The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, attends the opening ceremony of the summit with world leaders. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and a number of world leaders on Monday attended the opening ceremony of this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global initiative championed by the UAE to accelerate sustainable development.

The inauguration was also attended by Yoon Suk-yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, as well as leaders from Kazakhstan, Seychelles, Angola, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Palau, Mozambique, Tanzania, Morocco, Ethiopia, and Ivory Coast.

Welcoming the heads of state and industry leaders, Sheikh Mohamed stressed that ADSW is a global platform that reflects the UAE’s commitment to convening the international community and ensuring collaboration in driving sustainable economic and social development.

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The UAE is making intensive efforts to find feasible and pragmatic solutions to climate change issues, the President said, stressing that its strategic initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050 was a natural progression of the comprehensive approach to sustainability the company has followed since its inception.

The President stated that ADSW this year is an essential step towards the UAE hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The country’s selection to host COP28 reflected the UAE’s continued efforts to promote practical climate action, sustainable economic development, and progress towards desired global goal, he said.

The opening ceremony began with the national anthem of the UAE, followed by a film on the importance of effective climate action and the need for concerted global efforts. The film included statements from global leaders and officials calling for urgent and serious action to confront the problem of climate change and strengthen collective action, in order to achieve a sustainable future.

During his keynote speech, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev stressed the depth of the bilateral relations between the UAE and Azerbaijan. He also praised the UAE’s remarkable growth trajectory, particularly in the sustainability and renewable energy sectors.

Aliyev highlighted his country’s ambition to strengthen its reliance on clean energy sources as an essential part of national development efforts, and to contribute to the global drive for a more environmentally friendly economy. He referred to the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Masdar and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) for the joint development of renewable energy sources, which aim to produce 10 GW of renewable energy in the long term.

ADSW 2023, hosted by the UAE’s clean energy powerhouse Masdar, features a series of key events throughout the week that seek to engage all sections of society. Delegates at ADSW will look to set global climate agenda priorities for COP28 - which will cement the UAE’s position as a bridge connecting the global North, South, East and West - and will discuss the need for all groups across society to be engaged, and determine how to leverage outcomes from the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement.