UAE Government launches Big Data for Sustainable Development platform

The UAE Government has launched the United Nations (UN) platform, "Big Data for Sustainable Development", as part of an initiative aimed at meeting the needs of the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.


The UAE is one of four countries selected as a regional headquarters for the platform.


The announcement was made during the 'Mobilizing Big Data and Data Science for the Sustainable Development Goals' forum, which kicked off today at Expo 2020 Dubai, in cooperation with the United Nations, and witnessed the participation of Emirati ministers, government and international officials and a large roster of experts and specialists in data science and sustainable development.


Minister of State for International Cooperation and Chairperson of the National Committee for Sustainable Development Goals Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy said the UN's decision to make the UAE the MENA headquarters of the platform underscores its stature and will enhance its position as a global hub for technology and big data, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.


It also highlights the UAE leadership's keenness to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by employing big data and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, she added.


Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei said the UAE has supported the youth's growing interest in big data, future technologies and sustainability, adding that the government’s initiatives have encouraged youth participation in the UN Youth Hackathon.


She also affirmed the UAE’s commitment to empower youth and hone their skills and capabilities in big data and AI technologies, noting that the country has placed youth at the forefront of its development strategy.


Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri said the UAE has begun its journey into the next fifty years guided by its leadership’s directives to adopt proactive plans, supporting its priorities in sciences and advanced technologies.


SDGs include supporting comprehensive and sustainable manufacturing and promoting innovation, she noted, adding that the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology has adopted a strategy aimed at motivating innovation and adopting advanced industrial tech solutions.


Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications Omar bin Sultan Al Olama said that data is the true wealth of the government of the future and the main tool for developing the next-generation government services.


The UAE cooperates with several countries and international organizations to align data protection efforts, by drafting legislation and establishing partnerships to ensure aligning laws issued by countries that produce digital technology and social media platforms, he added.


The UAE seeks to establish a conducive environment for fostering talents in advanced data to achieve SDGs, by focusing on improving the efficiency of AI and big data utilization across vital sectors.


UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Liu Zhenmin congratulated the UAE Government for the successful launch of the platform’s regional center, noting that it could help build the capacities of statistical authorities in the MENA region in utilizing big data, thus fast-tracking the achievement of SDGs.


Acting Director of the Federal Centre for Competitiveness and Statistics Hanan Mansour said that the center’s experts collaborated with a UN team to create the ideal infrastructure for the platform, which can meet the needs of the MENA region.


The center manages 578 national statistical indexes and is connected to over 40 authorities to ensure data security, she added, noting the center is capable of handling over 100 million units of raw data annually.




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