Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies strong enabler for comprehensive development: UNIDO

NEW YORK, 29th September, 2018 (WAM) — Panelists from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), have underlined the need to fully integrate and embrace the advanced Fourth Industrial Revolution.

During a ministerial breakfast event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, organised by the UAE and Russian permanent missions to the United Nations, the panelists agreed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies are central to the goal of driving global prosperity through sustainable development.

Addressing the meeting, Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashmi, Assistant Minister for Economic Affairs and Trade, United Arab Emirates, said: “The digital revolution has changed the world we live in. Whilst its benefits in high-tech are obvious, we must remain conscious of not leaving anyone behind. In developing the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity platforms, we aim to bridge this gap – paving the way for a new paradigm for the manufacturing sector, whilst using new technological developments to enable global prosperity.”

The event commenced with welcome addresses from the Assistant Minister for Economic Affairs and Trade of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashmi, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for the Russian Federation, Vasiliy Sergeevich Osmakov, and the Director General of UNIDO, Li Yong.

This was followed by a high-level panel titled ‘Leveraging advanced manufacturing technologies for the future of the global economy, environment and society’ and moderated by Badr Al-Olama, the Head of the Organising Committee of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS). Panelists included Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of the Republic of Niger, and Director General of the National Agency for the Information Society; Ann Rosenberg, Senior Vice President & Global Head of SAP Next-Gen; Hongjoo Hahm, Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); and Philippe Scholtes, Managing Director of UNIDO.

The discussions focused on how the dawn of a new industrial revolution, powered by high tech innovation, is changing the world at a rapid pace and how emerging technologies are being adapted across developed and developing countries to reduce the digital divide. The panelists also outlined their views on the need for developed countries to support developing countries with technological progress to enable them to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution. Examples of slow broadband and limited technical advancement were cited as core reasons for global inequalities by Hongjoo Hahm.

The panel also discussed the importance of international cooperation in developing sustainable, inclusive, forward-looking practices, as well as the key role the manufacturing sector can play in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals as we navigate this new era of disruption. They agreed that protectionist policies are negatively impacting global trade and that the capabilities of new technology are forcing change in the entire legislative approach to international trade, a change that must be quickly implemented to ensure roadblocks do not emerge.

It was also agreed that in this increasingly connected world, it is of critical importance that governments, companies, communities and global citizens embrace the spirit of collaboration and of international cooperation, steering policies and mobilising technologies in a way that maximises social impact for the greater good. Active dialogue and closer engagement are means to drive transformational change in all industries, not just manufacturing, and can serve to ensure the potential of this paradigm shift benefitting the greatest number of people. Finally, it was concluded that technology must be used purposefully to improve the lives of people by placing strong emphasis on knowledge acquisition, investing in human capital, specifically the youth and women, and empowering people and presenting them with opportunities to innovate.

As the panel concluded, Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), announced a pledge of USD $1 million towards four global challenges launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity. The pledge will cover monetary prizes, coaching and mentorship, and access to global organisations, and will be aimed towards a global community of makers registered on the Initiative’s open innovation platform.

Badr Al Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), said: “Although technology is transforming almost every sector, we need a roadmap for our own industry that paves the way for an industrial revolution that is fully inclusive. There are many who remain deprived of the impact of the digital age and we believe that the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit provides a platform for meaningful discussion in this regard. The interest our summit has attracted from all over the world is very encouraging and only serves to bolster our efforts to make the world a better place through the art of ‘making’ – and we have reinforced this today by announcing our pledge to the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity.”

UNIDO Director General LI Yong said: “Our current efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is being undertaken in an era where the physical world of industrial production is merged with the digital world of information technology – the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). What is needed is a forum addressing all aspects of this technology revolution on a worldwide basis. GMIS, aims to address this gap, through convening all technology stakeholders, from the private sector to policymakers to academic experts and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). However, we must be conscious that these developments are combined with shared prosperity in societies, particularly for developing countries with the deficit in technology.”

Vasiliy Sergeevich Osmakov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation said, “The Russian Federation considers GMIS-2019 and the international forum under the auspices of the UN “The Global Forum on Naturally-Based and Convergent Technologies for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development” as promising platforms for global action to develop and transfer technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, enabling production to take the lead in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Concluding the discussions, the panelists agreed the need to train a global workforce to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the fourth industrial revolution. There was unilateral agreement that governments must devise training strategies that either upskill, re-skill or set new academic courses to develop the next generation workforce, and this must be done in partnership with the private sector.

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit was established in 2015 to build bridges between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) transformation of manufacturing, to enable the regeneration of the global economy. The upcoming Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, GMIS2019, will take place in July 2019 in the city of Yekaterinburg, Russia. It will be held under the theme of ‘nature-inspired technologies’, highlighting the ways in which manufacturing is inspired by our surrounding environment to innovate. The summit will also focus on the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on global economies, and the role of manufacturing in enabling global prosperity through achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

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