COP28 an opportunity to create a prosperous future for humanity, says UAE minister

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri meets Cuban president, other leaders at the the G77+China Summit

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Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the G77+China Summit. — Wam
Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the G77+China Summit. — Wam


Published: Sun 17 Sep 2023, 11:26 PM

COP28, being hosted by the UAE, is an opportunity to accelerate initiatives to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals to create a prosperous future for humanity, a UAE minister has said.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, also added that the summit is an opportunity to turn the world's collective focus to conclude the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement.

The minister headed the UAE delegation to the G77+China Summit, held in Cuba, where she met Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel as well as ministers and senior officials from around the world. Themed "Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation", the G77+China Summit was attended by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General as well as several heads of state.

Commenting on the UAE's participation in the summit,  Almheiri said: "The UAE believes that climate action is an opportunity to create a more equitable and sustainable world. It is an opportunity to raise living standards, create new jobs and vibrant new industries, strengthen our bond with nature, and climate-positive growth." 

The minister added: "We believe science, innovation and technology are the tools humanity needs to drive collective progress on climate action and help put us back on track to achieving our goal of reducing global emissions by 43% by 2030. A just, orderly, and equitable energy transition is inevitable, and essential, and the contributions of this Group are essential in representing the interests of the Global South and ensuring equitable access to the benefits of technology. Member states of the Group must continue to support each other in what is our shared endeavour." 


During the summit, Almheiri met Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and conveyed the greetings and congratulations of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Cuba being named Chair of the G77+China Summit. The minister also met Manuel Marrero Cruz, Prime Minister of Cuba, and discussed UAE-Cuba relations in food and agriculture sectors, among other fields, as well as details about UAE hosting COP28.

She held talks with Dima Al Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), to review the role of cooperation between countries of the Global South in accelerating the climate agenda. They also discussed the UAE's commitment to provide US$4.5 billion to help drive Africa's clean energy projects.

In another meeting,  Almheiri and Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral relations and the UAE's preparations to host COP28.

She also discussed the importance of knowledge sharing in driving research and development and ways to integrate climate change and sustainability in academic curricula, during her meeting with Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt. The UAE delegation also met Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, to discuss potential cooperation in the blue economy, and knowledge exchange in the field of marine life conservation that will be a key topic of discussing during COP28.

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