Abu Dhabi [UAE], December 5 (ANI/WAM): The Brussels International Center (BIC) co-hosted an event titled "Empowering Women Refugees: Opportunities and Challenges for Climate Action" organised by the Sheikha Fatima Fund for Women Refugees represented by Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State and Chairperson of the Supreme Committee of the Sheikha Fatima Fund for Women, as part of the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.
This insightful panel discussion aimed to underscore the significance of empowering women refugees in the realm of climate action, shedding light on the challenges they face, but specially the solutions they develop. The distinguished presence of the Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 President, added significance to the event, where he delivered insightful concluding remarks, emphasising the UAE's commitment to climate action and the crucial focus on solutions, energy transitions, and addressing the finance gap.
The event was Moderated by the President of BIC Ambassador, Marc Otte. Distinguished speakers, including Amb. Dr. Abdulsalam AlMadani, Chairman of DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Organisation and PAM Roving Ambassador for the GCC region, Dominique Isabelle Hyde, Director of External Relations at UNHCR, Stefanie Scharf from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Berlin, and Joanna Osawe, President CEO of Women in Renewable Energy (WiRE), shared their expertise. The event focused on showcasing the resilience of women refugees, exploring strategies for support, and presenting innovative solutions. Among the high-level attendees was Ohood Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, a ministerial portfolio created in 2020 with the aim of advancing government development and enhancing the UAE's readiness for future challenges and opportunities.
The event started with an opening statement by Dr. Maitha Al Shamsi, Minister of State and Chairperson of the Supreme Committee of the Sheikha Fatima Fund for Women Refugees, highlighting the Foundation's efforts to support and empower women refugees globally. Ambassador Marc Otte, President of the Brussels International Center's (BIC), presented the initiatives of the Center in tackling the recurrent factors contributing to conflict and insecurities in the Middle East and Africa. Additionally, he highlighted BIC's research, exploring the intersections between gender, climate, and migration, emphasising the organisation's comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing complex regional challenges.
Ambassador Otte emphasised that women refugees navigate challenges tied to displacement, insecurity, and cultural norms. Yet, they seize opportunities in resilience, community-building, and innovative solutions, illustrating their critical role in shaping sustainable futures. He conveyed optimism that COP28 would be a milestone, with the UAE playing a pivotal role in addressing climate change. He emphasised the platform that the COP28 Presidency provided for women, including refugee women, to showcase their solutions.
During the panel discussion, speakers emphasised that women often bear disproportionate risks and burdens from climate change, especially in impoverished settings where existing roles and cultural norms exacerbate vulnerabilities. Women, responsible for household energy, food, water, and caregiving, are at the forefront of climate challenges. Speakers stressed that urgent action is needed for gender-inclusive climate policies, recognising these disparities and empowering women for resilient communities and sustainable development amid a changing climate.
COP28 President Dr. Sultan Al Jaber provided a concluding statement, commending the UAE's decade-long leadership in climate action. He underscored the imperative to reshape COP into an inclusive platform dedicated to solutions and energy transitions, prioritising a forward-looking narrative. President Al Jaber emphasised the pressing issue of a significant finance gap, urging global cooperation to bridge this divide. By highlighting the UAE's commitment to climate initiatives and advocating for a transformative approach, he contributed to shaping the COP's agenda towards fostering collaboration, innovation, and sustainable practices on a global scale.
The BIC remains steadfast in utilising its data-driven research to seek solutions for the consequences of climate change, while actively engaging with climate leaders, members of the civil society and academia worldwide.(ANI/WAM)