2016 Year In ReviewJan 1, 2017
The United Nations Development Programme Country Office in the United Arab Emirates has had several achievements in 2016. In lieu of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UAE Vision 2021, UNDP has worked on several projects and reports in collaboration with the Emirati government, NGOs and other local, regional and international counterparts.
Energy and Environment:
The Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE), a joint effort between UNDP and Dubai Water and Electricity Authority (DEWA), had its efforts recognised by the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in February, during the Government Summit. DCCE’s main aim is to help Dubai lead the region in reducing carbon emission, through facilitating knowledge sharing and capacity development. In further alliance with Dubai Government, UNDP has also launched the World Green Economy Organisation (WGEO) in November. Its goals include increasing the partnerships between both private and public sectors to ensure sustainable development and mitigating climate change.
In March, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with NAMA Women Advancement led by HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi focusing not only on increasing the opportunities available for women in the labor market but also on helping them become key contributors in the society. Continuing UNDP’s work in the gender portofolio, it has also collaborated with the General Women’s Union (GWU) on two projects: the Gender Gap report and the Gender Mainstreaming Booklet. A workshop on the Gender Audit in the higher education sector workshop was also held to provide a broad understanding of Gender Audit and strengthening the capacities of the participants to evaluate a public policy from a Gender perspective, and targeted 25 participants including professors, policy makers and administrators from different universities across the UAE.
The Human Development Report project was successfully signed with the United Arab Emirates University. The report, to be published in late 2017, would shed light on selected developmental areas in the UAE including labor, health, gender and population. It would also prove to be resourceful for researchers and leaders in policy and decision making.
As part of the youth empowerment efforts, the second round of UNDP Youth Leadership Programme YLPII was implemented in collaboration with Wollongong University in Dubai. YLPII national activities included the first Social Innovations Camp aiming at empowering youth skills, developing their capacities and innovative design thinking. The Camp involved 15 young Emiratis who came up with possible solutions to the problem of youth unemployment, a challenge the SDGs hope to overcome. Further youth empowerment was also celebrated on the International Youth Day with the General Youth and Sports Authority in August.
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Laila Aboel Enein