Abu Dhabi: Irina Bokova calls for comprehensive action to harness the full power of renewable energy
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is in Abu Dhabi to attend the Sixth World Future Energy Summit and the first International Water Summit, both central to a number of high profile events taking place during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, held from 13-17 January 2013.
Upon her arrival on 14 January, the Director-General was welcomed by His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obed Al Qattami, Minister of Education of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and H.E. Mr. Abdullah Alneaimi, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the UAE to UNESCO.
On 15 January, the Director-General attended the joint Opening Ceremony of the International Water Summit and the World Future Energy Summit and participated in the Abu Dhabi International Renewable Energy Conference (ADIREC) Ministerial Panel on “Building National Frameworks for Renewable Energy”.
“We must promote the knowledge base across the South, while enhancing South-South and North-South-South cooperation on access, efficiency and renewability. We must work at the global level, but by adapting policies for local needs, nurturing local capacities,” said Irina Bokova.
While acknowledging that the solutions are technological and scientific, the Director-General underlined that this is not enough.
“Harnessing the full power of renewable energy requires comprehensive, across-the-board action to develop human resources, to build institutional capacity, to promote local innovation and increase scientific knowledge adapted to different contexts and needs. And all of this needs to be supported by an appropriate policy environment.”
She concluded indicating that “this is the basis for designing national frameworks that make the most of every country’s renewable energy potential”.
Other panelists included Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Executive Chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Programme, The State of Qatar, Mr. Liu Qi, Vice Minister and Deputy Administrator of the National Energy Administration, People’s Republic of China, and Dr. Khalid Al-Sulaiman, Vice President for Renewable Energy of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
On the same day, Director-General Bokova met with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE. They discussed further strengthening the strong relationship and cooperation between the UAE and UNESCO, as well as the financial situation of the Organization and future prospects, the Director-General’s reform agenda and costs containment measures to make UNESCO more efficient, the conservation of cultural heritage in war-torn countries, with particular reference to Syria and Mali and also UAE’s interest to join hands with UNESCO in addressing issues of sustainability, renewable energy and water security.