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Abu Dhabi Executive Council restructures board of Al Ain Farms For Livestock Production

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi Executive Council has issued a resolution to restructure the board of Al Ain Farms For Livestock Production, chaired by Mubarak Mattar Al Humairi.

Members of the new board are: Adel Abdulla Alhosani, Vice Chairman; Shabib Hamad Al Darmaki, Mohammed Hassan Al Hamdi, Sultan Saeed Al Jaberi, Elham Abdulghafour Al Qasim and Mohamed Loey Abdelfattah.

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Belhaif Al Nuaimi calls on youth to lead designing, implementing UAE’s sustainability agenda

DUBAI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, highlighted the important role youth plays in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UAE Centennial 2071 at the Youth4Sustainability (Y4S) Virtual Forum, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

He said, “Seeing so much energy and passion in today’s young people, I strongly believe in their ability to drive our post-COVID-19 green recovery as change makers, sustainability advocates, innovators, thinkers, and leaders as we build back better and come out of the crisis stronger.”

He added, “Our government – together with the private sector and civil society – is committed to creating an enabling environment that can equip young people with 21st century skills and provide them with opportunities to realise their full potential. At the policy level, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has developed the National Climate Change Plan of the UAE 2017-2050 and the Emirates Youth Climate Strategy to guide our climate action.

“The Ministry is also empowering our youth to help achieve the SDGs, specifically those related to climate action and sustainable consumption and production, by fostering green entrepreneurship and business accelerator programmes. Young people are the greatest source of innovative ideas in the start-up industry, so they deserve all the support we can offer.”

Dr Al Nuaimi pointed out that one of the most promising fields for young innovators in the UAE is sustainable agriculture. The sector is witnessing significant progress through the growing number of local farms run by young entrepreneurs who are using advanced technologies to help tackle food and water security challenges in the region.

The Minister noted that young people must lead the way in designing and implementing the UAE’s sustainability agenda because it will chart the path of their own future.

He urged the participating youth delegates to leverage the opportunities that the country opens for them to hone their skills and actively contribute to its development.

He also expressed his confidence that nothing is impossible for the promising young citizens and residents of the UAE.

WAM/Hazem Hussein/MOHD AAMIR

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UAE signs agreement to host permanent headquarters of Arab Parliament for Child

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) and the Arab Parliament for the Child today signed an agreement to host the permanent headquarters of the Arab Parliament for the Child in the Emirate of Sharjah.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, Assistant Minister for Human Rights and International Law at MoFAIC, and Ayman Othman Al-Barut, Secretary-General of the Arab Parliament for the Child, at the Ministry’s headquarters, in the presence of Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Member of the Executive Council and Chairman of Sharjah’s Department of Government Relations.

The signing of this agreement comes after the decision of the Council of the League of Arab States at the ministerial level to approve the UAE’s request to host the permanent headquarters of the Arab Parliament for the Child, in implementation of the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his constant support for all matters related to the Arab child.

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Mohamed bin Zayed appoints Director-General of Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has issued a Resolution appointing Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri as Director-General of the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi.

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Mohamed bin Zayed restructures Etihad Aviation Group Board

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, has issued a Resolution restructuring the Board of Directors of Etihad Aviation Group under the chairmanship of Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei.

The council comprises of Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Vice Chairman, Hisham Khaled Tawfiq Malak, Jassem Hussain Thabet, Masood Muhammad Muhammad Sharif Mahmood, Mansour Muhammad Abdul Qadir Al Mullah and Jacob Barend Kalkman.

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Oman’s COVID-19 cases reach 132,011

MUSCAT, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — Oman’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday that the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Sultanate reached 132,011, while the number of recoveries stood at 124,213.

Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 related death cases stood at 1,514, the Ministry of Health said.

The Ministry pointed out that 6 patients were hospitalised over the past 24 hours, adding that the total number of current hospitalised COVID-19-infected patients stands at 72, of them 21 are in intensive care units.

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Masdar leads initiative to support development of Abu Dhabi’s green hydrogen economy

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — Masdar announced today that it is joining forces with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Group, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Siemens Energy, and Marubeni Corporation in an initiative designed to support the development of Abu Dhabi’s green hydrogen economy.

