Sustainable Development: A National Approach

  • 14 April 2015

The participation of the UAE delegation headed by H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Chairman of the Crown Prince's Court of Abu Dhabi, in the 7th World Water Forum, which is being held in Daegu and Gyeongbuk, South Korea, from the 12-17 of April, highlights the UAE’s commitment to ensuring water security, bolstering innovation and implementing ground-breaking solutions to address environmental concerns and enhance sustainability. On this occasion, His Highness Sheikh Hamed stressed that as a result of the directives of the wise leadership of UAE President H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, may Allah protect him, the concept of sustainability has become an integral part of the culture of the UAE, and an essential element of the UAE’s development strategy.

The commitment to sustainability has been a distinctive aspect of the development approach of the UAE since its establishment and it is one which cuts across all schemes and programs of the various different sectors at both local and federal levels. Through this commitment, the UAE has been able to formulate a unique sustainable development model. Domestically, the government has set sustainability standards. According to the criteria of structural balance in the national economy, the UAE economy managed to shed the near total dependence on the oil sector and has developed over years into a diversified economy where non-oil sectors now represent more than two thirds of the country’s GDP. Geographically, the UAE government has succeeded in extending development projects to various regions of the country. It has built facilities and provided services to all resident in the country, regardless of where they live, achieving a balance in the population; the government has ensured everyone has access to public services and utilities without discrimination. The UAE’s development has not come at the expense of sustainability. In this way, the UAE has been able to provide current and future generations with the right to live with dignity.

The approach the UAE has followed has led to a unique development model, achieving its development objectives. Its commitment to building sustainable relations with a balanced network of countries has shielded it from many crises and international conflicts as well as the effects of the global financial crisis, allowing it to harness its role as a development model to be followed by many.

The fact that the UAE comes at the forefront of many global development indicators and its participation in international events and forums, including the 7th World Water Forum, are further indicators of the soundness of its approach to development, confirming it is on the right path to comprehensive and sustainable development.