A meteorological delegation from the UAE headed by Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of the UAE National Center of Meteorology (NCM) and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), participated in the Belt and Road Forum on Early Warnings for All, which was hosted by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and China Meteorological Administration (CMA) in Beijing.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous also met with LIU Guozhong, Vice Premier of Chinese State Council.

Running from 11th to 15th April 2023, the event drew the participation of international dignitaries including Petri Taalas, WMO Secretary General and aimed to promote collaboration and cooperation among the members from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to establish a comprehensive early warning system for enhanced disaster risk prevention and mitigation.

The Forum also included the 50th China Study Tour and the Regional Training Centre (RTC) Nanjing’s 30th Anniversary Celebration activities, further highlighting the importance of cooperation and collaboration among Members in promoting knowledge sharing and capacity building to enhance disaster resilience in communities at risk.

On the sidelines of their visit to China, the NCM delegation toured the Regional WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) Centre in Beijing, which offers accurate and quality service for Members in order to improve their observation quality now and in the future. The delegation also visited the China Huayun Meteorological Technology Group, highlighting the significance of sharing best practices and enhancing cooperation between both sides in the in the fields of meteorology, climate and related areas.

During the Belt and Road Forum on Early Warnings for All, Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous held discussions with fellow delegates from China and across the regions and exchanged views on achieving the UN Secretary-General's call for Early Warnings for All. He highlighted NCM’s efforts to collaborate with other Members to enhance the collective capacity to prevent disaster risks and establish robust mitigation measures that benefit everyone.

Dr. Al Mandous said, “The Belt and Road Forum on Early Warnings for All provided an excellent opportunity for NCM to join CMA’s efforts to promote the establishment of a comprehensive early warning system for disaster risk prevention and mitigation. Participation in such global events reflects the Center’s commitment to achieving UN’s call to ensure everyone's access to early warning systems. In working closely with CMA and other NMHSs, NCM seeks to address capacity gaps in early warning systems to protect lives and enhance prosperity of communities across the region around the world.”

Al Mandous also appreciated the commendable efforts of CMA in promoting the Early Warning for All initiative and its continued commitment and support to global WMO community and the UN initiative. This support has been evident at the recently concluded Regional Conference (RECO) of WMO’s Regional Association II (Asia) hosted by Abu Dhabi which issued the Abu Dhabi High-level Statement on Early Warning for All in Asia, noting that the CMA's contributions have been instrumental in issuing the statement and emphasizing the need to build regional capacity in early warning systems.

Welcoming NCM’s participation in the Forum, Dr. CHEN Zhenlin, Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said, “We are delighted with the participation of NCM delegation in the Belt and Road Forum on Early Warnings for All and 50th China Study Tour in China. As a continuation of our fruitful partnership, NCM’s participation added immense value to the sessions and discussions that took place during the Forum and contributed to its overall success. At CMA, we will continue to work together with NCM and other Members, especially the LAS and GCC countries, to enhance regional and global cooperation in meteorology and disaster risk reduction.”

The event also adopted the Beijing Statement on Early Warnings for All under Belt and Road Initiative, which welcomed constructive suggestions proposed by participants on establishing the Early Warnings for All Initiative and their willingness to share the best practices in disaster risk early warning. The statement also called for resource mobilization to promote customised multi-hazard early warning systems in a comprehensive and synergistic manner to enhance safety and prosperity regionally and globally.

NCM’s participation in the Forum follows the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between NCM and CMA on the sidelines of the Regional Conference (RECO) of WMO’s Regional Association II (Asia), hosted by NCM in Abu Dhabi from 13th to 16th March 2023. Marking a significant milestone towards strengthening cooperation in the field of meteorology between both sides, the agreement covers cooperation in areas of weather monitoring, prediction and research on climate change; meteorological observation and instrument; and AI technology in meteorology, among others.

The UN initiative ‘Early warning for All’ has received significant attention lately as part of the ongoing global efforts to tackle the impact of climate change. Dr. Al Mandous, who has been named by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation as the UAE’s official candidate for the presidency of WMO, announced that his election campaign will focus on accelerating an internationally coordinated action to achieve UN Secretary-General’s request to ensure that ‘every person on Earth is protected by Early Warning Systems in the next five years’. To achieve this goal, Dr. Al Mandous aims to take up the Executive Action Plan unveiled at COP 27 on Early Warning for All, lead its implementation and ensure the policy, technical and financial solutions to fast track the implementation.