UAE has called on member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to join the UAE and its “Group of Friends” in their endeavours to lead climate efforts.
Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, said this in a speech during the 42nd session of the General Conference of UNESCO General Policy Debate, which was held yesterday in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in the presence of ministers of education and culture from 195 countries, as well as representatives of international organisations.
It comes ahead of the UAE hosting COP28 in Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12.
At the beginning of his speech, the UAE Minister of Culture and Youth conveyed to the conference participants the greetings and best wishes of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates.
Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi highlighted the UAE's efforts in the field of environmental sustainability and its keenness to enable learners and equip them for the "digital age we live in", adding that the UAE has proposed an item on the proclamation of a "World Coding Day" to be celebrated annually on October 29 to support digital transformation.
He touched on the UAE's efforts in developing culture, education, and preserving wealth, stressing that the UAE government has developed its strategies as required by the determinants of the future and in accordance with stable pillars that enhance its renaissance and development.
Minister Salem stressed the UAE's support of culture and heritage and its call for its protection on local, regional and global levels. He also reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to the UAE-UNESCO partnership on the "Revive the Spirit of Mosul" project, where the Al Nouri Mosque, Al Tahera and Al Saa'a Churches are being brought back to life.
"As we approach the sixth anniversary of the project, the Mosque is in the final construction phase, with over 2,600 jobs created for Iraqis," he added.
Salem bin Khalid emphasised that the UAE is harnessing all its capabilities to achieve sustainable development and develop culture and education. He invited the conference participants to the UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, to be held next year from 13th to 15th February in Abu Dhabi, where stakeholders will gather to reshape policy direction and formulate new ideas to strengthen culture and arts education for future generations.
On regional and international affairs, Minister Salem bin Khalid renewed, before the General Conference of UNESCO General Policy Debate, the UAE's call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. "The UAE reaffirms the need for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of life, stressing the importance of protecting civilians according to international law, including international treaties," he said.
The Minister of Culture and Youth reaffirmed the UAE's commitment to supporting all the programmes and objectives of UNESCO, adding that its participation in the General Conference of UNESCO General Policy Debate comes within the framework of its efforts to strengthen global efforts to preserve global human heritage and sustain education and culture.
"We look forward to contributing to an efficient and effective UNESCO for global solutions. Today, let us remember our mandate to build a prosperous and bright future for all humanity", Minister Salem bin Khalid concluded.