The UAE’s Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology called on the global community to collaborate more closely in the field of research and innovation in pursuit of solutions to international challenges.
Addressing ministers at the G20 Research and Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Research Ministers’ Meeting, Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri said SDGs as well as the goals of the Paris Agreement and the Global Biodiversity Framework can only be achieved if research communities work together, rather than in silos.
“We need greater cooperation is scientific research and innovation. Research and innovation are not only imperative for national and global development, but also for the common welfare of humankind. They are enablers for inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth,” Her Excellency told more than 100 delegates including ministers from 29 G20 countries.
Reaffirming the UAE’s commitment to the G20 Research Ministers’ Declaration, HE Al Amiri described the country’s efforts to harness R&D to support its contribution to global SDGs and climate action. She recalled how the UAE formed the Emirates Research & Development Council in 2021 and committed to increasing R&D spend to 2 percent of GDP by 2031.
“Our national commitment to R&D and innovation is reflected in the significant investments we have made recently in the energy transition, environmental protection, and the circular economy. We have invested $40 billion into renewables in the past 15 years, and we are investing $160 billion in the next 30 years to further develop and deploy green innovations.
“Only on Monday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced the UAE will triple the contribution of renewable energy over the next 7 years, injecting up to $54 billion in the sector.”
Her Excellency noted that COP28, taking place in the UAE in November, will be an opportunity to “bridge global divides” and enhance scientific collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“COP28 will be an inclusive COP and a COP of action. It will be a COP that strives to define the ‘how’, to set a practical path towards a carbon neutral future. The conference will be an opportunity for the global community to move closer to achieving SDGs, by creating meaningful partnerships and by harnessing innovation as a tool to achieve socio-economic equity and technological progress,” she said.
HE Al Amiri underlined the importance of recognizing the necessity of both individual and collective action in achieving SDGs.
She said: “We must acknowledge the critical role and contribution of everyone – including women and people from vulnerable groups – in science and innovation. Through this inclusive approach, we can boost innovation to tackle global challenges, and we can ensure opportunities are distributed equitably.”
Her Excellency added: “We believe in ensuring that all societies live in dignity. And we believe in elevating the voices of all countries; after all, protecting, preserving, and restoring ecosystems is a global responsibility. It is only through meaningful conversations and collaborative, action-oriented research and innovation we will be able to accelerate climate action.”
The G20 RIIG meetings provide a platform for stakeholders to share ideas and create new partnerships to elevate research and innovation as a tool to achieve socio-economic equity. The series of meetings culminated in the Research Ministers’ Meeting. During the meeting, delegates discussed and adopted the Ministerial Declaration.