■ Global heads of state, senior UAE government and business leaders convene for launch of the largest sustainability gathering in the Middle East;
■ ADSW 2019 takes place under the theme ‘Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development’ and the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, today welcomed global heads of state, local dignitaries and business leaders to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019.
Attending the opening ceremony for ADSW 2019, which is being held under the theme of “Industry Convergence: Accelerating Sustainable Development”, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said sustainability was a key pillar in the UAE based on the legacy of sustainability established by the nation’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is a platform that brings together the whole world in the UAE to discuss responsible and serious efforts and innovative ideas aimed at building a sustainable world that will ensure future generations a stable and secure life of energy, water and food,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said. “Supporting all efforts to achieve concrete practical steps to ensure the implementation of sustainability objectives remains a fundamental approach in our country.
"We look forward to working with our partners around the world to find the solutions that will help us achieve the happiness and comfort of our people and ensure their future," His Highness added.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that under the leadership of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE supported global efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and continued to play a leading role in stimulating various initiatives that served humanity.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed stressed that it was the role of the UAE to establish a culture of sustainability in society and to empower women and young people to continue the process of sustainability in all sectors and at all levels.
He pointed out that Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2019 represented a platform for stimulating global dialogue and mobilising energies to develop strategies and frameworks to achieve sustainable development, while this year's focus was on integrating sectors and uniting efforts to reach solutions to meet global challenges.
Distinguished guests included His Excellency President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Republic of Mauritania; HE Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia; HE Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; the President of the Republic of Mali; HE Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic of Rwanda; HE Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia; HE Milo Ðukanovic, President of the Republic of Montenegro; and HE Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy to the President of China, Xi Jinping, and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China.
Delivering the welcome address to the ADSW Opening Ceremony, His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, said: “The UAE’s pursuit of renewables is a natural extension of our existing energy leadership and commitment to sustainability. It is a reflection of our leaders’ dedication to addressing global challenges, in close partnership with the global community. We are building bridges across borders and bringing the public and private sector together around a single common cause.
“As we enter the fourth industrial age, artificial intelligence, big data and the internet of things are multiplying efficiencies and redefining possibilities, across each and every industry. This era of industrial convergence has the potential to completely transform the sustainability landscape. And at this year’s ADSW we are focusing on the symbiotic relationship between sectors to create lasting and tangible impact.
“The UAE is committed to partnering with the international community in the pursuit of sustainable development. We are committed to advancing research and development of promising and commercially viable forms of clean technology. And we are committed to investing in the next generation of sustainability innovators. This commitment is embedded in the defining principles of a progressive, inclusive, tolerant and forward-thinking United Arab Emirates.”
HE Yang Jiechi, Special Envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, also delivered a keynote speech, stressing that China would work with the UAE and the international community to fully implement the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week is an important forum where development philosophies and brilliant ideas are shared,” he said. “Through this platform, the world sees a high-yielding oil producer that keeps fuelling the global economy and an incubator of new development ideas that provide intellectual impetus to human progress.
“The late [UAE] President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, understood the importance of planning for the future as the oil would eventually end. It is exactly this kind of vision for a sustainable future that has shaped the pioneering spirit of the UAE government today and made the country a vanguard of sustainable development in the region.
“For today’s China, the pursuit of green, low-carbon, sustainable development has become a responsibility essential for the building of a shared future for mankind. It is imperative that all parties pull strength to precipitate a scientific and technological revolution in the energy sector as that is the only way to bring about a disruptive technological breakthrough needed for us to attain net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“China advocates a win-win, equitable and balanced level government system in climate change and regards it as the first possible example of a community with a shared future where all parties enjoy intertwining interests, shared responsibilities and great harmony.”
The opening ceremony was followed by a high-level luncheon hosted by senior government officials and business leaders in the UAE and brought together some of the world's top sustainability leaders from the public, private and academic sectors to discuss trends and measures to promote sustainability around the world.
This year’s edition of ADSW will explore how digitalisation and innovative technologies are converging to provide new opportunities and solutions to drive economic growth, sustainable development and prosperity.
To align more closely with the UAE Vision 2021 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ADSW has widened its scope beyond renewable energy. ADSW 2019 will address global sustainability challenges and opportunities on the six pillars of Energy and Climate Change, Water, Future Mobility, Space, Biotechnology and Tech for Good. The topics of Youth and Digitalisation will inform each of these pillars and the programmes running throughout ADSW.
ADSW’s anchor event, WFES, will feature more than 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries. Under the umbrella of WFES, the inaugural Future Summit is being held on 15-16 January, bringing together leaders from government, the non-profit community, institutional investors and the private sector to debate accelerating the transition to a sustainable society.
The first Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum (ADSFF) will also be held during ADSW 2019, and is designed to focus on increasing the adoption of sustainable financing and directing capital towards activities with positive economic, social and environmental impacts, setting the stage for Abu Dhabi Global Market to unveil its plans to create a robust and global sustainable finance hub.
The Youth 4 Sustainability Hub (Y4S) will provide a platform for students, young professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs to become more educated about the future of the sustainability industry. As part of the Hub, CLIX (the Climate Innovations Exchange) will again connect youth, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors to enable partnerships that will power climate change solutions through knowledge, innovation and funding.
This year, the expanded CLIX programme has received a record 811 applications from across 83 counties in categories including Sustainability in Space, Future of Energy, and Future of Food & Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform will host its annual Forum on 16 January under the theme “The Role of Women in Advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
To learn more, visit www.adsw.ae or follow #ADSW and @ADSWagenda on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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