(MENAFN- The Peninsula) ayeni olusegun |
Qatar University's Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) kicked off a two-day 'Regional Conference for the Arab Region and West Asia - Global Sustainable Development Report 2023' which aims to explore priorities, challenges and solutions for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Arab region.
The conference is a precursor to the September release of the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2023 to mark the halfway point of the 2030 SDG target.
The two-day conference, which concludes today, was attended by H E Dr. Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, President of Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA); Dr. Hassan Al Derham, QU President; Professor Mariam Al Maadeed, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies in QU; United Nations delegation and several researchers, and QU faculty.
Addressing the event, Dr. Al Derham said Qatar University is proud to host the conference as it contributes to the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023, adding that there's a need for greater cooperation and transparency on sustainable development issues.
The QU president also noted the importance of sustainability as an essential research priority for QU's strategy (2021-2025) and critical policy strategies nationally, as stated in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Dr. Al Derham highlighted the unique sustainability measures implemented during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
“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 said.
On the other hand, Dr. Al Nabit lauded the conference for its focus on development issues and emphasised Qatar's commitment to achieving sustainable development goals to enhance the quality of life and sustainable development issues. He said the PSA blended the SDGs into targeted health, education, environment and social affairs initiatives.
Meanwhile, SESRI Director Prof. Kaltham Al-Ghanim, a member of an Independent Group of Scientists appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to prepare the GSDR, said the conference would stimulate more private sector participation in meeting SDGs, especially for the region.
“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 decarbonisation with universal access to energy and securing the global environmental commons.
“The agenda of this conference includes consultations to determine innovative ways the five pillars (governance, economy and finance, individual and collective action, science and technology, and capabilities) can work together to create the conditions needed to accelerate progress,” Dr. Al Ghanim said.
She added that the conference would explore ways to accelerate transformations and create conducive conditions for the transition from emerging to accelerating and stabilizing across the board to achieve the SDGs.
Keynote speaker Rewa Assi, Unicef MENA Youth Representative, said working on the SDGs will require a concerted effort from all sectors of society, from the government down to the private sector, civil organisations, academia, and young professionals.
“We must work together to create policies and programmes that support sustainable development, and we must also hold ourselves accountable for the progress we make,” she added.