ABU - President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and a number of world leaders today attended the opening ceremony of this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), the global initiative championed by the UAE to accelerate sustainable development.

The inauguration, which was held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), was also attended by Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea; Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan; Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles; João Manuel Lourenço, President of the Republic of Angola; Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia; Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; Surangel Whipps Jr., President of the Republic of Palau; Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique; Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Morocco; and Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Tiemoko Meyliet, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire.

H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; H.H Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; and a number of sheikhs and senior officials also attended the opening.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed heads of state, policymakers, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs to ADSW 2023, which will explore issues and aim to find solutions to the challenges the world faces as it looks to a more sustainable future for future generations.

He stressed that ADSW is a global platform, reflecting the UAE's commitment to convening the international community and ensuring collaboration in driving sustainable economic and social development.

The UAE is making intensive efforts to find feasible and pragmatic solutions to climate change issues, His Highness said, stressing that its strategic initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050 was a natural progression of the comprehensive approach to sustainability the company has followed since its inception, inspired by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s vision. The UAE’s Founding Father laid the groundwork for building a prosperous and sustainable future through this commitment to protecting nature and preserving the environment.

His Highness the President stated that ADSW this year is an essential step towards the UAE hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28). The country’s selection to host COP28 reflected the UAE’s continued efforts to promote practical climate action, sustainable economic development, and progress towards desired global goal, he said.

The opening ceremony began with the national anthem of the UAE, followed by a film on the importance of effective climate action and the need for concerted global efforts. The film included statements from global leaders and officials calling for urgent and serious action to confront the problem of climate change and strengthen collective action, in order to achieve a sustainable future.

During his keynote speech, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, expressed his deepest gratitude for His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for inviting him to ADSW, and stressed the depth of the bilateral relations between the UAE and Azerbaijan. He also praised the UAE’s remarkable growth trajectory, particularly in the sustainability and renewable energy sectors.

President Aliyev highlighted his country’s ambition to strengthen its reliance on clean energy sources as an essential part of national development efforts, and to contribute to the global drive for a more environmentally friendly economy. He referred to the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Masdar and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) for the joint development of renewable energy sources, which aim to produce 10 GW of renewable energy in the long term.

ADSW 2023, hosted by the UAE's clean energy powerhouse Masdar, features a series of key events throughout the week that seek to engage all sections of society. It will be held under the theme of ‘United on Climate Action Towards COP28’ and will convene heads of state, policymakers, industry leaders, investors, youth, and entrepreneurs for a series of high-level sessions focused on key priorities for sustainable development ahead of the UN conference. Hosted by the UAE from 30th November to 12th December, 2023, COP28 aims to leverage the country’s strategic position as a connector between north and south, east and west, and its global position to facilitate dialogue and conversations that enable a consensus for the most pressing climate challenges of our time.

Delegates at ADSW will look to set global climate agenda priorities for COP28 – which will cement the UAE’s position as a bridge connecting the global North, South, East and West – and will discuss the need for all groups across society to be engaged, and determine how to leverage outcomes from the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement.

The ADSW Summit, the two-day flagship event of ADSW, focuses on a wide range of important topics, including food and water security, energy savings, decarbonisation of industries, health and climate adaptation.

ADSW 2023 will also see the arrival of a new platform for the global energy sector through the launch of the inaugural Green Hydrogen Summit, which will highlight green hydrogen’s role in the process of decarbonising key sectors and supporting countries' efforts in the journey to net zero.

ADSW 2023 seeks to involve young people in climate action through the Youth 4 Sustainability Forum and Hub, annually engaging 3,000 young men and women. ADSW will also include the annual forum of Masdar’s Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy platform (WiSER), aiming to give women more space to discuss sustainability, and ‘Innovate’ A Masdar City Initiative to showcase the latest global technologies. In addition, ADSW will focus on startups and SMEs, with more than 70 companies exhibiting, alongside Masdar’s ‘Innovate’ initiative which will showcase the latest groundbreaking technologies globally.

ADSW began with the General Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Energy Forum of the Atlantic Council on 14th and 15th January. The ADSW Summit takes place on 16th and 17th January, and the World Future Energy Summit, the “Innovate” initiative, and the Youth Center for Sustainability takes place on 16th to 18th January.

The (WiSER) summit takes place on 17th January, the Green Hydrogen Summit on 18th January, and the Abu Dhabi Forum for Sustainable Finance on 19th January, with the week concluding with the festival in Masdar City.