The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has participated in an expanded meeting for health ministers representing nearly 100 countries worldwide during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28), currently taking place at Expo City Dubai from 30th November to 12th December 2023.
During the meeting, the health ministers unanimously approved the Health Declaration on Climate and discussed health vulnerability to climate change. They also assessed existing response measures and suggested global adaptation plans in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The meeting provided a vital international platform for discussing the health impact of climate change and exploring effective adaptation strategies and capacity-building measures. It focused on developing methodologies to assess health vulnerabilities to climate change, updating scientific evidence, evaluating climate-related risks, and pinpointing priority intervention areas. Also discus
sed were mechanisms to enhance the capacity of health systems to respond effectively to the challenges posed by climate change.
Abdulrahman bin Mohamed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, emphasised that the extensive meeting bringing together health ministers from most countries worldwide is of great importance as it paved the way to foster partnerships and cooperation in sustainable development and climate action. The assembly also provided a platform for exchanging ideas, opinions, and experiences, and for devising future plans.
‘Our discussions centered around mobilizing global efforts to tackle the impacts of climate change and ensuring food, health, and sanitation security for all. We have been very keen to place health at the forefront of climate discussions, aiming to build equitable and climate-resilient health systems,’ the minister added.
He went on to say, ‘Global public health has long been a defining priority for the UAE, a legacy stemming from the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin
Sultan Al Nahyan and propelled by the commitment of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Their directive has been to safeguard the well-being of people and communities worldwide.’
‘Hence, the UAE will spare no effort to address these escalating health challenges by actively developing tools for vulnerability and adaptation assessment. Additionally, it is collaboratively formulating dedicated national plans within the health sector, involving all stakeholders. These concerted efforts aim to construct an eco-conscious healthcare system that can effectively counteract the impacts of climate change,’ the minister noted.
The UAE is increasingly taking actions in other sectors to reduce emissions and improve health. With unwavering determination, the UAE is swiftly transitioning towards embracing clean and renewable energy sources, both domestically and through collaborations with partner nations. This approach promises significant positive implications for societal well-being, chiefly due t
o its instrumental role in curbing air pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and advancing the global shift towards clean energy reliance.
During the meeting, fruitful discussions were held to pinpoint the climate and health-related priorities and requirements of participating countries. Participants also exchanged knowledge and experiences to further strengthen commitment to COP 28 Declaration and translate this commitment into tangible and effective actions on the ground, aligning with shared aspirations for a healthier and more sustainable planet, one that will flourish for generations to come.
Source: Emirates News Agency