New York, 5 September 2019 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a new 10-year agreement (2021-2030) with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) to continue joint work within the frame of the Knowledge Project. The high-level event and the signing ceremony, which took place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, showcased how UNDP and MBRF are promoting thought leadership and evidence-based policymaking for sustainable development in the Arab States region and around the world.

The event was organized by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, and witnessed high-level representatives including the UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner; MBRF Chief Executive Officer Jamal bin Huwaireb; Charge d’Affaires, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Saud Al Shamsi; and Laurent Probst, Partner of Price Waterhouse Cooper in Luxembourg and Global Lead of PWC’s Accelerator Network.

“The lessons of the past must inform the development policies of the future, making knowledge a critical ally as we strive to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and shift to a more sustainable and resilient path,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. “In today’s fast-paced world, gaining knowledge, sharing it, and applying it develops capabilities and expands opportunities in every aspect of people’s lives, enriching the nations to which they belong – from education to the economy, from technology to the world of work.”

From his side, MBRF Chief Executive Officer Jamal bin Huwaireb highlighted the necessity to measure knowledge within the Arab region and around the world, as “there is no development without knowledge, the Global Knowledge Index addresses this need and takes into account the pivotal role of youth as one of the most crucial elements needed to build knowledge societies. Our constant attempts to spread knowledge and achieve its goals for development can only be seen through the empowerment of youth.”

“A remarkable socio-economic transformation has occurred in the UAE since the United Nations Development Program first opened its doors in 1977, and our relationship with the Programme has evolved along with it,” said the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Saud Al Shamsi. “The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation and UNDP found each other in 2008 and have been releasing one great product after the next – publications that really document the best thinking on development and turn it into content that is both media-friendly and practical for the Member States. With the signing of this agreement, we look forward to witnessing the outcomes of the next decade as this partnership continues to grow.”

The event showcased tangible results of UNDP and MBRF partnership in promoting knowledge for development across the Arab States and globally and explored opportunities to be achieved in the upcoming decade.

In addition to the 10-year agreement, the event saw the signing of two other agreements, one charting a plan to engage youth from UAE as interns with UNDP, and another, between UNDP and PwC, to produce together the new Future of Knowledge Foresight Report 2019, one of the outputs envisioned in the ten-year plan between UNDP and MBRF.

The Knowledge Project, which is a partnership between UNDP and MBRF, is devoted to promoting the measure and the advance of knowledge across the Arab States and around the world. The key outputs of this partnership are the Global Knowledge Index, the only global index that measures knowledge on the level of 134 countries, and the Future of Knowledge Foresight Report, which presents a pilot study, covering 20 countries, on the future fields of knowledge that will shape the future of knowledge societies.