United Arab Emirates will host the historic first General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), between April 4 and 5, 2011 Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: United Arab Emirates will host the historic first General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), between 4-5 April here in Abu Dhabi.

The Assembly is expected to attract more than 90 senior ministers, 800 delegates, business leaders and non-governmental organisations from more than 150 nations.

Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change and President of the session, said: "The UAE will be at the epicenter of dialogue and collaboration to find an actionable path forward to accelerate the global development and deployment of renewable energy. In testament to the efforts of our wise and visionary leadership and as a committed member nation to Irena, the UAE is honored to welcome such a diverse group of policymakers, business leaders and ministers from around the world. As an international centre for renewable energy innovation, our nation will provide a strong platform for open, multi-lateral dialogue and real action".

Delegates coming to Abu Dhabi will include Irena members from developed and developing nations dedicated to expanding renewable energy.

To date, 148 countries and the European Union, have signed the Statute of the Agency; amongst them are 48 African, 38 European, 35 Asian, 17 American and 10 Australia/Oceania member states.

Moreover, 64 countries and the European Union have ratified the statute of Irena in time for active participation in the Agency's first Assembly.

"The UAE's impressive commitment and actions to advance renewable energy around the world are directly aligned with the objectives of Irena, which make the nation an ideal international meeting ground for partnership and dialogue," said Irena Interim Director General, Adnan Amin.

"IRENA and the UAE share a vision for a future of clean energy solutions that will support communities, economies and citizens around the globe."

The UAE has emerged as a global hub for renewable energy development, demonstrated through a variety of actions including the inception of the Masdar initiative, the World Future Energy Summit, the Zayed Future Energy Prize and its involvement in the Clean Energy Ministerial. Masdar City – Abu Dhabi's sustainable, urban development – is an international centre for collaboration on clean technology and renewable energy that is attracting partnerships with world-class businesses and academic institutions.

"The world has recognised the important role the UAE is playing in advancing innovation and the integration of renewable energy. Our nation's commitment to renewable energy adoption is a core contributor to creating a more sustainable future for the world," said Dr. Al Jaber.