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UAE is committed to Pacific Islands Partnership Program: Abdullah bin Zayed

posted on 27/06/2010: 592 views



As a key energy producer, the UAE will use its rich resources and huge expertise to develop and apply advanced technologies for generating low carbon clean energy worldwide in future, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, said last Thursday.

Sheikh Abdullah said "This program is consistent with the UAE's long-standing record of international cooperation and its diverse foreign aid efforts which have been a key pillar of UAE President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan's international affairs strategy." With an active foreign policy portfolio, Sheikh Abdullah affirmed "the UAE is committed to developing partnerships and providing solutions to the island states of the South Pacific and is looking forward to closer engagement for meaningful and deeper ties." 'We will forge ahead in our strong and established relations with our partners,' Sheikh Abdullah told a joint press conference he held with Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League and President Pacific island state of Palau Johnson Toribiong at the end of the Arab-Pacific Island summit in Abu Dhabi.

The meeting was held under the theme "Introducing Two Worlds - Prospects for Partnership between the Arab world and the Pacific Islands'.

He affirmed the UAE commitment to the Pacific Islands Partnership programme launched earlier this year committing 183 million dirham (US$50 million) to finance specific projects and partnerships in the Pacific Islands in key development areas, including renewable energy, education, social and health care services as well as infrastructure.

The partnership aims to assist individual countries in their own efforts to address social, economic and environmental issues. In the area of climate change, it seeks to establish a new model for country-to-country and country-to-region cooperation to address the domestic and cross-border impacts of climate change.

The partnership program will be overseen by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will be managed by the government-owned Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, which has established nearly 200 individual projects in more than 50 countries since 1971.

Beyond financial partnership, the other key elements of the program include facilitating dialogue between key stakeholders; developing research and academic partnerships; as well as developing working mechanisms and capacity-building programs.

'The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is currently mulling a series of projects presented by the Pacific islands on various sectors like renewable energy, fisheries, and water desalination. It is expected to complete the study during this year, Sheikh Abdullah added.

The UAE foreign minister urged the Arab countries to cultivate ties and enter into partnerships with the Pacific states, adding that the massive engagement of leaders and ministers of these states in the summit demonstrates a firm desire to push bonds with the Arab countries forward.

Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, laude the UAE diplomacy for its efforts to support development plans in the Pacific Islands, a move which has positive impact on Arab-Pacific relations.

Highlighting the need for a viable bonds between the two regions, Moussa said ' What has been agreed upon in Abu Dhabi yesterday will be materialised into the reality.

Citing the Arab League's partnerships with Japan, China and India, Moussa announced that similar steps would be taken towards other international blocs.

For his part, President of Palau Johnson Toribiong commended efforts the UAE has made under the stewardship of Sheikh Khalifa. He said the UAE Pacific Islands Partnership Program would offer financial assistance to the Pacific Islands to build their capacities in infrastructure, rehabilitate economy, upgrade educational and health services, and develop academic research and partnerships. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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