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Arab Youth Centre launches 2nd 'Negotiation Skills Bootcamp - Cohort52’

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By WAM

The Arab Youth Centre, in partnership with the European Union Delegation to the UAE, launched the second edition of the “Negotiation Skills Bootcamp - Cohort52” on 28th August 2023, in Abu Dhabi, under the umbrella of the “Young Arab Diplomatic Leaders” programme.

The centre organised the camp in collaboration with the COP28 Youth Climate Champion Team (YCC), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).

The bootcamp, spanning three days, aims to enhance the policy-making and negotiation skills of 52 young men and women working in the UAE government, specifically regarding the climate dossier. It prepares youth to participate in the Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY18), which will see the participation of 1,000 young men and women from all over the world, and the 28th Conference of the Parties for Climate Change (COP28), which the UAE would host at the end of 2023.

The camp has been named “Cohort52” to support the wholehearted efforts and endeavours of the Year of Sustainability in the UAE and to emphasise the role of Emirati youth in achieving their aspirations and goals.

The programme, which includes youth working in various ministries, authorities, and federal institutions, features training and educational workshops. Additionally, the programme runs a simulation of the COP28 negotiations where participants will practically apply what they have learnt.

The programme was inaugurated with a speech delivered via video call by Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Community Development and Vice Chairman of the Arab Youth Centre, and COP28 Youth Climate Champion. In her speech, she emphasised the guidance of the UAE’s leadership and their commitment to empowering and building the capacities of youth as an essential component of its host status of COP28.

She further highlighted the need to increase youth contribution and collaboration to change the reality of climate action to support global efforts and aspirations in sustainability and climate discussions.

Al Mazrouei addressed Emirati youth participating in the programme, saying, "Youth carry with them a significant responsibility to convey the aspirations of the leadership and people of the UAE regarding climate action. The second edition of the ‘Negotiation Skills Bootcamp’ targets Emirati youth nominated to participate in hosting the COY18 and COP28 conferences.”

“The training camp aims to equip youth with the necessary skills allowing further contribution to Emirati and global efforts to address climate change challenges,” Al Mazrouei continued.

In his opening remarks, Emil Hother Paulsen, Deputy Ambassador of the EU Delegation to the UAE, said, “We are proud to have once again successfully brought together experts from the European Union to lead the Negotiation Skills Bootcamp. For the EU, climate action is not only an ambitious policy objective; it is a reality transforming how we lead our lives forever. Beyond the ‘BIG POLICY’ objectives, climate action has already changed and will continue to change how we move around, the ways and what we eat, how we produce and consume goods, how we work, what we wear etc. And climate action can bring solutions to the current climate crisis.”

“Decisions taken by political leaders today will impact the generations to come, and young people have the right to have a say on matters that concern them. Young people are ‘critical agents of change’ as they possess the energy, the creativity and the motivation to challenge current unsustainable models and to develop innovative solutions for the society as a whole,” Paulsen added.
The Arab Youth Centre team, in collaboration with the EU delegation, worked to expand the beneficiary circle to include young officials and experts working in ministries, authorities, and government departments by organising specialised workshops to discuss climate change and enabling participants to enhance their skills and expertise, in addition to highlighting governmental efforts in confronting climate change.

Representatives from several entities are participating in the camp.

The second edition of the bootcamp coincides with the 52nd year of establishing the UAE union and the declaration of 2023 as the "Year of Sustainability" under the slogan "Today for Tomorrow". It reinforces the UAE's efforts as host status of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The first edition of the bootcamp was also held in collaboration with the delegation at the end of May 2022, witnessing the participation of 36 young men and women from various parts of the Arab world. It targeted youth not working in the diplomatic or governmental field to gain diverse experiences and knowledge to participate in international discussions and represent the Arab region in climate talks.