Senior executives from each organisation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at a virtual signing ceremony yesterday, held before the start of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), taking place virtually in the UAE capital this week.

The initiative aims to establish a demonstrator plant at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban development community, to explore the development of green hydrogen, sustainable fuels and e-kerosene production for transport, shipping, and aviation. Masdar, Siemens and Marubeni will jointly develop the infrastructure to implement the demonstration project and each of these companies will contribute to secure the needed funding.

The project represents the first concrete step under a strategic partnership between Mubadala Investment Company, the sole shareholder of Masdar, and Siemens Energy, intended to accelerate green hydrogen capabilities in Abu Dhabi. That partnership sits under the overarching framework for the development of the UAE hydrogen economy, the Abu Dhabi Hydrogen Alliance, formed under an MoU between Mubadala, ADNOC, and ADQ.

Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for Germany, witnessed the signing. He said, “The new agreements are not only ground-breaking with regard to goals within the framework of our hydrogen strategy, they also underline the value of the German-Emirati energy partnership, which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is supporting.”

Attending the signing ceremony was Mohamed Bin Jarsh Al Falasi, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy. He stated, “The emirate is well-positioned to exploit this modern fuel and drive the growth of the hydrogen market both in the MENA region and globally. Importantly, adding hydrogen to our energy mix in Abu Dhabi will support our economic diversification and sustainable development strategies.”

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer, Masdar, said, “Green hydrogen has the potential to become the foundation fuel for a future clean economy, and will be a game-changer for decarbonisation strategies as we look to achieve climate goals and deliver a more sustainable future for all.”

Tony Douglas, Group CEO, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Non-fossil fuel-based liquid hydrocarbons are the next logical step towards achieving significant decarbonisation in aviation, and this partnership is an extension of Etihad’s efforts to look into alternatives suitable for the UAE, where we have already explored halophyte-based biofuel and are now expanding that into research and development of synthetic fuel from green hydrogen.”

Annette Mann, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Lufthansa Group, said, “Power-to-Liquid fuels are essential for the energy transition in aviation and a key technology for climate-friendly flying. Green hydrogen is a key ingredient to produce renewable jet fuel.”

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, Khalifa University, stated, “Our researchers are currently working on hydrogen production and storage, especially in major technology areas. This enables us to develop ways to utilize hydrogen and fuel cells in applications such as stationary energy, portable energy and transportation.”

Dietmar Siersdorfer, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Middle East, commented, “This significant agreement highlights the importance of collaboration with a strong and diverse group of partners across industrial sectors, to drive forward and realise the potential of green hydrogen in decarbonisation. The UAE’s visionary leadership is creating solid foundations for a successful green hydrogen economy and is the base for a new ecosystem.”

Satoru Harada, Chief Operating Officer, Power Business Division at Marubeni Corporation, remarked, “Marubeni, being one of the largest power providers in Abu Dhabi operating five power plants, has had the great honour of working in Abu Dhabi for decades. It is only natural for us to embark on a new journey of green hydrogen production here in Abu Dhabi.”

The first phase of the demonstration programme will focus on the production of green hydrogen for passenger cars and buses in the Masdar City area. In parallel, a kerosene synthesis plant will be built to convert green hydrogen into sustainable aviation fuel. In the second phase, the production of decarbonised fuels for the maritime sector will be explored.

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels in a wide variety of applications. Green hydrogen – produced through renewable energy – is likely to play a critical role in decarbonisation strategies in several industries, including long-haul transport, shipping and aviation, where direct electrification is more challenging.

While the demonstration programme could potentially reduce CO2 emissions by 43,000 tonnes over its initial five-year implementation period of five years, if the demonstrated technologies for mobility, shipping and aviation were to be adopted and used for just one-tenth of energy demand in those sectors, as much as 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided annually.

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88,743 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered during past 24 hours

ABU DHABI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — The Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced that 88,743 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given in the past 24 hours. The total number of doses provided up to today stands at 1,971,521 with a rate of vaccine distribution of 19.93 doses per 100 people.

This is in line with the Ministry’s plan to provide the vaccine to all members of society and efforts to reach acquired immunity resulting from the vaccination, which will help reduce the number of cases and control the coronavirus.

