Today, in another significant milestone for the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the IRENA Headquarters Agreement was signed by IRENA Director-General Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, on behalf of the Agency, and Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State representing the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The signing ceremony took place at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi.
The Headquarters Agreement is an important foundational document for IRENA, as it expresses the future relationship between the Agency and the government of the host country, the United Arab Emirates. It recognises the commitment made by the Government of the UAE to host IRENA’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi, and their responsibilities to the functioning of the headquarters. A previous agreement existed between the UAE and the Preparatory Commission for the International Renewable Energy Agency. When IRENA became a full-fledged Agency on 5 April 2011, and with Abu Dhabi being designated as the permanent seat for the Agency, it became necessary to adjust the text to reflect this new relationship.
“Today’s agreement is historic. It formalises the permanent Headquarters of IRENA and its relationship with the UAE, hosting the first international organisation in the region. It provides the firm basis for the mission of IRENA to support the rapid deployment of renewable energy as a central element for international efforts to ensure a sustainable energy future, improve standards of living and strengthen global economies,” said Director-General Mr. Adnan Z. Amin.
Dr. Gargash also recognised the importance of the signing for the UAE. “Formalising IRENA’s permanent presence in Abu Dhabi is an important milestone for our country, and puts us alongside countries that host some of the world’s most respected international organisations. In much the same way that Switzerland is associated with international diplomacy, the UAE is poised to be internationally recognised as synonymous with renewable energy,” said Dr. Gargash.
The signing of the Agreement is also significant to the region as it represents the first time that an international organisation with global membership has been headquartered in the Middle East. The IRENA Assembly designated the UAE to be the permanent seat of the IRENA headquarters which demonstrated the growing global recognition of the role the UAE plays regionally, and globally, and their on-going commitment to renewable energy. Currently IRENA engages with 158 countries around the world, and of these 95 are Members and 63 are signatories or applicants for membership. These countries cover all areas of the world, and include many different economic and social situations. The UAE became a Member in June 2009.
Note to editors:
IRENA — the International Renewable Energy Agency, founded in 2009, held its first Assembly in Abu Dhabi in April 2011, where the Agency is headquartered. With the participation of 157 States, 91 Members, and the European Union, IRENA has become a nexus of international efforts to accelerate the worldwide deployment of renewable energy technologies. www.irena.org