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Supporting sustainable development in the Middle East and North Africa

sustainable development

Masdar City, a carbon-neutral building in Abu Dhabi. © Fraser Hall / Robert Harding Premium

On 24–25 January 2019, the IPU helped co-organize the Arab Regional Parliamentary Forum on the 2030 Agenda with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Islamic Development Bank Group.

The Forum aimed to raise awareness of parliamentarians’ role in the implementation, review and follow-up of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Arab region. The Forum focused on ways of reaching out to a wider net of MPs and how parliaments in the region can exchange best practice on the 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable development was also on the agenda at the Ninth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi from 11 to 13 January. IPU President Gabriela Cuevas took part in a panel on Gender in Energy Transformation. Ms. Cuevas emphasized the importance of levelling the playing field so that women could be part of the development of renewables, a sector forecast to add more than 10 million jobs to the global economy by 2050.

While she was in the Gulf region, Ms. Cuevas also met with parliamentarians and leaders in the region, including HM King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain; HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi; Speaker of the UAE Federal National Council, Amal Al Qubaisi; Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait; King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia; and Dr. Yahya bin Mahfoudh Al Mantheri, Chairman of the Majlis al-Dawla of Oman and Sheikh Khalid bin Hilal al Maawali, Chairman of the Majlis al-Shura of Oman.