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Eye of Riyadh
Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Saturday 31 August, 2019 4:36 am |
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Aqdar World Summit highlights UAE model on 'The Strategic Pillars to Empower Communities and Youth’

 Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the 3rd edition of Aqdar World Summit in Moscow continued on the second day in conjunction with the Moscow Global Forum "City for Education", under the theme "Global Empowerment of Communities: Experiences and Lessons Learned".

Experts offered their insights on ways to empower individuals in various key sectors of the UAE’s economy with a key focus on the topic "The Technical, Intellectual and Food Security: The Strategic Pillars to Empower Communities and Youth – The UAE Model".

During a keynote speech on "UAE Food Security Strategy for the Next Generations", Mariam Hareb Almheiri, Minister of State for Food Security, said, "The Aqdar World Summit offers an unparalleled opportunity to meet global food security experts and decision-makers and explore ways where we can work together and address common food security challenges. The theme of this year’s summit places a focus on communities and on empowering them to effect positive change - as such, it resonates perfectly with our approach at the Office of the UAE Minister of State for Food Security, where we believe firmly that the community is the catalyst for meaningful change,"

"Educating the community is one of the key pillars of the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy, with this particular pillar engaging with citizens to transform behaviour and create a ‘food movement.’ This is in recognition of the fact that food security depends as much on bottom-up methods driven by the consumer as it does on top-down approaches enacted by the government. Science-based and research-led, this food movement encourages the adoption of a diet that contains less meat and more vegetables, whole grains and pulses, as this is not only healthier, it also results in fewer precious resources being consumed. Under the umbrella of this approach is our recently launched ‘Bzar’ initiative, which engages with all community members to show how Emirati cuisine can be as healthy for the planet as it is the individual," Almheiri added.

"Russia and the UAE share broadly similar food security concerns. The Russian Federation is experiencing escalating food prices as a result of a disruption in supply chains caused by geopolitical tensions, while the UAE is also subject to the vagaries of a potentially unstable region that threaten its food imports – imports that currently stand at 90 percent. However, both countries have instituted comprehensive plans and policies to ensure food security for their citizens - the UAE through its National Food Security Strategy and Russia through its 2010 Food Security Doctrine, which outlines its agricultural production and policy goals. Because of this mutual commitment to food security, we believe we can create strong food security synergies with Russian partners at the governmental, non-governmental and private-sector levels. My colleagues and I are greatly looking forward to exploring such opportunities at the third Aqdar World Summit," she added.

While commenting on his participation, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, said, "I am proud to be part of this event and amongst other fellow ministers to solidify the UAE and Russia's strong relations, and emphasize on the importance of sharing knowledge and exchanging experiences to benefit all humankind. We have always worked toward opening more and more channels of collaboration all over the world to achieve the bigger goal that would help accelerate humanity’s development, as we believe that the key to creating and maintaining secure, stable and flourishing communities is by empowering them intellectually, culturally, and economically to name a few. Our goal in this event is to share with participating countries the vision and the achievements of the UAE in the fields of human development, education, innovation and how that helped build a high-level educational system, and sustainable societies."

He added, "During my session in Aqdar, I went back to where it all started and how Artificial Intelligence, AI, came to be. To truly understand the impact of this technology, I specifically focused on the UAE’s vision towards adopting AI. The UAE has launched a national strategy that aims for it to be a leading country in AI by 2031. We have eight main objectives such as upskilling/reskilling government employees, integrating AI in school curriculums, adopting AI in low-risk government services and many more."

He continued, "We have many initiatives that support the UAE’s vision when it comes to AI such as the UAE Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Council; Think AI, which is a round-table event of industry experts and government officials; the UAE Artificial Intelligence Camp for students and a global AI-focused event called AI Everything. We have also started with the deployment of AI where we see it diagnosing diseases such as tuberculosis and in the infrastructure sector where it is used to support road development."

Commenting on the UAE-Russia ties in the field of AI and technology, he stated, "Russia has been vastly investing in exploring opportunities and avenues within the technology and innovation sector. Launched this year, the Russian Centre for Digital Innovators and Information and Communication Technologies in Dubai, a joint initiative between both the UAE and Russian government, aims to provide Russian businesses with the opportunity to enter the Middle East and North African, MENA, market as well as extend support to Russian start-ups and entrepreneurs to better understand the region as well as make suitable business decisions for their products and solutions. The two countries have also established a joint fund, part of which will be committed to investing in technology, including in startups. Russia is extremely aware of the importance and impact of AI, having established a dedicated fund for this sector worth US$2 billion with investments from the Middle East and Asia to launch at least 10 AI start-ups in Russia every year."

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, Hedayah, and Chairman of the World Council of Muslim Communities, expressed his happiness at participating in the summit, highlighting the fact that the UAE experience is very special and it is worth being shared with a global audience.

He assured that the biggest challenge to coexistence is terrorism and terrorism is not an enemy to any community but the entire humanity. He highlighted the importance of not only security but also preventive programmes that target society and the younger generation.

Running parallel to the summit, the Aqdar exhibition continued to deliver a unique platform to top notch companies from various sectors to showcase their latest services and solutions while also networking with visitors, participants and all attendees. 

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