Greater unity key to tackle global challenges: Survey

    02 Sep 2021

    The world needs greater unity and collaboration and must share innovations and expertise if humankind is to tackle its most pressing challenges, according to an overwhelming majority of respondents in a global study by Expo 2020 Dubai.

    As Arab News reports, Reem Al-Hashimy, UAE minister of state for international cooperation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “As we learn to live with a changed world and rebuild from COVID-19, some things remain constant, such as our desire to reach out to one another, between communities and across borders, to enable progress through the exchange of knowledge, ideas and perspectives. We are eager to see a new era of global cooperation, one that equips us to deal with real-world challenges in the pursuit of sustainable prosperity for all.”

    The 2021 survey of more than 22,000 people across 24 countries explored sentiment in a world irrevocably changed by COVID-19. Conducted in partnership with YouGov, it followed a similar study carried out in 2019, before the pandemic.

    The number of respondents who are optimistic about their own future with regards to the Expo sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability increased to 65%, up from 60% in 2019.

    Notably, 86% of respondents said international cooperation was crucial to solving challenges such as the global health pandemic, while more than half said sharing expertise and innovations, and collaboration between individuals and communities was critical to overcoming humanity’s obstacles and helping to build a more prosperous future.

    Al-Hashimy added: “We developed this study to better understand how humanity can shape a brighter future for all. The results align closely with our own Expo programming, which commits to real-life impact across essential topics such as gender equality and women’s empowerment, inspiring and enabling our youth, and harnessing tech, innovation and creativity in the pursuit of a cleaner, safer, healthier tomorrow.”

    When respondents were asked to rank their priorities for the future, increasing opportunities for youth emerged as the highest, followed by the meaningful involvement of all people with respect to environmental laws and policies (environmental justice), and then international collaboration.

    Despite only 32% saying they are hopeful about humankind’s ability to combat climate change, three in five (61 percent) said they were optimistic about the world’s sustainable future.

    Comparing nations, optimism toward a global sustainable future was higher in countries such as Indonesia (82%), India (72%), the UAE (72%) and Nigeria (69%) versus Canada (42%), Germany (36%), France (35%), the UK (30%) and Sweden (30%), echoing the findings of the 2019 study.

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