ROME: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan participated today in the International Conference on Development and Migration, which took place in the Italian capital, Rome.
The conference was inaugurated by Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy, in the presence of heads of state, government ministers, and representatives of regional and international organisations concerned with migration and its humanitarian, social and economic impact.
The conference focused on the challenges presented by irregular migration and emphasised the urgent need for integrated solutions to address its root causes. Participants stated the importance of intensifying international cooperation to safeguard the wellbeing of migrants and protect their dignity, highlighting the fact that thousands of lives are lost each year through irregular migration. The conference also explored the links between migration and socio-economic development and stability in the migrants’ countries of origin.
Upon his arrival at the conference, which was held at the headquarters of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His Highness the President was received by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
His Highness is accompanied during the visit by a delegation that includes 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; Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security; and Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.
In his speech on the occasion of the International Conference on Development and Migration, His Highness announced the UAE's contribution of US$100 million to support development projects in countries affected by irregular migration, including backing initiatives proposed in the Rome Process.
His Highness thanked the Italian Republic for hosting the important conference and for inviting the UAE to participate in it.
He explained that the conference confirmed the participating countries' desire to enhance cooperation, integration, and joint efforts regarding an international issue of great importance and sensitivity, which is irregular migration. This collaboration, he said, serves people’s aspirations for stability, progress, and prosperity.
His Highness added that the conference comes at a crucial stage in the world, requiring greater cooperation and solidarity among nations. He stated that the UAE firmly believes that international collective action and building bridges of cooperation among different countries are the means to tackle shared global challenges and uplift humanity, ensuring a prosperous future for coming generations.
The UAE President stressed that irregular migration, which tragically claims thousands of lives each year, stands as one of the most critical challenges facing the world today. Addressing this phenomenon requires comprehensive solutions rooted in development and stability, he explained, as it is through development that we can achieve peace and stability, both within societies and on an international scale.
His Highness added that dealing with cases of displacement, whether it be asylum or migration, requires strengthening joint efforts to address the main causes through comprehensive development efforts and close cooperation between all affected countries, which include countries of origin, transit and countries hosting migrants, in addition to the support of international and regional agencies and initiatives to build on previous progress in facing these challenges.
His Highness said that climate change is one of the main drivers of irregular migration as it leads to drought, agricultural crop destruction, and increased poverty in many countries. He stated that he was looking forward to meeting participants at COP28 in the UAE later this year, explaining that the climate conference will aim to accelerate international efforts to address the impacts of climate change and support the implementation of the outcomes from previous conferences.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed reaffirmed the UAE’s belief in the importance of diplomacy and dialogue as tools for building trust, and that it will continue to support global peace and stability, calling for cooperation for the greater good of humanity.
In conclusion, His Highness expressed his thanks to the Italian Republic for its efforts in coordinating the conference, and extended his wishes for its success in achieving outcomes that serve development, stability, and peace in the world.