Adnan Ameen (left), interim director-general of Irena, and Rafael Conde de Saro, chair of the preparation commission at the Irena press conference. Image Credit: Alex Westcott/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Adnan Ameen, the newly appointed interim director-general of Irena, the International Renewable Energy Agency, said yesterday that he would develop a compelling vision for the future of renewable energy worldwide.

Irena is headquartered in Abu Dhabi and aims to become the global voice for renewable energy and to promote a swift transition towards its sustainable use. Irena aims to assist its member states to define their strategy in all renewable energies: bio energy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind.

"My priority will be to put Irena on a firm institutional footing," Ameen said at a press conference yesterday after the fourth session of the preparatory commission for Irena which was concluded in the capital.

As Gulf News exclusively reported on Sunday, Ameen will continue as the interim director-general until a new director general will be elected in the first assembly of Irena in April 2011.

Ambassador Rafael Conde de Saro from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who chaired the session, said: "On behalf of member states, I thank Helene Pelosse for the hard work she has put in setting up the agency and welcome Ameen".

Regarding the appointment of director general, the member states agreed on a procedure to identify candidates and a committee will examine all applications.

During the first assembly in April, 2011 the statutory organs of Irena — the assembly and the council — will replace the preparatory commission. The preparatory commission is responsible for the establishment of the agency until the first assembly is held and the assembly and the council — will replace the preparatory commission.

The agency expects additional contributions from member states to fill the gap between its core budget of Dh48.7 million and the provisional budget of Dh87.85 million, an official told Gulf News.

Additional voluntary contributions are expected from mainly three sources such as the UAE's bid implementation agreement, from Germany for the operation of the Irena Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC) in Bonn, and from Austria for the operation of the Irena Liaison Office (ILOV) in Vienna, the official said.

The official clarified that no contributions from the member states were mandatory until the first assembly is held. After the first assembly, it would be mandatory for the member states who ratified the Irena statute to contribute a particular amount to the agency, the official said.

The session drew up a headquarters agreement which would be signed with the UAE. The agreement defined granting privileges and immunities for Irena staff, establishing visa procedures, and defining legal status and capacity of the Irena preparatory commission in the UAE.

Growing strength

Irena which was founded by 75 states in January 2009, grew almost two-fold within 21 months. 148 countries and the European Union have signed Irena's statute and 42 have ratified it. Among them are 48 African, 38 European, 35 Asian, 17 American and 10 Australia/Oceania states. Mali, Senegal and Bangladesh were the last three countries which ratified the statute last week.

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