Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the Minister of Climate Change and the Environment for the United Arab Emirates, led a high-level delegation from the UAE to the G77+China Summit held in Cuba, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Sunday.
During the summit, she engaged in significant discussions with global leaders, including Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, emphasizing the importance of climate action and the upcoming COP28, hosted by the UAE.
Themed “Current Development Challenges: The Role of Science, Technology, and Innovation,” the G77+China Summit saw the participation of António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, alongside several other heads of state and government officials from around the world.
According to WAM, Minister Almheiri highlighted COP28 as a pivotal opportunity for the international community to refocus its collective attention on concluding the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement and accelerating initiatives aimed at achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, fostering a prosperous future for humanity.
In her remarks, Almheiri stated, “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.”
She 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.”
Key Meetings at the Summit
During the G77+China Summit, Minister Almheiri held several crucial meetings with global leaders, further strengthening diplomatic ties and addressing vital issues:
- She met Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and conveyed the greetings and congratulations of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Cuba being named Chair of the G77+China Summit.
- Minister Almheiri also held discussions with H.E. Manuel Marrero Cruz, the Prime Minister of Cuba, touching upon UAE-Cuba relations in various sectors, including food and agriculture, and shared insights into the details of the UAE’s upcoming hosting of COP28.
- Talks with Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), centered on the role of cooperation between countries of the Global South in accelerating the climate agenda. They also delved into the UAE’s commitment to provide $4.5 billion to drive clean energy projects in Africa.
- In a meeting with Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Minister Almheiri discussed ways to bolster bilateral relations and the UAE’s preparations to host COP28.
- Additionally, discussions with Mohamed Ayman Ashour, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt, revolved around the importance of knowledge sharing in promoting research and development. They also explored strategies to integrate climate change and sustainability into academic curricula.
- The UAE delegation met Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment of Cuba, to explore potential cooperation in the blue economy and knowledge exchange in the field of marine life conservation—a crucial topic for discussion during COP28.
WAM reported that Minister Almheiri’s active participation in the G77+China Summit reinforces the UAE’s commitment to addressing climate change and promoting sustainable development on the global stage.
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