UAE leads in development efforts, supporting developing nations: ADFD Director-General

ABU DHABI, 24th July, 2023 (WAM) -- Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), said the presence of a UAE Government delegation, which includes the ADFD, at the United Nations (UN) High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) for 2023 in New York is of great importance, as it highlights the UAE's pioneering model and exceptional experience in supporting developmental projects that help achieve economic development and improve the quality of life of communities in beneficiary countries.


In his statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Suwaidi said that the UAE’s participation complies with the midway point established by the UN to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 since their announcement in 2016, and is an opportunity to explore mechanisms for accelerating the attainment of the SDGs under the platform of the international forum organised annually by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which has been the organisation’s primary platform for sustainable development since its establishment in 2012, and plays a key role in monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 in countries around the world.


The ADFD’s presence within this year’s UAE delegation is crucial for continuing to support development projects worldwide, and promoting international cooperation in achieving the SDGs, he noted.


He also pointed out that the delegation will highlight the ADFD’s pioneering efforts, which are in line with the country's vision for achieving the international SDGs, adding that this year's forum primarily focuses on specific objectives, most notably Goal 17, titled, "Partnerships for the Goals."


Regarding the ADFD’s significant contributions showcased at this year's HLPF, Al Suwaidi stressed that it participated in many sessions and meetings, including one titled, “Cooperation with the World," held at the UAE’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York to highlight the UAE's developmental efforts and its continued success in supporting developing nations through the ADFD, as well as the positive impact of projects funded by the UAE in various countries, which have stimulated key economic activities and improved the livelihoods of their inhabitants.


During the session, he also presented the ADFD’s operational results for 2022, which showed that total funding, investments and bank deposits exceeded AED189 billion, benefitting 104 countries across different continents, leading to their economic growth and helping achieve the goals of related developmental programmes.


The Emirati delegation's interactive discussions and bilateral and multilateral meetings at this year's HLPF provided a valuable opportunity to unify efforts and discuss the best global practices and innovative solutions that accelerate the achievement of the international SDGs to build a more prosperous future for nations' communities.


Al Suwaidi affirmed that the UAE prioritises development and forming strategic international partnerships, which are integral to its strategic approach to building a sustainable and prosperous future for people worldwide.


Regarding the current international efforts to achieve the SDGs, Al Suwaidi stated that they have yielded remarkable results, with a significant impact on beneficiary communities, adding that achieving the SDGs is a responsibility that involves individuals, institutions, economic entities, communities, governments and international organisations, and requires continued and intensified international cooperation at all levels.


The UAE Government delegation, including the ADFD, focussed on Goal 17 during the current edition of the HLPF, which aims to promote partnerships for goal achievement, he added.


The UAE's efforts to support global sustainable development have been instrumental and have had a global impact in spreading the sustainable development journey, and its announcement of a strategic initiative for achieving climate neutrality by 2050 under its “Projects of the 50” in 2021 was the first of its kind in the region, he explained.


President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2023 as the "Year of Sustainability” in the UAE, under the theme, "Today for Tomorrow,” which reflects his commitment to adopting the concept of sustainability and instilling its principles across various sectors and domains, aiming to make it the primary driver and supporter of comprehensive development, and the UAE is looking forward to spreading this experience internationally, Al Suwaidi said.


The UAE has adopted a pioneering development model based on an appropriate strategic vision, clear plans and innovative working models that are in line with the SDGs and the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, to achieve growth and prosperity while sustainably utilising resources for a better future that the coming generations deserve, he added.


The UAE has launched various global initiatives and contributed to implementing developmental projects in many countries worldwide, either through the ADFD or strategic partnerships with local institutions and international organisations, which have played a key role in achieving economic and social development in partner countries, he further added.


Regarding the ADFD’s approach to financing developmental projects to achieve the SDGs, Al Suwaidi stressed that it believes that development revolves around impact and not merely financial contributions to projects. Therefore, it focuses on monitoring funded projects to ensure they can achieve their goals and create qualitative and tangible transformations in the lives of beneficiary communities.


The ADFD’s commitment to establishing sustainable partnerships with its strategic partners, including international organisations and national institutions, to enhance joint efforts, benefit from available developmental and investment opportunities, and leverage expertise, knowledge and innovative solutions will help advance the international sustainability agenda and promote international cooperation to turn plans into projects that benefit present and future generations, he explained.


The ADFD is aware of the significant international interdependence and integration in economic and developmental structures that transcend borders, and believes that cooperation is vital to transforming global challenges into opportunities through partnerships, in line with the UAE's approach and strategy for local and international developmental sustainability, Al Suwaidi said in conclusion.