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Volunteering is vital for society’s development, says Department of Community Development

ABU DHABI, 4th December, 2021 (WAM) — The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi celebrates the 36th annual International Volunteer Day, a United Nations resolution that recognises the importance of volunteering in making a vital societal impact and celebrating the spirit of volunteerism.

Mohammed Helal Al Blooshi, Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Affairs at the DCD, said, "The Department of Community Development aims at enabling and encouraging a safe, organised, and impactful volunteering environment that enhances community engagement and builds social cohesion. This focus reflects the directives of our wise leadership who believe in volunteering as an essential pillar for society’s development. Today, we recognise and commend those countless volunteers who have dedicated their time and skills towards advancing positive change in Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE."

He added, "The DCD’s commitment to enabling volunteerism can be seen through the launch of the volunteering policy last year and the announcement of volunteer licencing in September 2021 to organise volunteering practices in Abu Dhabi."

He pointed out that to further build on the policy and licensure activation, the DCD’s role in fostering a strong volunteering ecosystem can be seen in its cooperation with the Emirates Foundation and the Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an) to attract volunteers through the platform that allows entities to post volunteering opportunities and grants individuals and teams the necessary licence to practice volunteering.

Al Blooshi stressed the importance of the platform in preserving volunteer rights and responsibilities of all volunteers, and bridging organisations seeking to post opportunities with volunteers looking to make a difference.

Within the DCD’s volunteering policy, Abu Dhabi provides nine fields of volunteering, including traditional volunteering, volunteering for social affairs, volunteering in emergencies, volunteering in events, virtual volunteering, volunteering for visitors, institutional volunteering, specialised volunteering, and volunteering abroad.

The policy includes three types of licences – (1) a volunteer licence issued to individuals wishing to volunteer, (2) a volunteer team licence issued to groups of five or more individuals, and (3) a licence for legal entities wishing to post volunteer opportunities.

The International Volunteer Day (5 December) – an international observance mandated by the UN General Assembly in 1985 – offers an opportunity for volunteer-involving organizations and individual volunteers to promote volunteerism, encourage governments to support volunteer efforts and recognize volunteer contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and international levels.

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Saned urges entities in Sharjah to install ‘Aman’ safety system

SHARJAH, 8th June, 2023 (WAM) — Saned Integrated Facilities Management has urged all government and private entities, industrial and commercial facilities and residential buildings to install the early warning ‘Aman’ system, based on its objectives to provide the highest levels of safety in Sharjah,

The new system and device, implemented by Saned, is supervised by the Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority. The device links fire systems in the facilities to the General Directorate of Civil Defense and Saned, with the goal to reduce response times to combat with fire hazards and emergencies.

Sultan Al Ketbi, CEO of Saned Facilities Management, stressed the need to install the early warning system ‘Aman’, which plays a great role in reducing response times for fire-related emergencies. The system works to monitor the validity of alarm and fire systems in facilities and ensure their effectiveness, which contributes to protecting lives and property and provides the highest levels of protection and safety in Sharjah.

Al Ketbi highlighted that the system has been successfully employed to aid in the early detection of fires; a tower in the Emirate of Sharjah recently benefited from the ‘Aman’ system and suffered no losses due to a recent fire emergency.

Al Ketbi added, "More than 7,753 Aman devices have been installed in various areas of Sharjah since the programme began. We are working diligently to ensure that all residential, commercial, and industrial facilities and areas in the Emirate are covered by the Aman programme, as it is mandatory for public safety."

He further explained, "We seek to reach 100% compliance from owners of real estate, facilities and amenities in Sharjah, to which the decision to install and connect a safety system to protect buildings from fires and accidents is in line with our goal to enhance the overall well being of all residing in the Emirate.”

Aman is an early warning system adopted in the Emirate of Sharjah to protect community members from fire hazards. The system is in direct contact with the Sharjah Civil Defense Authority and links to a control room that operates according to the highest international safety standards. In cooperation with the Sharjah Prevention and Safety Authority, the system strengthens the security and safety strategy of the Emirate of Sharjah and helps spread awareness of best practices in accident and fire prevention.

The system is managed by Saned Integrated Facilities Management, which is one of the projects of Sharjah Asset Management, the investment arm of the Government of Sharjah. Saned provides integrated facilities management, building maintenance and related technical services to commercial and government entities, in addition to energy management and sustainable initiatives. The Saned team also provides technical services specialised in the security and safety of facilities and amenities.

