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United Arab Emirates Elected to Chair IRENA Council
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United Arab Emirates Elected to Chair IRENA Council

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The United Arab Emirates has been elected as Chair of the Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) by its 21 members. Following the second meeting of the two day Council in Abu Dhabi on Monday, the members also reviewed the work of the Agency in preparation for the upcoming 2nd Meeting of the Assembly on January 14, 15, 2012.

The United Arab Emirates has also received approval on a proposition to create a trust fund in order to ensure the active participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The Council, an organ mandated by the Statute of the Agency, is responsible for reviewing the agency's progress and approving its work program and budget prior to submission and adoption by the General Assembly, which comprises of all 85 members and 149 signatories of the Agency.

Outgoing Chair of the Council, Australia and Vice-Chair the Republic of Korea the Vice-Chair led the most recent deliberations.

In his capacity as President of the Assembly of IRENA, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "I would like to thank the outgoing Chair of the Council, Australia for their great work. Their role as the first Chair of the first Council was one that required a great amount of dedication and know-how. As a UAE citizen I am honored that the UAE has been elected to Chair the Council and view this as a testament to the great strides the country has taken in solidifying its role as an active player in the renewable energy sector."

He added: "Equally important, however, is the establishment of a trust fund for countries who require support to actively engage with the Agency. With IRENA's clear focus on Developing countries, the decision to guarantee these members access to the meetings was of the utmost importance."

In his introductory remarks, Director-General of IRENA, Adnan Amin, said: "we are extremely grateful for the kind hospitality and support of the UAE since the establishment of IRENA". Regarding the trust fund he added: "this can be a compelling mechanism to enable equitable participation of developing countries in IRENA thanks to the generosity of the UAE government".

Mr. Amin provided members with an overview of activities implemented since the Agency's inaugural Assembly in April. Discussions revolved around operational, programmatic progress and the work program and budget for 2012. Amin updated the Council members on IRENA progress on various initiatives including projects related to Innovation and Technology, Knowledge Management, Capacity Building and Policy Advice.

In turn, the members of the Council expressed support for the IRENA programs and commended IRENA for taking a lead role in the ongoing global renewable energy debate worldwide in particular the Agency's leading role in the renewable energy segment of the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy For All initiative that will be launched in Abu Dhabi's World Future Energy Summit in January 2012.

Additionally, The Council endorsed the reports of the three Subcommittees - Policy and Strategy, Finance, and Governance and Legal - that were created to support the Council and the secretariat.

At the topmost of the Agenda was the Council's endorsement of the Agency's progress on the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The fund is slated to start accepting submissions for the US350 million following the Assembly meeting.

The Director General concluded the meeting by expressing his appreciation of the interest and support of member countries, adding "it has been an inspiring discussion, and it is impressive to see the strong commitment of countries in supporting IRENA's work and way.











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