The President of the Republic of the Maldives, His Excellency Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, expressed optimism that the upcoming COP28 conference will foster significant strides in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement’s objectives.
This sentiment was shared during his reception of Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, during an official visit she made as the head of a delegation from the Ministry, which included His Excellency Dr Mohammed Al Hammadi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Biological Diversity and Aquatic Sector, alongside other officials.
During the meeting, the President of the Maldives discussed with Her Excellency Almheiri ways to enhance cooperation between his country and the UAE in the field of climate action and enhancing joint food security, in addition to discussing collaboration to ensure the success of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) hosted by the UAE this year. On her part, Her Excellency Almheiri stressed the importance of the distinctive initiatives that the Maldives takes to combat climate change.
HE Mariam Almheiri’s official visit to the Maldives witnessed the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in the field of enhancing food security through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), where food security plays a pivotal role in the strategic orientations of the two countries and is one of the most critical pillars of achieving stability and economic and social development in the future.
HE Mariam Almheiri signed the MoU on behalf of the UAE, and HE Dr Hussain Rasheed Hassan, Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, signed it on behalf of the Republic of Maldives.
The MoU aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries in fisheries, marine resources, and agriculture. The MoU seeks to improve food security to achieve many shared objectives in this field.
Commenting on the MoU, HE Mariam Almheiri said: “The UAE is keen to expand its partnerships with various friendly countries and relevant international parties to enhance national and global food security, where food security is one of the most important strategic directions of the UAE to build a sustainable future. We are pleased to cooperate with our friends in the Republic of the Maldives to find solutions to various shared food security challenges. We believe in the importance of cooperation and look forward to more with the Republic of the Maldives in the upcoming period”.
HE Almheiri added: “The Memorandum of Understanding and the expansion of cooperation with the Maldives in the field of food security come at a perfect time, under the year of sustainability in the UAE and within the country’s preparations to host the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28). Achieving food security is closely linked to national and global climate action. In addition to the negative impact of climate change on agricultural systems and the development of fisheries and animal wealth, innovation in these systems can also contribute to mitigating the effects of these changes. Through investment and cooperation in this field, we can play a major role in preserving planet Earth and enhancing food security for future generations.”
The cooperation between the two countries aims to exchange expertise in the fields of studying and developing food management systems and agricultural production to enhance food security, develop and stimulate innovation in the same field, exchange experiences in the areas of production and marketing of plant, animal, and fish food products, and develop food safety regulations and legislation, in addition to exchanging expertise in the field of aquaculture.
The two parties agreed to establish a technical committee to implement the MoU, with the committee meeting regularly and alternately between the UAE and the Maldives and providing regular joint reports on related activities. The committee will keep both parties informed of the progress made in terms of cooperation in the field of food security, in accordance with the terms of the agreement, in addition to making recommendations.
HE Mariam Almheiri’s visit to the Maldives also included a bilateral meeting with HE Aminath Shauna, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Technology in the Maldives, where the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of food security, climate change, and environmental preservation between the two countries. HE Almheiri also highlighted the UAE’s readiness to host COP28 as a global platform to unify international efforts to reduce global warming and climate change.