By November 22, 2023

A New Era in Global Collaboration and Sustainability

At the heart of the recent World Food Day Conference in Rome, organized by the United Nations, was a message of urgency and collaboration delivered by H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, the UAE Minister for Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead. Her speech underlined a pivotal moment for the global community: the necessity of a united front in the battle against climate change, with a special focus on water resilience in food systems.

A Groundbreaking Initiative: The Ministerial Dialogue

In a significant announcement, H.E. Almheiri revealed that the UAE, in cooperation with Brazil, will host the inaugural Ministerial Dialogue on Building Water-Resilient Food Systems during COP28. This initiative marks a substantial step towards addressing the intertwined challenges of water management, food security, and climate change.

The Call for Action: Unity Against Climate Change

The Minister emphasized that climate change, a challenge with no regard for borders, demands global collaboration. Her call to action was clear: to combat this universal threat effectively, nations must come together, sharing knowledge and resources to design and implement climate action mechanisms.

Inclusivity in Food Finance and the Role of African Nations

Highlighting the upcoming focus of COP28, H.E. Almheiri stressed the importance of inclusive food finance. She urged African nations to join hands by signing the Leaders Declaration on Food Systems, Agriculture, and Climate Action. This move is aimed at aligning national strategies with global commitments to create more resilient and sustainable food systems.

The Critical Role of Water in Agriculture

With the theme of the 2023 World Food Day being ‘water’, the Minister pointed out a crucial fact: agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater and a significant contributor to global emissions. This connection underscores the critical need to reassess and redesign our agricultural practices for a sustainable future.

UAE’s Vision for COP28: A United Solution

Looking ahead to COP28, H.E. Almheiri articulated a vision of unity and shared responsibility. The conference will not only address the technical aspects of water management in agriculture but also foster a spirit of collective action. This vision is anchored in the belief that a united approach is essential to ensure that no one is left behind in the fight against climate change.

The Ministerial Dialogue: A Platform for Change

Scheduled for December 10th, 2023, the Ministerial Dialogue at COP28 promises to be a landmark event. It aims to convene ministers, private sector leaders, international organizations, and civil society to assess water and food resilience, shaping the future of our global food systems.

Investing in Climate-Resilient Development

The UAE’s approach, as outlined by H.E. Almheiri, pivots on investing in adaptation solutions, particularly focusing on food and water. This strategy is vital for advancing resilient and sustainable development, steering the world away from mere relief efforts to a more proactive, climate-resilient trajectory.

A Call for Collective Responsibility

In her concluding remarks, the Minister underscored the significance of inclusivity and collective responsibility. The challenges in securing our food systems and combating climate change are daunting, yet they present an opportunity for global unity and action.

A Global Imperative

The conference also echoed messages from global figures like Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reinforcing the global imperative of mitigating climate change effects.

As the world gears up for COP28, the UAE’s leadership and commitment to building water-resilient food systems shine as a beacon of hope and action, inspiring nations worldwide to join forces for a sustainable and equitable future.

Conclusion: Forging a Sustainable Future Together

The powerful insights and initiatives presented by H.E. Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri at the World Food Day Conference resonate far beyond the halls of the UN. They symbolize a call to global action, urging nations, organizations, and individuals to recognize and actively engage in the pressing issues of climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity. The upcoming COP28, with its focus on building water-resilient food systems, represents a pivotal opportunity for collective action and innovation.

The UAE’s leadership in hosting the first-ever Ministerial Dialogue on this crucial topic, in partnership with Brazil, sets a precedent for international cooperation and proactive strategy. It’s a reminder that the challenges we face are interconnected and global in nature, requiring solutions that transcend borders and traditional thinking.

As we look towards COP28 and beyond, the message is clear: the path to securing our planet’s future lies in unity, shared responsibility, and a commitment to sustainable development. The UAE’s vision, articulated by H.E. Almheiri, offers a blueprint for how nations can collaborate to create a world where no one is left behind, and where the balance of nature is restored for the benefit of all. This is not just a challenge; it’s an opportunity to redefine our relationship with the planet and each other, forging a sustainable, resilient future for generations to come.