ABU DHABI, 17th January, 2017 (WAM) — The 15th Ministerial Meeting of Asian Cooperation Dialogue, ACD, started in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, with foreign ministers and heads of delegations from member states taking part in the event.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation chaired the meeting and welcomed all participants.

Held under the theme “Abu Dhabi, the Capital of Sustainable Energy,” the gathering demonstrates the UAE’s commitment to ensuring that the ACD coincides with the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which is an ideal platform for dialogue and international co-operation to discuss key issues and find global solutions in the sectors of clean energy, water, environment and sustainability.

In his inaugural speech, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah praised Thailand for hosting the Second ACD Summit in Bangkok last October. The summit reflected the keenness of Asian leaders to bolster the gathering in a bid to achieve a common vision for Asian Cooperation Dialogue 2030.

The UAE Foreign Minister also thanked ACD Secretary-General Bundit Limschoon and the secretariat team for their valuable efforts to prepare for the significant meeting.

“The UAE believes that the ACD Vision 2030 contributes to strengthening the gains of international co-operation, and has an important role in promoting a comprehensive dialogue among the countries regarding the most important issues and trends, notably the economic, social and development agendas,” H.H. Sheikh Abdullah said.

“The UAE is committed to transforming the common vision of people for international development into concrete efforts through the implementation of ‘Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals’ and achieving its goals through a sustainable development plan,” he added.

The UAE Minister stressed the need to promote and develop regional free trade, investment and economic integration besides facilitating joint economic activities, including development of knowledge economy, information technology, telecommunications, tourism and education.

“The UAE has won the bid to host Dubai 2020 Expo, whose theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ It means finding sustainable solutions to global problems requires understanding of different cultures and co-operation among different countries and regions,” he said.

Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, praised the UAE’s efforts to hold the meeting, and noted that co-operation among the member states “is more focussed” and the common vision for 2030 “is a compass that leads the ACD.”

He added that the discussions centred on energy, water and food, as these are important to ensure stability, prosperity and sustainability “for our countries in the long term.” The Thai Foreign Minister said there is a need to co-ordinate policies and efforts at national and international levels to tackle challenges.

He also called for the implementation of the resolutions of the second ACD summit by setting up taskforces that would translate them into tangible results and actions.

At the conclusion of the ACD ministerial meeting, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, praised the efforts of the expert team in energy space.

He noted that they presented the Energy Work Plan, one of the most important outcomes of the ministerial meeting. The plan could contribute to tackling the climate change effects and boosting renewable energy solutions, he added.

At the conclusion, the ACD member states issued the Abu Dhabi Declaration.

WAM/Majok