‘People ready to come together’


Visitors take a break at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Kamal Kassim, Gulf Today

Inspiring bespoke projections and a speech by the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General at Al Wasl Plaza at the Expo 2020 Dubai on Saturday evening proved a spectacular start to the World Expo’s Global Goals Week.

It is first time the annual event is held away from the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Collective progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aimed at creating a better and more equitable future for all by 2030, underpins Expo’s latest Theme Week – held in association with the UN and running until next Saturday, (Jan.22).

With this in mind, bespoke projections lit up Al Wasl dome – the largest 360-degree projection screen in the world – from 18.30 GST on Saturday (Jan.15). A procession of UN SDG flags, carried by UN SDG advocates, followed shortly after, as well as a speech by special guest Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations.

Amina J. Mohammed said, “The ten million visits that Expo 2020 has received so far are a clear sign that people, governments, businesses and organisations from across the world are eager for change, yearning for hope and ready to come together.

“It is up to each and every one of us, individually and collectively, to turn this engagement into partnerships and investments that tangibly improve people’s lives everywhere. With the Global Goals woven into the fabric of Expo 2020, I cannot think of a more appropriate place for us to renew our shared commitment to keep the promises that we made in 2015.”

The UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 SDGs, in September 2015.

Zayed Sustainability Prize is an inspiring global platform to prepare future sustainability leaders and motivate future generations to adopt a responsible and sustainable lifestyle. Winners will be announced on Monday during the Prize’s Awards Ceremony, held at EXPO 2020 Dubai as part of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

Since 2012, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has recognised youth as a driving force for future sustainable development. By awarding innovative sustainability projects developed by high school students worldwide, the Prize has been empowering students to reach their full potential and inspiring next generations to be responsible, sustainable citizens.

This category awards six high schools from six world regions that can demonstrate a project plan that will deliver impact, innovation, and inspiration to their school and/or local community up to US$100,000.

Schools must propose projects to be implemented within 12-24 months of receiving the Prize, with tangible outcomes in sustainable health, food, energy, and water while delivering positive and tangible impact. The category’s six world regions include The Americas, Europe & Central Asia, the Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia & Pacific.

The Prize also recognises small to medium enterprises and non-profit organisations that are pioneering solutions and technologies aimed at increasing access to clean water, improving healthcare and facilitating clean energy, sustainable agriculture, education, and better public services and infrastructure, amongst others.

A total of 41 winners from the Global High School category have delivered projects that have gone on to enhance learning opportunities for as many as 7,000 students and cultivate future generations of sustainability leaders.

Winners from the Global High Schools’ projects have installed 500 kilowatts of solar panels, generated 7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, and prevented 5,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. These renewable energy and sustainability projects have positively impacted approximately 425,170 people connected to participating schools and their surrounding communities.

The Prize’s 2022 Global High School Finalists – Presenting a new round of sustainability pioneers, setting their sights on transformation and environmental impact and education

On 28th September 2021, the Zayed Sustainability Prize’s 2022 finalists were announced following the Jury deliberation meeting to elect winners for its current 2022 cycle. During the Prize’s Awards Ceremony on 17th January, 2022, winners will be announced at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Dubai Customs is set to kick off the 5th UAE Customs Week 2022 under the theme “Leading Customs Digital Transformation,” in conjunction with the International Customs Day, which is observed on Jan.26 every year.

The UAE Customs Week (from Jan.24-28) aims to spread knowledge about the major role of customs sector in facilitating trade and securing the borders.

The event will start with a virtual ceremony in the presence of Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, and Director-General of Dubai Customs, who will deliver the welcoming note, which will be followed by notes and presentations for different customs and digital entities.

In the event, Dubai Customs will launch 32 initiatives and activities organised by 13 customs centres and departments, as well as 4 major projects following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which calls for active involvement in the 4th industrial revolution.

The Customs Week events will include the organisation of the International Customs Day Forum on 26th January, which will host a panel to discuss future developments in customs digital transformation and will see the participation of representatives of international customs organisations and Dubai external trade and the role of global partners in it.

The panel will include a presentation about the World Logistics Passport initiative and cooperation between government departments in the UAE in protecting the society, and Dubai Customs’ vision around the development of its digital customs services.

Over the 5th UAE Customs Week, customs centres and departments will be organising several activities including workshops, and meetings with clients and partners. At the end of the Week, there will be a virtual ceremony and a media campaign to raise awareness around Dubai Customs’ digital transformation journey.



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