 6% globally, which is a very serious issue.
Use of Knowledge
On the contribution of effective knowledge management to achieving the sustainable development goals, Ron Young, President and CEO of Knowledge Associates Cambridge Ltd, stressed that, “Knowledge plays a fundamental role in decision-making, as it constitutes a set of values and principles, deep information, the things we learn, new ideas and experiences. When we make good use of the knowledge that we have, transfer it, preserve the most important things that it offers, use it for innovation, and apply it, our institutions become more efficient, and this is what has been adopted by the most prominent leaders throughout history.”
Hussein Al Hammadi: We
are firmly convinced that our
educational system will surpass
competition to be among the
best international models
The Importance of Standards
Sabet Chamie, Business Manager, Organizational Resilience Expert - BSI praised the constructive cooperation that brings BSI with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation in the knowledge management system. On the role of standards in enabling institutions to achieve the goals of sustainable development, he stressed that standards are the best way to do something agreed upon by experts and specialists internationally. “Standards are knowledge. They are powerful tools that can help drive innovation and increase productivity. They can also make organizations more successful and flexible, and people’s daily lives easier, safer, healthier and easier.”