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UAE, France support efforts to promote peace, stability at regional, international levels: Joint Communique

ABU DHABI, 3rd December, 2021 (WAM) — At the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, visited the United Arab Emirates on 3 December 2021. The leaders toured EXPO 2020, emphasising the importance of this event in building bridges and promoting partnerships.

The French President conveyed his congratulations to His Highness on the occasion of the national day and the Golden Jubilee of the UAE on 2 December, and praised the achievements made by the country in the preceding 50 years. The French President congratulated His Highness and the people of the UAE on hosting the Conference of the Parties in 2023 (COP28) which would be of special significance. He highlighted the opportunity for France and the UAE to work jointly to tackle the global threat of climate change, as well as finalising the Paris Agreement rulebook and mobilising finance for developing countries most affected by climate change.

His Highness stated that the UAE looks forward to working with France and the international community to accelerate global efforts to address climate change and environmental protection and to create a more sustainable economic future. The French President emphasised the ambitious commitments taken by the European Union to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and to reduce net emissions by at least 55% by 2030.

In a joint communique marking the visit of the French president, the UAE and France highlighted their commitment to align their support to developing countries with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and to increase their support to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Solar Alliance.

Reviewing developments in the region and beyond, the two leaders expressed converging views and stressed their willingness to jointly address regional and global challenges. They underlined the need for international cooperation through effective multilateralism instruments. In this context, both leaders looked forward to working alongside each other during the UAE’s non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council for the term 2022-2023, and during the presidency of France in the European Union, with a focus on priorities such as promoting stability, peace and prosperity, women’s empowerment and harnessing the potential of technological innovation.

With an evolving international landscape, and reflecting on the exceptional achievements of the strategic partnership of the past 30 years, both leaders expressed a commitment to strengthen this partnership, charting new paths for the future. This strategic partnership has as one of its key anchors the defense agreement signed in 1995 and renewed in 2009, which has contributed greatly to UAE and French security priorities, by strengthening regional stability, enhancing maritime security, and enabling the fight against terrorism, in particular against Daesh. The two leaders reaffirmed the expansion of this partnership, with France supplying 80 Rafale fighter jets to the UAE Air Force Squadron in addition to 12 Caracal H225 Helicopters including weaponising, training and spare parts, with contracts worth 16.6 billion euros.

The two leaders agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and extremism. In this regard, both leaders emphasised the importance of promoting the values of peace, moderation, coexistence and tolerance among peoples, established on the basis of mutual respect, dialogue, cooperation and renunciation of all forms of terrorism, extremism, violence, hatred, discrimination and incitement.

His Highness congratulated President Macron on the success of the international conference on Libya, held recently in Paris. He valued France’s various diplomatic initiatives in the region, and its positive impact on encouraging dialogue and deescalating tensions. Both leaders expressed hope for the successful holding of the Libyan elections within the agreed timeframe and on the withdrawal from Libya of all mercenaries, foreign fighters and forces.

Both leaders expressed their commitment to support the efforts made to promote peace and stability at both the regional and international levels. They also affirmed that political processes and building bridges through dialogue remain the guiding compass aimed at achieving a sustainable solution for all conflicts. They also noted that linking stability and prosperity remains a priority to achieve regional peace and security

The two leaders commended their growing cooperation on Africa, emphasising the importance of security and stability in the Sahel and Horn of Africa region. President Macron thanked His Highness for his support in the fight against terrorism, through airlift support that proves useful for the G5 Sahel coalition. Both leaders expressed concern over the volatile situation in the Horn of Africa, and over the developments that may reverse economic and political gains there. They also noted that due to the region’s strategic geographic location, its stability is critical for the safety of global trade routes and international energy supplies.

President Macron and His Highness discussed the talks regarding the Iranian nuclear program and underscored the importance of a negotiated solution.

President Macron welcomed the UAE’s outlook on focusing on de-escalation and cooperation with an aim for shared future prosperity. In this context, President Macron also reiterated his congratulations to His Highness on the progress of the Abraham Accord, as a bold step toward peace and stability in the region.

