During the 2023 United Nations Water Conference, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, highlighted the UAE’s inclusive and action-orientated approach to water sustainability and its impact on the nation’s security and economy-wide roadmap to achieve net-zero emissions.

Delivering the UAE’s national statement at the UN Water Conference, Almheiri stressed that responsible water management is a major issue of importance for a country with limited freshwater resources and a growing population and economy.

“As our nation’s founder, the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, taught us, water is not simply a commodity; it is our lifeblood,” remarked Almheiri.

‏In addition, Almheiri confirmed that the UAE, as upcoming host of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, will place water security and sustainability front and centre on the global climate action agenda.

“We look forward to harnessing the positive momentum generated by the Water Action Decade, the UN 2023 Water Conference, and the Water Action Agenda when we welcome the world for COP28 in November,” she stated.

Almheiri also represented the UAE at a ministerial-level Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council focusing on the provision of water and sanitation services to civilians during armed conflict. At the meeting, convened by Mozambique and Switzerland on World Water Day 2023, the UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment called on the international community to scale up support for the protection of water systems and humanitarian efforts. “We need more effective action and a stronger response to these challenges,” she emphasised.

On the sidelines of the conference, Almheiri participated in a high-level event co-hosted by the UAE COP28 Presidency, Egypt, the Netherlands, Tajikistan, the Stockholm International Water Institute, and UN Water to identify the priority actions needed to address the water and climate change nexus at COP28 and in the first Global Stocktake. She also participated in a high-level interactive dialogue on identifying inclusive solutions, strategies, and resources to address the links between water, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, and the environment, co-hosted by Egypt and Japan.