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UAE's address at WSSD lauded

posted on 05/09/2002: 2361 views

A UAE newspaper yesterday praised the address of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which was read on his behalf by H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is being held in Johannesburg. Commenting editorially on the issue, the Dubai-based "Gulf News” said:” There are mixed reactions to the success or otherwise of the Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

Many say not enough was done to help the poor and developing countries and the main issue were, once against diluted or ignored. "But while developed countries hold onto their position so firmly and refuse to compromise, especially those often accused of being the main offenders, there is little that can be done. "After all, any agreement reached is never enforceable but merely relies on the good intentions of the government in force at the time. So what could be approved by one administration may be negated by the next, as was seen with the Kyoto agreement on sustainable development 10 years ago, which the present summit spent a lot of time trying to salvage, not very successfully.

"So it was intriguing that one of the most enlightening initiatives to come forward at the summit should be announced on the last day, and made in an address given by Sheikh Hamad Al Sharqi. Acting as the representative to UAE President, Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Hamad declared the launch of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative as a response to the pressing need of countries for high quality environmental data to bridge the environmental data gap between rich and poor nations.

"To kick-start the ambitious project, the UAE has donated an initial US$5 million, together with the appropriate infrastructure and manpower to ensure the success of the research work. " It is envisaged the studies, which will take many years to compile, will include regional and international areas. It says much for the concern of the development of the planet that such an ambitious pilot scheme should be formulated under the wise direction of Sheikh Zayed,” the paper concluded. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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