Both leaders reaffirmed the need to continue to address broader security concerns of the region.

In the field of culture, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the success of Louvre Abu Dhabi as the emblem of the strategic cultural cooperation and an enduring legacy of the close ties that link the two countries. They welcomed an extension of the intergovernmental agreement that will enshrine for the future the position and the development of this unique museum in the region. Both leaders called for new projects to further propel cultural cooperation.

The two leaders highlighted their shared economic interests and enhance their competitiveness through cooperation and investment in future-looking sectors. Both leaders witnessed the signing of economic agreements with a total value of more than 15 billion euros to strengthen the strategic investment partnership between the UAE and France, targeting sectors of mutual priority and interest, including sectors identified in the ‘France2030’ economic program, such as renewable energies, innovation, technologies and 4.0 industries.

An extension of the current co-investment programme between Mubadala Investment Company and Bpifrance was signed, for a total joint amount of 4 billion euros, to be deployed in line with the previous strategy of both Franco-Emirati Fund and the Innovation Partnership. Mubadala Investment Company signed as well a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, to explore investments in French funds for a total amount of 1.4 billion euros.

Furthermore, Masdar, one of the world’s fastest-growing renewable energy companies, and ENGIE, a global energy player in low-carbon energy and services have signed a strategic alliance agreement to explore the co-development of a UAE-based green hydrogen hub. The two companies are looking to develop projects with a capacity of at least 2 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, with a total investment in the region of around 4.4 billion euros.

An investment agreement was also signed between ADQ, through its portfolio companies, and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Recovery to explore investment opportunities with France in the fields of mobility and logistics, food and agriculture, clean energy, life sciences, and healthcare with a total amount of up to 4.6 billion euros.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and TotalEnergies signed a strategic collaboration agreement in areas of mutual interest including carbon capture and storage (CCS), low carbon H2, talent development and upstream oil and gas operations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The strategic agreement offers the potential to unlock new and sustainable growth opportunities for both companies. Also, Borouge awarded a contract to Technip Energies, in consortium with Target Engineering, to build a world-scale ethane cracker for the Borouge 4 expansion project in Ruwais. The expansion will see Borouge become the world’s largest single-site polyolefin complex and ensure the long-term and sustainable supply of core materials to critical sectors vital to both the UAE and the global economy.

Both leaders also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Recovery in the field of industries and advanced technology.

In the field of space, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore potential cooperation on Emirates Lunar Mission "Rashid-2 Rover", whereas MBRSC intends to develop the mission and CNES expressed its interest to potentially provide a new generation of multispectral cameras and support testing of the Rover.

The two leaders emphasised the importance of the work accomplished since 2018 by ALIPH for protecting and rehabilitating heritage in areas of conflict and reaffirmed their shared commitment in view of the 2nd Donors' Conference to be held in Paris early 2022. They also expressed their shared support to multilateral health initiatives such as COVAX and UNITAID.

The UAE and France recognise the importance of enhancing food security, promoting the sustainability and resilience of international food supply chains, and leveraging modern agricultural technologies and innovative solutions. Therefore, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food signed an MoU to collaborate on developing sustainable and resilient food systems in both countries. To this end, they agreed to facilitate bilateral trade in agricultural and food products through streamlining the supply chains and encouraging importers and distributors in both countries to explore opportunities for partnerships. They also agreed to collaborate on developing sustainable agricultural production with a focus on innovation and adopting modern agricultural production methods.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France’s electricity company (EDF). The two organizations will cooperate in the fields of low carbon hydrogen, high voltage transmission, localization and industrialization as well as research and development (R&D).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been signed between Paris Europlace and the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) with a view to developing cooperation in the field of sustainable finance, fintech and financial innovation.

Based on the strength of such a broad and solid partnership that contributes to increasing mutual security, stability, economic development and symbolic cooperation, the two leaders expressed confidence in their ability to address future challenges

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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