Members, Our Voice, Statements

Statement delivered by Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP 28 Presidency-designate

Statement delivered by Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP 28 Presidency-designate


16 April 2023

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, COP 28 Presidency-designate


It is a pleasure to be here today.

Before I start, I want to extend the greetings of my COP President-designate, [inaudible 51:19] who is in Sapporo, I believe now, if not on his way to another place pleading with our G7 friends to work with us to try to address the climate challenge; and he asked me to be here but wanted to express the commitment and importance of this group.  Also, our Finance Minister who also wanted to express how important this was, and they asked me to extend those greetings from their hearts.

Your Excellency, Honorable Minister, Ken, leadership this week has been very visible and we’ve appreciated our engagements with you and it’s an honor to join you today.  I’d like to extend also our sincere appreciation to Her Excellency, Kristalina, for hosting this very, very important discussion today.  As we prepare to host COP28, the UAE is prioritizing the need to support those most vulnerable and to leave no one behind.  Over the last two decades, climate change has eliminated one-fifth of the GDP of the member countries of the V20 Group. 

The COP28 presidency recognizes that vulnerable countries continue to suffer disproportionate impacts and we are prioritizing both adaptation and climate finance efforts to ensure progress where it’s needed.  The global stock take which will conclude at COP28 is an important opportunity to move the needle on these efforts.  COP28 aims to conclude the global goal on adaptation and to operationalize the funding mechanism for loss and damage and we need to come together to develop solutions that respond to current and future climate change.  This includes rapidly scaling up local, regional, and global early warning systems and I’m pleased to note that the UAE is on the advisory board of the U.N. early warning systems for all initiative, and we look forward to seeing clear investment plans for the 30 pilot countries that have been selected.  Likewise, we look forward to further development of the global shield which constitutes a clear demonstration of collaboration with the insurance sector in minimizing loss and damage, and we want to see more and more initiatives like these growing over time. 

Colleagues, climate finance remains one of the most significant obstacles to meaningful adaptation support.  It is estimated that countries that experience conflict and fragility receive less than two dollars per capita of climate finance.  We need to increase the overall amount of finance available as well as facilitate the ability of vulnerable countries to access it.  We need to deliver on the hundred billion dollars promised to developing countries and we need to leverage private sector resources, and we need to ensure that public funding including loans from IFIs are available, affordable, and accessible. 

It’s time to reform international financial institutions to ensure support to climate-stricken countries, many of whom are already in debt distress.  This capital is key to leveraging further resources including that from the private sector who are often wary of the risk.  Ahead of COP28, the UAE president will host a series of workshops to address challenges in disbursing climate finance.  We will be looking at issues around risk tolerance and investment and the goal of unlocking public and private capital.  I look forward to hearing your suggestions on how we can make these discussions a success and I appreciate any guidance on how COP28 presidency can better support vulnerable countries. 

Mr. Chair, I thank you very much.