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Expo 2020 Dubai will attract people from around the world to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country that is home to nearly 200 nationalities and is celebrated as an exemplar of a multicultural society that features peaceful coexistence and prosperity.

The UAE is a shining example of the benefits of embracing diversity. It has become an exciting hub for development, enterprise and opportunity through the power of tolerance and human fraternity.

Human fraternity and innovation are the lifeblood of our nation. Alongside compassion, tolerance, and respect, they underpin the ethos of Expo 2020 Dubai and this book, Conversations about People and our Future.

This volume sees an invited group of authors raise thought-provoking ideas that spark fresh thinking about the importance of every individual's contribution to the future of the world, published at a time when we face a raft of social and economic challenges caused by the pandemic.

Within the following pages you will find calls for capitalism to be humanised, for the creation of a new world that seeks to maximise the well-being and unleash the potential of everyone, and a need to rethink the current socio-economic systems. Also examined, is the idea of establishing a civilisation based on empathy and compassion. In these articles, care for our shared humanity is emphasised as the most powerful narrative in affecting positive change in our world.

The contributions from three eminent Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, written before the global pandemic and the consequent impact on the lives of us all, highlight the need for compassion, caring and empathy in society, sentiments that, now more than ever, resonate both with the mission of the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence in the UAE and with the themes of Expo 2020 Dubai. And a former prime minister and director general of the World Health Organization highlights the urgent need for governments to redouble their efforts in the pursuit of universal healthcare, with priority given to investing in primary health services to tackle infectious diseases and scaling up community and primary care services, especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups. 

People are the focus of this second edition in the World Majlis series. People are also the focus of the work of the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, which was established to promote compassion, fraternity and solidarity between people of all ages, nationalities, religions, and backgrounds.

In the UAE, we strongly believe that the diversity and plurality of our society is of great benefit to our nation. We consider it a major contributor to the enduring success and progress of the country. Embedded in our progress and success as a nation, is our ability and our resolve to offer opportunity to citizens of the world — a key theme of Expo 2020 Dubai.

In this spirit, the UAE continues to reach out to the world with open arms. Our country is well known for its many humanitarian commitments, for its support for both governments and NGOs around the globe, for its distribution of essential emergency aid, and also as a welcoming host to extraordinary global events that exemplify cooperation and mutual respect. In recent years these events have included the World Government Summit, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi, and the visit of both His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. These remarkable events served to highlight the UAE's commitment to peace, progress, and inclusivity on the global stage.

Expo 2020 Dubai will affirm, once again, the country's adherence to the values of tolerance, human fraternity, coexistence and prosperity which we endeavour to share with the entire world. We believe that all human beings are equal, and that productive coexistence, dialogue, and positive communication among individuals, communities, cultures and nations, are the sure ways to build fruitful relationships in all societies and throughout the world.