Dubai – MENA Herald: The UAE’s 39 delegates to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum taking place from May 2 to 6, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. WSIS Forum 2016 is the latest edition of the leading global forum for ICT-driven development. It is co-organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in collaboration with various WSIS Action Line Facilitators and Co-Facilitators.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority )TRA( has been a strategic partner of the WSIS Forums since 2010, and is the event’s Platinum Partner for this year. The TRA follows up the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines – concrete Plans of Action to achieve internationally-agreed upon Sustainable Development Goals through Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – in the UAE.

H.E. Hamad Obaid al Mansoori Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said: “The annual WSIS Forum is an important platform for the UAE to express its solidarity with global efforts to harness the power of ICT to accelerate social and economic development. For this coming edition, we will share some of the UAE’s major achievements in implementing the WSIS Action Lines under the guidance of the TRA and how these align with nationwide efforts to establish a knowledge-based economy. We also look forward to gaining valuable insights from various international entities who are making significant progress in instituting information societies.”

Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Assistant Director General for Government Services and Leadership in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that WISIS 2016 is an important platform to help showcase the Smart Government experience in the UAE and highlight it at a global level and showcase it across the summit’s participants, which includes representatives from 140 governments, entrepreneurs and the private sector.

Buhumaid stressed that the Smart Government initiative, which was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, marks a turning point in government work and represents a quantum leap in smart services.

She added: “In WSIS 2016, we will showcase the most important stages of the transition to a smart government and its relation to the UAE Vision 2021, which is aimed at making the UAE among the top countries in various fields, in addition to the important role played by the World Governments Summit to give us an outlook of the future.

‘Best government services to customers via mobile phones,’ will be one of the subjects that will be discussed at the summit. This will include key topics like the major government initiatives designed to provide excellent services such as the Star World System for Classification of Customer Happiness Centers, awards aimed at employing modern technology for good, such as Drones for Good Award, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Award for Good and the Museum of the future, all the way to the UAE’s efforts to launch a Mars Probe.

For his part, H.E. Wesam Al Abbas Lootah, CEO of Dubai Smart Government, lauded the TRA’s participation as platinum sponsor and its continuous efforts, pointing out the importance of the discussions that have been addressed during the coordination meeting of all members of the UAE delegation to learn about the general features of the government participation and to ensure full coordination between the members in order to reflect the good image of the UAE, in preparation for its participation in the WSIS 2016.

Lootah said: “The UAE has established a global standard in the field of smart transformation and the move to keep up with the best international practices, particularly in the efforts to ensure managing all facilities and services via electronic and smart interconnected systems, all the way towards making Dubai the smartest in the world. As the technical arm of Dubai Smart City Office, we will be presenting our unique experiences, which includes our strategies, initiatives and standards that support the smart transformation of Dubai in particular and the UAE in general, all the way to the highest leadership positions and global competitiveness indicators, in order to achieve the overall sustainable development of the UAE in accordance with the best international standards”.

He added: “We are proud of our participation in WSIS 2016, which will give us an opportunity to display the model of Dubai, which has become a second to none global experience due to the volume of quality achievements that it has achieved across various developmental paths. Dubai has become a role model for economies that have world-class infrastructure through the comprehensive use of the latest smart ICT, to ensure the sustainability of the infrastructure and the advanced service systems in Dubai Smart City, all the way towards the leading position by applying of the visions and plans of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as a continuation of the move towards innovation and the march towards excellence.”

Colonel Expert, Dr. Ibrahim Al Dabal, General Coordinator of the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, has praised the efforts of TRA for holding the coordination meeting to discuss the parts that have been nominated at WISIS 2016 and which will be declared during a ceremony that will be held at the ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He lauded the efforts of the participating schools and the organizers of this event, expressing his aspirations that these events may include all members of society across the UAE, in order to make the digital shift and to provide the necessary tools needed in dealing with the challenges of cyberspace.

Colonel Al Dabal pointed out that the ‘360 Degrees of Student Awareness’ initiative is one of the projects under the Khalifa Student Empowerment Program, ‘Aqdar.’ The initiative aims to increase awareness of students through various channels of communication in order to build an ethical system and a value that is based on program itself, while also promoting the enhancement of personal skills, national consciousness, health and safety and the prevention of crime. Since the beginning of the school year, the ‘Aqdar’ program has implemented more than 700 lectures and awareness workshops for more than 55.000 students and 15.000 teachers and parents in public and private schools, universities and colleges across the UAE. Aside from the lectures and workshops, the program has also managed to tap into their target audience through the dissemination of digital content and interactive magazines.

Colonel Al Dabal stressed that a win from any of the nominated projects at WSIS 2016 is a win for all and a step to achieve the UAE vision to be a leader in various domestic and international sectors.

The UAE delegates to WSIS Forum 2016 include high-ranking representatives from the UAE Prime Minister’s Office, Smart Dubai Government, Dubai Smart City Office, the Ministry of Interior, Emirates ID Authority, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Dubai Water & Electricity Authority, Khalifa Student Empowerment Program (‘Aqdar’), the Dubai Land Department and the TRA with the special participation of Smart Navigation Systems. They will participate in the Forum’s various workshops and high-level dialogues.

The TRA has prepared two special workshops for the Forum: a Country Workshop on ‘Government of Future – Building the Best Smart Governments and Cities in the World – Extraordinary Transformation that Touches Everyone’s Life,’ and a Thematic Workshop on ‘Student Self-immune Awareness Program & Addressing the Rising Trend of CYBER BLACKMAIL.’ It will also present the UAE’s 36 official entries to the 2016 WSIS Project Prize, supervise an exhibition of the UAE’s ICT achievements and initiatives, and deliver the country’s WSIS Report.