Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat took part in the virtual “European Academy of Diplomacy: Academy of Young Diplomats” on 28 March.
The event was moderated by Katarzyna Pisarska, Founder and Director of the European Academy of Diplomacy (EAD) in the Polish capital, Warsaw, and the Visegrad School of Political Studies, run in cooperation with the Council of Europe.
The EAD is a non-governmental, non-for-profit diplomatic academy in Europe that aims to inspire the next generation of leaders.
In an audience of over 140 mid-career professionals across 47 countries, Minister Al-Mashat spoke about how leaders are set on reprioritising to bring the world closer to an effective sustainable action plan.
“Leaders of today are trying to pre-empt future crises, by putting in place strategic plans to ensure sustainability,” the minister said, “Crises come unannounced, and the pandemic has proven that sustainability should be placed at the forefront of our recovery plans.”
“For countries to be able to manage the ‘unexpected’, reform has to be a continuous process,” she added.
As global challenges require multilateral solutions, the challenge at hand is to utilise the lessons learned from the pandemic and push forward the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The future is about striving for better, not only for ourselves but for the future generations who will reap the fruits of what we seed today,” Minister Al-Mashat said.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation sees that sustainable development is at the cornerstone of economic growth through “purpose-driven” decision making.
“The [novel coronavirus (COVID-19)] pandemic has re-emphasised, and shown first-hand, that connectivity and technology are key to be able to build back a better, greener future,” Minister Al-Mashat said, “Considering the massive reliance on digital that the world witnessed, for the world to survive through the pandemic on the social, economic and educational levels, everyone had to reset to digital platforms and virtual connectivity.”
For the impact of technology to be effective and efficient, closing the digital gap is necessary.
In line with the “Leave No One Behind” mindset that the minister expressed, the pandemic has shown that an inclusive future means closing economic, digital, and gender gaps to ensure that the economic ecosystem grows globally.
Another major element lies in transparency. When it comes to the effective implementation of reform, the Government of Egypt, on both the health and economic fronts, has been keen on transparently communicating to its people and stakeholders on its commitment to ensure a sustainable recovery.
“It has been quite the year, and as future leaders, you are quite fortunate to live first-hand the dynamicity and agility of the political and economic worlds in dire times,” Minister Al-Mashat said, “You are witnessing a global transformation and together, with positive action, you can start the wheels of change.”
In May 2020, Minister Al-Mashat joined the Academy in a virtual webinar titled “Pandemics: Reviving Multieralism & Strengthened Cooperation”. This discussed the importance of cooperation and collaboration to rebuild for inclusive economic development.