ABU DHABI, 14th September, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and the COP28 Presidency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote tolerance, coexistence, and human fraternity during COP28.
Signed in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President-Designate, the MoU aims to bolster the UAE’s role in achieving COP28’s objectives for climate and environmental sustainability.
Afra Al Sabri, Director-General of the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28, signed the MoU.
Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak emphasised that the MoU signifies a collective commitment to COP28’s goals, with a focus on encouraging faith organisations and leaders worldwide to actively engage in this global conversation.
“This aligns with the vision of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Ministry’s efforts to combat climate change. Unified action rooted in values of tolerance is crucial for leveraging local and international resources toward the conference’s objectives,” Sheikh Nahyan explained.
The MoU will enhance cooperation to promote interfaith dialogue, address climate change issues, and utilise the Ministry’s expertise, he added, noting that it will also involve coordinating local and international climate efforts for COP28, supporting initiatives to combat climate change in alignment with tolerance, coexistence, and interfaith dialogue principles. The ultimate goal is to mobilise religious organisations and leaders globally to address climate challenges and promote sustainability.
The Ministry of Tolerance will also assist in organising and overseeing the Faith Pavilion at COP28, particularly during events attended by Sheikh Nahyan and Dr. Al Jaber.
Dr. Al Jaber said, “COP28 will be the most inclusive COP ever. We are committed to working with all sections of society, including faith-based organisations and communities, to ensure their voices are heard throughout our programmes and are aligned with outcomes. Accordingly, the COP28 Presidency will work with the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence to provide a global stage for fostering interfaith dialogue, with the aim of inspiring ambitious goals, and take concrete actions to address the climate crisis.”
The Ministry will also support the Faith Pavilion’s activities, programmes, and agenda, working closely with the COP28 Steering Committee and the COP28 Presidency, collaborating on information exchange, joint meetings, and identifying further partnership opportunities.
Moreover, the Ministry, along with the Muslim Council of Elders and partners, will invite spiritual leaders and religious organisations to join the Faith Pavilion at COP28. This platform aims to enhance global religious engagement and interfaith dialogue to bolster climate action and address the climate crisis. It also encourages religious leaders to contribute to global challenges, including environmental justice.
As per the MoU, Sheikh Nahyan will serve as the Commissioner-General and official spokesperson for interfaith dialogue at COP28.
COP28’s key focus areas include fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition; fixing climate finance; focusing on people, lives and livelihoods and full inclusivity.
It will also hold the first-ever Global Stocktake, a comprehensive assessment of progress toward climate targets, as mandated by the Paris Agreement.
The conference will take place from 30th November until 12th December 2023 and is expected to attract about 70,000 people, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state players.