UN Secretary General calls for rapid action to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2050

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber said that advanced technologies have a vital role to play in protecting and enhancing global supply chains from global shocks

Adnoc group, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Climate change, UN, Environment, Sustainability

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has led calls to place advanced technologies at the heart of the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted economies and devastated communities around the world, in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020) which is being held on September 4-5. 

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates and Co-chair of GMIS, LI Yong, Director-General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Co-chair of GMIS, H.E. Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, and Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee of GMIS also delivered keynote addresses at the opening ceremony of #GMIS2020. The Summit gathered a cross-section of close to 100 global leaders from the world’s public and private sector to participate across more than 20 virtual sessions to discuss pathways to accelerate the role of fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies to build more resilient global value chains and restore prosperity in a post-pandemic world.

Guterres highlighted the many challenges that the pandemic has exposed, and the role that digitisation and clean energy could play in shaping a new paradigm for a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future. 

“The world’s reliance on manufactured products can be seen clearly through the shortage of critical supplies and disruptions in global value chains,” he said. “Yet we have also witnessed a leap in digitisation for learning, working and connecting with others. Technology has the potential to restore business, improve industrial efficiency and safety, and fortify critical infrastructure. Digital technologies must not increase the risk of unemployment for women or worsen economic and other inequalities.”

On the rise of renewable energy and the need to shift towards a decarbonised world, Guterres added: “Efficient, green technologies can help to mitigate more than 70% of today’s emissions. Renewable energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels. We need industries to take rapid and ambitious steps that will get the world to carbon neutrality by 2050.”

H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates and Co-chair of GMIS said that the pandemic has shown that global supply chains are only as strong as their weakest link and the UAE is harnessing technology to reinforce its supply chains. The pandemic has pushed countries to build buffers into their inventories, reinforce their resilience, and embrace the innovations of the 4IR.

“The UAE believes that advanced technologies have a vital role to play in protecting and enhancing global supply chains from global shocks,” he said. “By embracing technology, we will also nurture a knowledge-based economy and create an ecosystem that supports and creates sustainable jobs. We will unlock greater value from sectors where we have existing strengths, including energy, petrochemicals, metals, and logistics. We will target sectors that strengthen our self-sufficiency, including water and food and agriculture. And we will create value in new high growth sectors like biotech, health, and pharma.”

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber concluded by sending an open invitation for cooperation saying. “In fact, throughout the UAE’s history, the spirit of partnership has defined our approach to providing positive solutions to global challenges, and the UAE is more than ready to play its part as a constructive partner to all who wish to work with us.”

LI Yong, Director-General of UNIDO and Co-chair of GMIS, said the pandemic had created a wider understanding of our level of global interdependency and the link between supply chains and society: “Seldom has the general public been more aware of how closely interwoven international supply chains are, how much we depend on them for everyday goods and services, or how the “global” affects the manufacturing sector almost as much as the local.

“In these extraordinary times, a sense of clarity is more important than ever. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will not only impact on the factory floor, but also across society. No matter how influential, no one actor can control this phenomenon alone. We can only hope to shape an inclusive and sustainable 4IR through building strong multi-stakeholder partnerships with representatives of national governments, multilateral organisations, the private sector, the research community, and civil society.”

H.E. Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, called for a revision of global trade systems. He said: “Today, we should completely revise the approaches defining our industrial and commercial ties. Initiatives that were considered long-term priorities should be launched urgently. In order to minimise the negative impact of the pandemic, and get back on track for sustainable development it is necessary to increase transparency of the trade regimes, and to lower tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade.”

Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), delivered a keynote speech calling for collaboration, and for nations to pause and consider the opportunity the pandemic has provided to reassess priorities. He said: “The crisis has turned our attention from distant horizons to closer surroundings, serving as a timely reminder of the importance of cultivating local and regional markets, and magnifying the need for more agile, more responsive and more resilient value chains. It has also led to heavy changes and drastic shifts in industrial operations, which may very well be the beginning of a new, hybrid, reality that will further blur the lines between physical and virtual activities.

“As challenging as this new reality may seem for most of us in the manufacturing sector, coupled by the geopolitical shifts and protectionist sentiments that have overwhelmed us in recent years, we must strike a sensible balance between having efficient and competitive supply chains whilst also securing necessary and flexible local capacity.”
The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The third edition of the Summit (#GMIS2020) is being held under the theme – Glocalisation: Towards Sustainable and Inclusive Global Value Chains.

Discussions will focus on the major issues facing the manufacturing sector and will explore how the adoption of 4IR technologies, localising production capabilities and capacity building, and spreading inclusive and sustainable development will all be critical to the future of global value chains. The Summit will also hold five working group sessions gathering a cross-section of experts from world-leading organisations to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to promoting the role of women in manufacturing; enhancing industrial safety and security; advancing the decarbonisation of industry; developing future leaders of industry; and setting up an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Performance (ISID) Index that helps measure the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) performance of public and private sector entities.


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