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Ohood Al Roumi: ‘The UAE government prioritises future generations in its policies’

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The UAE’s leadership believes in placing future generations at the heart of government policies, projects and programs to ensure the creation of a better tomorrow, Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, said today.

H.E. Ohood Al Roumi said the government’s focus on youth embodies the vision of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. She stressed that the UAE is keen to balance meeting the needs of the present and future, noting how the country’s strategic future design reflects the belief of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, that the UAE does not wait for the future, but creates it.

Al Roumi made her comments during a session titled ‘How can policymakers meet the needs of future generations?’ at the Dubai Future Forum 2023, the world’s largest gathering of futurists, taking place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation. This year, the Forum witnesses the participation of more than 2,500 global experts from diverse future-focused fields, and more than 100 top global organisations from over 100 countries.

The session, moderated by Jacob Ellis, UNICEF Youth Foresight Fellow, focused on how to make effective policies that meet the needs of future generations. It also covered mechanisms to develop new legislation and policies that protect resources.

H.E. Al Roumi pointed out: “Since 1971, the UAE, under the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, has been committed to preserving the environment, greening the desert, and protecting nature. Sheikh Zayed’s ambition to plant 100 million trees reflected his determination to create a better quality of life for future generations, and to preserve resources for them.”

Her Excellency touched on the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to establish Jebel Ali Port in the 1970s, at a time when Dubai did not need a port of this size. But this long-term vision reflected a consideration for future generations. Today, Jebel Ali Port is among the top 10 largest ports in the world, while DP World’s portfolio includes more than 80 marine and land terminals in 40 countries, and it plays a pivotal role in facilitating global trade.

Her Excellency highlighted the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 and the We the UAE 2031 vision, which comprise key pillars and strategies to empower future generations. The plans focus on nurturing skills and developing capabilities to equip youth with the tools for future sectors such as AI and space.

The UAE has prioritised its youth, established a dedicated ministerial role and launched initiatives to ensure youth’s representation in boardrooms and important forums. It is imperative to provide the youth with the opportunity to contribute to the policies that will shape their future.

Her Excellency said this year, the United Nations adopted eight common principles to strengthen commitments to future generations. She added that efforts are underway to adopt a charter titled “For the Future” during the UN Summit of the Future next year.