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UAE and Peru sign air services agreement

Lima, Peru, 8th June, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE and the Republic of Peru signed an air services agreement, with Mohammed Abdullah Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Peru, signing on behalf of the UAE and Gervasi Díaz, Minister of Foreign Affairs, representing Peru.

This agreement will open new horizons for cooperation between the two countries and promote intra-trade.

Al Shamsi pointed out that non-oil bilateral trade with Peru for 2022 amounted to US$800 million, and UAE investments in Peru over the last five years exceeded US$700 million, while intra-trade reached US$4.4 billion in the same period.

He added, "The Memorandum of Understanding for political consultations in 2009 and the visa waiver agreement between the two countries in 2019 have already been signed, and today we are signing the air services agreement. In the near future, we hope to sign an agreement to protect and promote investment and avoid double taxation, in addition to other agreements that are expected to be in the interest of our two peoples and in line with our common aspirations for further development and prosperity.”

Al Shamsi stressed that this agreement will contribute to the growth of trade exchange in a manner that supports the development agenda of the two countries, promotes the sustainability of their economies, and bolsters bilateral aviation ties.

He added, "This comes as part of efforts to reinforce bilateral relations with the Republic of Peru and will also benefit our national airlines and several other sectors in the country, directly affecting the growth of air traffic between the airports of the UAE and Peru, which will help strengthen trade, economic, and tourism relations between the two countries.”

For her part, Díaz said that the UAE is an important partner, as it is the largest Arab country investing in Peru, stressing that the UAE is the first nation in the Middle East to sign an agreement on air services with the South American country.

She stressed that the signing of the air services agreement with the UAE will enable Peru to act as a communication center for the networks of airlines in Latin America, highlighting that the signing of the agreement is a significant achievement and a milestone in the strong relations between Peru and the UAE.

Díaz stated that the signing of the agreement will allow the establishment of new air routes that will promote travel for tourism and business purposes between Peru and Arab countries, as well as Asian and Pacific countries.

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18th Conference of Youth will be hosted in the UAE

BONN, Germany, 8th June, 2023 (WAM) — The Arab Youth Centre, the American University of Sharjah (AUS), and New York University Abu Dhabi’s Green House are honored to announce their selection as official co-hosts for the upcoming 18th edition of the Conference of Youth (COY18).

To be held in November in the UAE in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), COY18 serves as a platform for climate advocacy, capacity building and policy development training to prepare the youth for their participation in international climate discussions and events.

The youth-led event aims to empower and amplify young voices in different international settings. It offers the youth an opportunity to discuss and support intergovernmental climate change policies and promote change at the local and international levels.

Organised by the Children and Youth Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (YOUNGO, UNFCCC), the event is in line with the work of this global network of children and youth activists and non-governmental organisations shaping international climate change policies and formally representing youth concerns in UNFCCC processes.

COY18 will focus on youth contributions to the conference’s three major components—policy document, capacity building, skill-building and workshops, which synthesizes the collective demands of children and youth across the world.

"As an institution committed to sustainability and climate change, we are excited to collaborate with YOUNGO and our co-hosts on this important platform. COY18 will provide a space for young leaders to exchange ideas and develop skills that will empower them to contribute meaningfully to climate action," said Julia Carlow, Acting Head of Sustainability at AUS.

"We're determined to deliver an outstanding COY in the UAE, drawing upon the valuable lessons learnt from previous experiences. With a strong commitment to excellence, we navigate through the preparations, transforming challenges into opportunities. We will be actively engaging with and incorporating the voices and needs of the youth, ensuring their perspectives are integral to our implementation process,” said Sadeq Jarrar, Executive Director of the Arab Youth Centre.

“Delegates will be given the invaluable opportunity to partake in a series of dynamic workshops focusing on critical areas such as negotiations, youth advocacy and more. These workshops will empower individuals to become effective agents of change in combating the multifaceted challenges posed by climate change” said Khalifa Ballaith, a representative from NYUAD’s youth-led climate think tank Green House.

YOUNGO and COY18 co-hosts will work with an unwavering shared commitment to equip the global youth to tackle global climate discussions, look forward to contributing to the major components of COY18 and its official output document, the Global Youth Statement (GYS), and to organizing a successful international climate youth event.

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