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22 July 2024

UAE awarded prestigious accolade at 2024 Small Island Developing States Partnerships Awards

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By WAM

The United Arab Emirates underscored its steadfast commitment to the environment and sustainable development by securing a prestigious accolade at the 2024 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnerships Awards. The SIDS Partnerships Awards recognise entities that have made significant contributions to the sustainable development of SIDS through innovative and impactful partnerships, with the UAE being awarded first place in the Economic Category for the UAE Pacific Partnership Fund and UAE Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund.

The two sustainability initiatives - nominated in the Economic Category by submission from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) which provided funding for both projects - represent the strategic partnership established between the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

The two UAE initiatives aim to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, enhance energy security, and mitigate the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean and Pacific regions. In this regard, ADFD mobilised US$100 million and established a cooperative model involving three UAE entities, one university, and 26 governments from the Small Island Developing States with the collaboration dedicated to developing solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects, improving access to energy, and promoting economic development in SIDS. Additionally, the projects supported by these funds stimulate local economies, nurture innovation, create jobs, empower women, and enhance climate resilience.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Chairman of the Fund’s Executive Committee, expressed his sincere appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the endeavours undertaken by His Highness in the field of sustainability, which have extended to many countries, including those in the Caribbean and Pacific region.

He also commended His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development's endeavours, for an unwavering focus on projects to develop solar and wind energy and other renewable energy sources in Small Island Developing States, including many in the Caribbean.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the award reflects the UAE’s firm commitment and its pioneering initiatives to support sustainable development and environmental preservation at the regional and global levels. The award also reflects the UAE’s contributions to confronting environmental challenges and its implementation of many prominent development projects in Small Island Developing States and Caribbean countries.

Omar Shehadeh, Envoy of the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, said, “The United Arab Emirates is delighted to receive this prestigious recognition at the 2024 Small Island Developing States Partnerships Awards. This accolade reflects our steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable development and environmental stewardship. The first-place win in the Economic Category for our UAE Pacific Partnership Fund and UAE Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund underscores our dedication to impactful and innovative collaborations that drive positive change.

“Our initiatives, funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, represent a significant stride towards accelerating the transition to renewable energy, reducing fossil fuel dependence, and bolstering energy security in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, an area where we highly value our collaborative relationships. By mobilising $100 million and fostering a unique cooperative model, we have been able to work alongside all our partners to bring these transformative projects to life. We are proud of the positive impact these initiatives are making and remain committed to our role in promoting sustainable development worldwide.”

"This award is a testament to the UAE’s vision and leadership in sustainability, which was most recently underscored by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's decision to extend 2023's 'Year of Sustainability' into 2024, to facilitate further initiatives and events that draw upon the UAE's deep-rooted environmental values and the legacy of its founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The UAE will continue to support efforts that build a more resilient and prosperous future for all,” he added.

The Awards’ Steering Committee also unveiled two other category winners, with the Infrastructure for Resilient Island States (IRIS) - nominated by The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) Secretariat – winning in the Environmental Category. In the Social Category, the winner was Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean, and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, which was nominated by UNESCO.

The recipients were chosen based on the SMART Criteria, which ensure that the partnerships are specific to the needs of SIDS, measurable and monitorable, feasible and accountable, resource-oriented and results-driven, with well-defined timelines for implementation and transparency by all stakeholders.

The official Awards ceremony is set to take place during the annual Global Multi-Stakeholder SIDS Partnership Dialogue on 10th July 2024, coinciding with the 2024 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

The UAE's significant and pivotal role in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change on both regional and global levels was most recently underlined by the country’s hosting of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which took place in Expo City Dubai from 30th November to 12th December, 2023. The UAE’s leadership focused on making COP28 a conference for implementation, not only pledges, and the conference concluded with the historical “UAE Consensus” by 198 Parties to usher in a new era of climate action.

The UAE has always seen climate action as an opportunity to contribute practical solutions to a global problem that affects all countries while diversifying its economy and creating knowledge, skills, and jobs for future generations.