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World Government Summit 2020

“Health in Your Hands” (HIYH) was honored to be presented at the prestigious World Government Summit 2020 on 9 December 2020 in the session on “SDGs in Action: Preparing for the Decade of Action.” The event celebrated the first term of the UAE initiative and the progress of the “SDGs in Action” Global Councils and launched the second term for 2021-2023.

The title of the event, “SDGs in Action: Preparing for the Decade of Action” refers to the decade (of 10 years) remaining for achievement of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development that covers the years 2015-2030. To the left is the concept note for the event. Below is the link to the event:

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Overview of Global Council 3 and the “Health in Your Hands” Initiative

Global Council 3 addressed SDG 3 of the UN Agenda 2030, namely, to achieve Good Health and Well-being for all. The initiative of GC3 called “Health in Your Hands” (HYH) is a platform that showcases innovations which address dire healthcare needs worldwide, especially for those in low resource settings with little access, made more urgent by the Coronavirus pandemic. The featured innovations range from simple mobile-based applications delivered directly to healthcare workers and those in need to enterprises that deliver products and services. As such, HIYH fulfills the mandate of the “SDGS inaction” project, by placing health in an ecosystem and at the nexus of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The initiative, and the innovations, are powerfully presented in this video: 


The session

The success of the Global Council 3 on Good Health and Wellbeing was presented in the WGS panel on “Realizing Human Potential for All,” by the Chair, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, who is also a co-founder, with Dr. Shariha Khalid-Erichsen, of the HYH initiative. 


A video of Dr. Kuriansky’s presentation can be found below:

Dr. Kuriansky spoke about the importance of health and wellbeing especially in this era of the global pandemic and the noble efforts of the innovations profiled on the HIYH platform. She emphasized:

  1. how innovations on the platform are truly “reaching those furthest behind”, as intended by the United Nations Agenda.

  2. how the innovations have been pivoting to accommodate those in remote communities in these pandemic times by adapting person-to-person interactions, and also by creating and applying very innovative technologies to their operations and practice.

  3. how innovations are targeting SDG 3 on health but are actually already examples of the synergy of the SDGs, and at the nexus of such inter-relationships.  For example, 1001 Fontaines addresses SDG 3, as well as SDG1 (poverty), SDG4 (education), SDG5 (empowering women), and SDG8 (decent work), by provides clear water to remote communities, which impacts health but also frees women from carrying water so they can earn money in the project implementation, and educates the community about the new approach.

  4. how innovations have been exemplary in the PPP model of partnerships between governments, civil society (NGOs) and the private sector, which is the essence of SDG 17 (partnerships), and which is essential in order to maximize impact. For example, the NGO VillageReach works with governments of Malawi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the private company Swoop Aero, using drones to deliver health information, (including about testing, medication, and vaccinations) to communities.   

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Dr. Kuriansky concluded that even in emergency situations, the transformative goals of the Agenda can be achieved through working together and with a spirit of hope.


Other speakers on the panel, combined to represent four of the Global Councils, included:

* GC 1 on poverty eradication: Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, special Envoy on Financing 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

*GC 4 on education: H.E. Dr. Tariq Al Gurq, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Member of the Board of Directors

 * GC 5 (Gender Equality): H.E. Mona Al Marri, Vice President, UAE Gender Balance Council

The Way Forward

The event was a platform for announcements about the future of the Global Councils, which is meant to focus on the nexus of the councils addressing the SDGs.  It was also an opportunity to foster partnerships and collaborations amongst the councils. Consistent with these intentions, an announcement was made about a partnership by the Chair of the Finance Council Marie-Aimee Boury, in the panel about “The Way Forward, How Do We Get there?” 



The “SDGs in Action” initiative, launched as a cross-collaborative project between the UAE Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, identified Global Councils (GCs), an interdisciplinary network of experts and decision-makers in various fields (e.g., governments, international organizations, academia, and the private sector) to address several SDGs in the UN Agenda 2030 with innovative practices, solutions, technologies, service delivery mechanisms, and creative implementations. These GCs convened over the past two years, and developed innovations to accelerate the achievement of their respective SDG.


The WGS event was meant to showcase the success of these initiatives from the GCs, create new partnerships in a nexus ecosystem of solving the world’s global problems, and catalyze visions and frameworks for sustainability into the future.  

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World Government Summit Concept Note

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