The Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) of Qatar University (QU) hosted a two-day “Regional Conference for the Arab Region and West Asia – Global Sustainable Development Report 2023” in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development and the GIZ, Germany.

This conference aims to inform the UN Global Sustainable Development Report GSDR 2023 due for publication in September 2023. The conference as part of assessment of perspective of Independent Group of Scientists (IGS) from different regions of the world, seeks valuable perspectives, context specific priorities, challenges, and opportunities as well as scalable, practical tools to accelerate progress in sustainable development goals.

The conference was attended by HE Dr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, President of Planning and Statistics Authority; Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, QU President; Professor Mariam Al-Ali Al-Maadeed, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies in QU; a representative of the United Nations delegation and a number of interested researchers from Qatar and abroad.

In his speech on the occasion, Dr. Hassan Al-Derham said, “Today more than ever, we need peace with ourselves and our environment to build global sustainable development. Also, we urge greater cooperation and transparency on sustainable development issues. Qatar University is proud to host this conference, which contributes to the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023, which is due to be published September 2023.”

Dr. Hassan Al-Derham stressed that sustainability is a key research priority for Qatar University’s strategy (2021-2025) and key policy strategies at the national level -in particular- the Qatar National Vision 2030. Furthermore, he noted the need to remember the unique sustainability measures that were taken during the FIFA World Cup 2022, held in Qatar. The sustainability standards set during this World Cup were a benchmark that will change the direction of major sporting events globally in the future.

He adds, “Today and tomorrow, we will hear from a variety of field experts, government officials, academics as well as private sectors. We believe that we will have a clear view of the current situation and progress on the SDGs and the challenges that hinder their progress. Therefore, I would like to ask all of you to share your experiences and opinions, use this gathering as a platform to expand your professional network, and make suggestions on future cooperation opportunities. Finally, I would like to thank all the sponsors, facilitators, and participants and look forward to active discussions.”

HE Dr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, President of Planning and Statistics Authority noted that the State of Qatar is interested in achieving the sustainable development goals to enhance quality of life, and sustainable development issues are a priority for the Planning and Statistics Authority, which has been translated into specific initiatives in the fields of health, education, environment and social affairs. He also said that the conference is an important occasion to exchange views between a distinguished group of experts on development issues and support solutions for sustainable development.

Prof. Kaltham Al-Ghanim, Professor of Sociology at QU said, “For West Asia, all six starting points, identified in the 2019 World Sustainable Development Report, are critical to achieving the SDGs in the Arab region, in particular the following three: Strengthening human wellbeing and capabilities, achieving energy decarbonization with universal access to energy and securing the global environmental commons.”

She adds, “The agenda of this conference, over the next two days, will include consultations to determine innovative ways to make the five pillars (governance, economy & finance, individual & collective action, science & technology, and capabilities) work together in the context of the six starting points, in order to create the conditions needed to accelerate progress. This is in addition to promising and specific tools to accelerate transformations in the context of starting points, such as policies, initiatives, technology, partnerships and others; as well as ways to create conditions conducive to the transition from emerging to accelerating to stabilizing (including in different contexts) in order to achieve the SDGs.”

“The aim of this conference is to create a multidisciplinary network of knowledge, focusing on the increasing role of the private sector in achieving the SDGs. The Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 will highlight successful examples of sustainable economic development initiatives led by the private sector in the Arab region, and make suggestions for adopting best practices, which have been achieved in other parts of the world.”

“In line with the United Nations proposals to promote adoption at the individual and national levels, the conference will also contribute towards enhancing knowledge about the SDGs between the public and the decision-makers. We invite academics, experts and stakeholders from the private sector locally, regionally and internationally to share their knowledge, ideas, experiences and expectations on creating more sustainable societies.”

There are many challenges facing the sustainable development and capacity of the region that require a systematic approach, international cooperation, in general, and regional cooperation in particular, and fair economic concepts.

Source: Qatar University

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