UAE minister reveals disturbing figure at WEF’s GFCs: 3 bn people worldwide lack Internet access

"1.5 bn climate refugees possible by 2050"
UAE minister reveals disturbing figure at WEF’s GFCs: 3 bn people worldwide lack Internet access
Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, the UAE's minister of Cabinet Affairs. (Photo from WAM)

Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, the UAE’s minister of Cabinet Affairs, highlighted the growing technological disparities amid the rapid expansion of artificial intelligence, Al Gergawi emphasised that approximately 3 billion people, which accounts for 37 percent of the global population, lack access to the Internet. Al Gergawi’s statement was made at the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils (GFCs) 2023 in Dubai.

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He also emphasized the significance of safeguarding the planet for future generations, highlighting the interconnectedness of existential questions with the development of new energy sources and economies.

Al Gergawi warned that if the climate issue remains unaddressed, humanity could potentially confront the challenge of over 1.5 billion people seeking asylum due to climate-related reasons by 2050. Additionally, economic losses exceeding $32 trillion by 2050 could be incurred.

Al Gergawi expressed that the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), scheduled to take place in the UAE in November, would play a significant role in addressing key climate-related concerns and providing substantial answers to some of humanity’s pressing questions regarding the climate.

Collaborative pathways

The WEF’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023 kicked off on October 16 with a focus on the significance of considering differing perspectives, fostering idea exchange, and establishing collaborative pathways. In an increasingly polarized and fragmented world, these efforts are vital for enhancing quality of life and safeguarding the planet.

Over 450 experts from various sectors, including business, government, academia, and civil society, gathered at the Madinat Jumeirah Convention Centre in Dubai from October 16 to 18. Their objective was to share knowledge, engage in innovative brainstorming, and generate insights to support future decision-making in tackling the world’s complex challenges.

Profound questions

Furthermore, Al Gergawi stressed the significance of asking profound questions to shape a future that prioritizes equity, sustainability, and preparedness.

“With every development, with every discovery and with every answer, we start to ask new questions to pursue our march of development,” he said.

Moreover, Al Gergawi, who is also member of the WEF’s Leadership Council, noted: “The future of humanity continues to depend on our ability to ask new questions that light up our curiosity and drive us to reach new, convincing answers.”

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