Can modern governments deal with a changing world?


Leading people has always required a lot of resilience. In 2019, a leading British recruiter asked 1,200 people which professions they trusted the least. Almost 80 percent are put by politicians. Even where trust is high (in the United Arab Emirates, for example, 87% trust the government, compared to the UK, where only 29% have faith in their administrators, according to the 22nd Edelman Trust Barometer ), the responsibilities of governments are becoming increasingly important. increasingly complex and demanding.

The World Government Summit (WGS), currently taking place in Dubai, seeks to equip leaders, government officials and experts with the knowledge to navigate the future by “exploring the agenda of next generation of governments and focusing on harnessing innovation and technology. to solve the universal challenges facing humanity,” according to its website.

The event’s itinerary gives a glimpse of the many complicated things that countries must now consider as they prepare for the future. This week almost 1,000 sessions and workshops will be held, with more than 640 speakers. This year has seen an emphasis on post-pandemic recovery, the climate crisis and technology. One particularly timely one has been the need to increase the number of women in leadership positions. Ohoud Al-Roumi, Minister of State for Development and the Future of Government, has said that doing so “will help build resilient societies”. Another important one for the Middle East is to promote regional stability. At the summit, Dr. Anwar Gargash, diplomatic adviser to the UAE president, said the Emirates was “reaching out to friends and also to adversaries to build bridges.”

Delegates should pay attention to as many of these conversations as possible. Over the years, WGS has developed a record for being one of the first platforms to discuss theoretical questions that have eventually become real world problems. In 2018, a year before the first cases of covid-19 were detected in China, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, argued that the world was not prepared for a global pandemic. No doubt a number of the challenges being discussed today will manifest themselves in the future.

In the face of these increasingly complex developments, countries, some far more than others, are breaking with governmental traditions in an attempt to manage change effectively. Last year, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, a risky move with such a volatile currency, but one that the government hopes will make financial services more accessible to citizens. In recent years, the UAE has created new ministerial posts in an attempt to better equip the government to deal with the future. These include ministers of artificial intelligence, tolerance, and even happiness. The WGS is an important time to start formulating such future innovations in government.

However, no politician or leader can be fully prepared for what is to come, but promoting flexible government, the central principle of the WGS, is key to managing the coming years in the best possible way. The UAE wants to be a center for this conversation. On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin RashidVice President and Governor of Dubaihe said the Emirates “will continue to support all forward-thinking initiatives that aim to create a brighter future for our planet.” This mission will have no conclusion and there will always be new obstacles on the horizon. But if the world can overcome the difficulties of recent years by becoming more sensitive to the needs of people and the planet, it will go a long way. None of this is guaranteed, but for those willing to take on the task, the WGS is a good place to start. be inspired.

Posted: March 30, 2022, 3:00 am