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TEXT: On December 2 of each year, the UAE commemorates its National Day and the anniversary of the establishment of the Union in 1971. On this day, 1971, the rulers of the Emirates signed an agreement to unify the seven emirates and establish the United Arab Emirates as one united and prosperous country.

The celebration in UAE comes this year with the visionary leadership of the president His Highness Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum the Vice President/Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and the trust-worthy members of the Supreme Council, whom declared this year 2023 the “Year of Sustainability” under the slogan “Today for Tomorrow” to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and address the challenges associated with climate change.

The UAE is currently hosting the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) at Expo Dubai until December 12. The conference brings together world leaders and experts in an effort to mitigate the risks facing our planet.

Through this global conference, the UAE prioritizes accelerating sustainable development goals and expanding the scope of energy transformations. The focus is on ensuring that the outcome of this global event consists of actionable mechanisms, not just promises, by translating agreements into tangible realities and achievements.

In the face of today's global challenges, climate change stands as one of the most significant. The UAE remains a global leader in adopting effective policies to address these challenges. The country has undertaken a significant set of policies as part of these efforts, including economic diversification with a focus on a green economy, diversifying energy sources with an emphasis on clean and renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, and sustainable urban planning, among others.

The UAE has always viewed climate action as an opportunity to contribute practical solutions to a global issue that affects all countries. This is especially true given its economic diversification efforts and its commitment to creating knowledge, skills, and jobs for future generations.

In alignment with the visionary leadership of the UAE, the COP28 presidency aims through its plan based on four pillars: accelerating the transition to a more organized, responsible, and equitable energy sector, developing climate financing mechanisms, improving quality of life and livelihoods, and supporting the previous pillars by fully involving everyone in the conference's work system. The goal is to achieve significant reductions in emissions and build a sustainable future energy system. The COP28 presidency will support the increase of energy efficiency by 2030 through tripling the production capacity of renewable energy sources, doubling low-carbon hydrogen production, and providing sustainable cooling systems accessible to everyone.

The UAE reaffirms its commitment to climate and sustainability issues, not only at the local level but also on the international stage. This commitment is aimed at preserving the environment and ensuring a better future for generations to come. The UAE actively seeks to lend a helping hand to countries and communities worldwide in facing the challenges associated with climate change.

The UAE has solidified its commitment to space exploration, celebrating astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi’s significant space mission as the first Arab astronaut to conduct a lengthy stay and spacewalk on the International Space Station.

These space endeavors follow the landmark achievements of Hazza AlMansoori, the first Emirati in space, and the successful deployment of the Hope Probe in 2021, showcasing the UAE’s resolute advancement in the space sector. The United Arab Emirates demonstrates the highest levels of determination and resolve in realizing its vision to be among the leading countries in the field of space, advancing science, technology, innovation, and building a sustainable space sector.

The upcoming 2024 launch of the "Mohammed bin Zayed SAT" (MBZ-SAT) satellite, set to be a paramount addition to the nation's space exploration efforts, will enhance the UAE’s contributions to global space science.

As part of its ongoing pursuit of sustainable development, the UAE places significant importance on supporting climate change mitigation programs. This enables communities to continue their economic and social progress without being adversely affected by climate challenges. To ensure the success of these efforts, the UAE shares its expertise and experiences with other countries, in addition to providing technical assistance to ensure the best outcomes.

The United Arab Emirates has emerged as a leading model in the field of sustainable economic development on the global stage. It adopts ambitious strategies aimed at achieving a balance among economic growth, prosperity, and environmental preservation. The nation has achieved an unprecedented milestone in its foreign trade during the first half of 2023, hitting over AED 1.239 trillion and marking an increase of 14.4% this year.

The UAE is actively pursuing the establishment of a knowledge-driven and diversified economy, buttressed by scientific and technological advancements. It is committed to bolstering the economy's resilience and sustainability while seeking novel opportunities, based on the conviction that robust partnerships are instrumental in fostering regional prosperity and unlocking extensive economic possibilities.

To realize this forward-looking vision and ambitious goals, the UAE has formalized comprehensive economic partnerships with several active global economies, and is in the process of negotiating additional partnerships with a number of countries to be finalized by the year's end.

On this occasion, we recall the dedicated efforts of the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, "May Allah bless his soul with peace" in consolidating the excellent relations and unique friendship between the two brotherly countries that withstood various tests and the scope of our cooperation kept expanding with the passage of time and now covers various fields.

Finally, I would like to express best wishes and congratulations on this occasion to the wise leadership of UAE and thanks and gratitude to the government and people of Pakistan for their kind emotions towards the United Arab Emirates as they are celebrating here with us the occasion, and pray that the relationship of two countries may succeed the wider horizons of greater achievements for the betterment of the two countries and its peoples.

Pak-UAE Dosti... Zinda Baad

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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