Abu Dhabi: The UAE has sought French support for its bid to host the permanent seat of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in Abu Dhabi.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister, on Monday said the UAE's Government has officially submitted its bid to host the headquarters of Irena, a move that is aligned with the UAE's commitment towards the development of renewable energy.
Speaking to his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, at the opening of a regional conference on maritime security cooperation, Shaikh Abdullah said: "We are fully hopeful that you will back our bid to host the permanent seat of the International Renewable Energy Agency."
Shaikh Abdullah added the UAE has mobilised its expertise to promote research in solar and wind energies in the Masdar, the UAE's zero-carbon city.
The UAE competes with three European countries to host the Irena head quarters, marking the only submission from a developing country.
If the UAE is successful in its bid, this will be the first time a major international agency is located in the developing world. Irena was established on January 26, 2009, in Bonn, Germany, and currently has 78 countries as members.
Irena will have a mandate of disseminating knowledge, developing regulatory framework and actively promoting the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies around the world.
The UAE's bid document was delivered to the Chairman of the Irena steering committee, Ambassador Hyun Cho, Ambassador for Energy and Resources at the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on April 29, 2009.
Irena founding members will meet in Egypt by June end to vote on the location of the headquarters.
The two-day maritime security cooperation conference yesterday addressed piracy, which challenges navies deployed to the Gulf of Aden and beyond.
Conference participants stressed that piracy, though important, is not the only serious threat to the safety of the sea-lanes of communication in the region.
Martime security experts said foremost among them is the growing threat of maritime terrorism, but there are also narcotics and arms trafficking as well as environmental challenges.
They stressed the need for greater cooperation to police the high seas.