DUBAI, 25th September, 2022 (WAM) — Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, attended the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York as part of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates, led by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
During the global meeting, she highlighted the country’s efforts in sustainable development, climate action and food security, and explored new synergies in this space with other countries in the run-up to the 28th. United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) that the United Arab Emirates will host in 2023.
At the event, the UAE joined the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) to End Plastic Pollution which aims to eliminate plastic pollution by 2040. Launched in August 2022, the body is working to develop an ambitious international instrument based on a comprehensive approach that urgently ensures effective actions and interventions throughout the life cycle of plastics.
She said: “The UAE is proud to be a member of the HAC to End Plastic Pollution, whose goal aligns with the country’s commitment to tackle pollution on all fronts and reduce its negative impacts on the environment.To address the root causes of plastic pollution, our government, in partnership with the private sector, is taking action to shift to a more circular plastics economy and adopt waste management solutions environmentally friendly.”
She added: “We are committed to supporting the Coalition’s efforts to develop a global roadmap applying a comprehensive, sustainable, systematic and circular approach throughout the life cycle of plastics. This includes maximizing resource efficiency in the production of plastics, increasing the supply of recyclable plastics, increasing recycled content, promoting responsible consumption of plastics, and implementing stewardship and recycling. environmentally sound plastic waste.”
The Minister called on all countries to work towards the prevention, reduction and elimination of plastic pollution, and to strengthen regional and global cooperation in this regard.
She gave the keynote speech at the first consultation on “Priorities and Potential of Food Systems and Agriculture”, co-organized by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change and the Food Action Alliance on the sidelines of the UNGA. The session brought together agriculture and food systems stakeholders from around the world to shape expectations around the role that food security and climate-smart agriculture will play at COP28.
In addition, the Minister shared the UAE’s experience in building resilience in all aspects during a panel discussion on “Joining the Effort to Boost Global Resilience”, organized by the Consortium for Resilience of the World Economic Forum (WEF) within the framework of the meetings on the impact of sustainable development of the WEF.
At the high-level dinner on “Tackling Barriers to Ambitious Action on Food for People, Nature and Climate”, hosted by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), the Foundation of United Nations and the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Minister stressed the importance of addressing food systems in the fight against climate change. In this context, she highlighted the work of the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate), a joint initiative of the United Arab Emirates and the United States that aspires to increase and accelerate investment in innovation. and climate-smart agricultural R&D worldwide and has set a goal to raise $8 billion by COP27 in November 2022.
In addition, she highlighted the importance of innovation, knowledge sharing and nutrition security in building sustainable food systems in the face of climate change challenges at the inaugural meeting of the Strengthening Movement Lead Group. Nutrition (SUN).
Almheiri also attended the first in-person meeting of the HAC International Steering Committee for Nature and People, co-chaired by France, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica, which reviewed the implementation of the goal of designating 30% of Earth’s land and oceans. as protected areas by 2030. She shared the expectations of the United Arab Emirates for the upcoming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) which aims to finalize the global biodiversity framework for the post-2020.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, Almheiri held several bilateral meetings with high-level officials. She began by discussing the UAE’s contribution to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2: Zero Hunger, including its work on AIM for Climate, with Dr. Cary Fowler, United States Special Envoy. United (USA) for Global Food Security.
Alongside Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates and Permanent Representative to the UN, the Minister had an informative meeting with Cindy McCain, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations agencies in Rome, on strengthening global food security. Additionally, she discussed ways in which the UAE can support the SUN Movement to improve not only food security but also nutrition security for the global population with Gerda Verburg, UN Under-Secretary-General and Movement Coordinator SUN.
During her meeting with Dr. Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair of the Education and Agriculture Together (EAT) Foundation, the Minister reviewed the progress made in the work of the Global Food Alliances since the Food for Future Summit in the United States. ‘Expo 2020 Dubai. Additionally, she engaged in a productive discussion with senior Citibank officials on channeling funding to green, sustainable and climate-resilient projects.
Almheiri also spoke with Joaquim Álvaro Pereira Leite, Minister of the Environment of Brazil, about the two countries’ common commitment to environmental protection, and explored the possibilities of intensifying bilateral cooperation with Bogdan Aurescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania.
On his final day at UNGA, Almheiri explored the intrinsic link between climate and conflict with Justin Vaïsse, Founder and CEO of the Paris Peace Forum and discussed ways Columbia University can support COP28. through research with Lee Bollinger, president of the university. .
She also joined His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and other UAE delegates for bilateral meetings with the United States, France, Ukraine and the International Crisis Group.
From September 13 to October 11, the 77th session of the UNGA brought together representatives of UN member states, international organizations, NGOs and key private sector entities for a multilateral discussion on all global issues. covered by the Charter of the United Nations. . Climate action and the energy crisis took center stage during this year’s session, which was held under the theme “A Decisive Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interrelated Challenges”.