WAM/Rasha Abubaker/MOHD AAMIR

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UAE underlines commitment to eliminating international terrorism at UN

NEW YORK, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — The UAE has emphasised its commitment to eliminating terrorism, including when elected as a member of the UN Security Council for the term 2022-2023, and underscored that international efforts to counter and eliminate terrorism must be strengthened.

This came in a written statement to the UN Security Council for its high-level open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, chaired by Tunisia, focusing on international cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of resolution 1373 (2001).

In the statement, the UAE emphasised that despite sustained efforts, dangerous terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida, Da’esh, and Boko Haram remain active, and some still maintain global networks posing a threat to collective security. The UAE added that the threat has intensified as terrorists acquire sophisticated weapons and exploit new technologies to spread their propaganda, recruit fighters, and raise funds.

The UAE outlined its own efforts to fight terrorism, together with regional and international partners in the Middle East and beyond, including its participation in ad-hoc coalitions and military operations to defeat terrorist groups. The country noted how its strategies have focused on stopping the flow of funds and fighters, in addition to addressing radicalisation and promoting tolerance, peaceful co-existence, and interfaith dialogue across all levels of society.

The UAE also shared how it is working with partners and the UN system to empower women and youth to take leadership roles in combatting extremism.

It also recommended that the Security Council strengthen its mechanisms to hold Member States accountable for violating relevant resolutions and their legal obligations so that terrorist groups cannot exploit current gaps in the system.

To effectively address the evolving threats of terrorism, the UAE stressed that the UN Security Council’s counter-terrorism strategy needs to be more proactive than reactive. The UAE noted that this involves evaluating how technological innovation can improve counter-terrorism efforts and conducting gender-sensitive impact analysis.

The UAE also emphasised that Member States must continue to encourage, build and enhance partnerships with stakeholders across all levels, including empowering and enabling the participation of women in drafting and implementing prevention and counter-terrorism strategies.

Additionally, it underscored the need to build the capacity of Member States and improve their crisis management strategies to successfully prevent and respond to terrorism threats. In this regard, the UAE commended the efforts of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCTC) and the UN Office for Counter-Terrorism in bolstering national capabilities, as well as the work of Hedayah.

The UAE reflected on the twentieth anniversary of the deadliest terror attacks in the United States, noting that it was a turning point for the Security Council and its counter-terrorism efforts. This led to the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1373 (2000), which imposed obligations on Member States to criminalize the financing of terrorism and created the UNCTC.

“Efforts to eliminate terrorism cannot be successful without the unity of the [Security] Council and the wider international community,” the UAE stated. “Member States have made a lot of progress in countering terrorism, but there is still a long way to go. The UAE will not relent in our efforts to eliminate this scourge. The UAE will maintain this approach to countering terrorism if elected to the Security Council for the term 2022-2023.”

The UAE concluded its statement by paying tribute to all victims of terrorism and expressed solidarity with all survivors worldwide.

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FAHR issues circular on updating procedures aimed at addressing COVID-19 pandemic

DUBAI, 18th January, 2021 (WAM) — The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) today issued a circular to all federal ministries and authorities related to updating the procedures aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic on a federal government level.

The circular will be in force from Sunday, 24th January, 2021, and federal government employees will be required to perform a PCR test every seven days if they have not received the two doses of the vaccine.

FAHR’s circular also stressed that the procedures are in line with the UAE Government’s efforts to confront the pandemic and protect the health of employees in their work environment. It also urged all federal authorities to implement procedures covering employees, outsourced staff, public services employees, consultants and experts.

The circular affirmed that employees of federal ministries and authorities are required to undergo a PCR test every seven days, except those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the federal authorities will cover the expenses of the PCR tests every seven days for those who have medical reports approved by national official health authorities confirming that they should not take the vaccine.

It added that outsourced companies and public services companies contracted by federal government entities must conduct a PCR test every seven days for their employees working on a fulltime basis at government offices, and have not received both doses of the vaccine.

As regards to consultants and experts who are required to attend meetings or be present at government office premises, the circular pointed out that federal authorities are required to confirm recent PCR test results performed within three days, except for those who have taken two doses of the vaccine.

In its Circular No.3 for 2021, FAHR urged all federal ministries and authorities to encourage their employees to take the vaccine.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker