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Eye of Riyadh
Government | Thursday 8 February, 2018 5:20 am |

WGS 2018: Sixth World Government Summit will help ‘find solutions to the most important issues’ facing our world today

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the sixth edition of the World Government Summit (WGS 2018) will get underway next week. A strong line-up including government representatives, dignitaries and thought leaders will discuss key themes at the event, which runs from February 10-13.

More than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions and more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries - including heads of governments and representatives of 16 international organizations - have been confirmed to attend the event at Madinat Jumeirah.

His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, said that the event “has become a permanent knowledge platform available to all governments and their activities throughout the year”.


He further stated: “Through the World Government Summit, we seek to create new models of international cooperation. The agenda this year reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and stems from the need to prepare for the future within the framework of global efforts to achieve a common goal, which is first and foremost to build a more stable and prosperous future for mankind”.

The sixth edition of the summit is set to host a constructive dialogue between leaders, decision-makers, scientists, experts, academics and entrepreneurs to achieve a better future of the societies. 

The summit includes six global forums that have been announced as key events, and the main sessions that cover future’s trends in different global sectors.

The summit is a leading forum that seeks to find solutions to the most important issues, and provide tools for the advancement of countries. This year, the summit continues to establish more effective international cooperation to face challenges, focusing on unifying efforts to create a better future and a safe world that is blessed with peace, prosperity, and sustainability.

India has been named guest country at this year’s event, and the Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural speech of the Guest Country on day one.

A special delegation from the subcontinent will then showcase the country’s developmental experience in a special section titled From India to The World, which features streams on Technology and Innovation and India’s Service Sector. These special sessions will highlight innovation in vital sectors including healthcare, medicine and education.

Highlights include the session Smart Trade, Transport and Logistics Solutions, which will bring together DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Bin Sulayem with Amitabh Kant, CEO of Make in India, to discuss economic development and infrastructure investment.

Other highlights include Personalized Healthcare and the Future of Medicine and 100 Million Meals a Month: The Story of Zomato with founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal.

Speeches from a number of high-level dignitaries representing international organisations have also been confirmed.

Jim Yong Kim, the 12th president of the World Bank, will give the main address on day two of the event. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and author of the 2016 book The Fourth Industrial Revolution, has the honour of presenting an opening address on day one titled Key Global Challenges in 2018.  


Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will deliver the speech Using the Global Recovery to Create a Fairer World on day one, while the Outlook for Global Trade in a Hyper Connected World will be the topic for World Trade Organisation Director General Roberto Azevedo on day three.

On the same day Audrey Azoulay, Director General of Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) will deliver a main address while a day earlier Dr Tedros Adhanom, director general of the World Health Organisation, will present Dynamic Healthcare for an Evolving World as his main address.

Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will feature in a one on one on Sunday.

The World Government Summit is a global platform dedicated to shaping the future of governments worldwide, a knowledge centre at the intersection between government, futurism, and technology.

A number of acclaimed, world famous guest speakers on the agenda will address future trends, issues and opportunities facing humanity in line with the key themes.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will deliver a keynote speech on day one. Earlier on the same day, Dr Michio Kaku, the acclaimed theoretical physicist and futurist from the City College of New York will take a close look at social and technological megatrends that could seriously impact our future in the session The World in Prospect: Are Governments Ready for a Dynamic Future?

Maurice Levy, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Publicis Group and one of the most powerful men in global advertising, will take part in a special session titled How To Brand A Nation.

Political economist Francis Fukuyama, author of the acclaimed 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man, and Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, will discuss future global governance and potential new models of governance and sovereignty in our increasingly interconnected world.

Oscar winning actors Robert DeNiro and Forest Whitaker will attend the summit to tackle Climate Change, with Taxi Driver star DeNiro discussing issues close to his heart in the Caribbean and Last King of Scotland star Whitaker involved in a discussion on Women and Youth – the Catalyst to Solve Global Challenges. 

Highlights in the field of finance include How Do We Tame a $7.45 Trillion Market, with Adena Friedman CEO of NASDAQ, and a session that looks at the future of Cryptocurrencies with the heads of Kraken Bitcoin Exchange, and ELIPSIS. In the tech space, 55 Billion Messages a Day: The Story of Whatsapp with VP Neeraj Arora will examine the instant messaging phenomenon.

A number of local dignitaries and government officials have been confirmed to deliver keynote speeches and presentations at this year’s event.

HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Interior, will deliver a keynote speech on day one titled Land of Inspiration and Opportunities, while HE Abdulla bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will conduct a talk titled Towards an Education Ecosystem that Secures Future Jobs on day 2 of the Summit.

Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will give a keynote speech.

Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Dubai Executive Council His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will launch the new edition of Dubai 10X, an initiative announced at last year’s event to implement the vision of Dubai as a city of the future by developing practical mechanisms that contribute to enhancing competitiveness, and bringing about a fundamental change in the processes of governing, so that Dubai will be ten years ahead of all the other cities in the world.


Four global awards have also been organized to coincide with the sixth edition of the World Government Summit. The winners of the GovTech Prize, Best Minister Award, Edge of Government Innovation Award and Global Universities Challenge Award will all be announced at the event.

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