UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, First Official Visit to UAE

Feb 13, 2018

12 FEB 2018, Dubai (UAE) – Mr. Achim Steiner Keynote Address at the World Government Summit / Photo courtesy: worldgovernmentsummit.org

Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2018:

On February 11-12, the United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Achim Steiner was in Dubai on an official visit at the invitation of the United Arab Emirates Government.

Steiner took part in the official opening of WGS in representation of the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guteress, as the third top UN official after the SG and USG. His intervention at the summit included participation in a panel discussion entitled “Innovative Partnerships to support the Implementation of SDGs”. The panel discussion was moderated by Andrew Barden, Bloomberg Managing Editor, and involved six other panelists who were -Alphabetically- : Claire Melamed, Executive Director, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; Imad Fakhoury, Liu Zhenmin, USG of UN and Director of UNDESA (TBC); Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan; Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, UN Relations and Partnerships; Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Indonesia; and Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder & Group CEO, Olam International.

On the Second day of the summit, UNDP administrator delivered a keynote speech that was witnessed by hundreds of officials, politicians, business people, international figures along with Emirati youth. In his address, entitled “Governments of the Future: Leveraging Technology and Innovation”, Steiner highlighted the profound impact of technology and innovation on development processes and the governments’ need to be ready for them. He elaborated how Sustainable Development Goals SDGs can help governments strengthen their core functions and frame their responses to challenges and opportunities innovation and disruptive technologies pose. He confirmed on the United Nations’ role and readiness to support governments in accelerating SDG implementation, including through the judicious of technology.

During the two-day visit, Steiner met with top government officials like H.E. Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future; H.E. Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), Chief Executive Officer of World Green Economy Organization, UNDP UAE Goodwill Ambassador for SDGs; and Mr.Yacoub Yousef Al Hosani, Assistant Minister for International Organization Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Talks between the administrator and UAE officials took place in a positive, trust-based atmosphere. The officials discussed prospects for further cooperation, and a wide range of topical issues, including the green economy portfolio, the state of the environment, and the 2030 Agenda of sustainable development. They focused on cooperation in the framework of SDGs.


A meeting with H.E. Alenka Smerkolj, Minister responsible for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion of the Republic of Slovenia, also took place. The two officials seized the opportunity that the World Government Summit furnishes to explore opportunities for partnership with Slovenia as an emerging ODA provider that is strongly committed to SDGs.

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Communications Department

Soha Afify

Communications Associate



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