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UAE’s international initiative on climate enforcement receives international praise

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(Menarfin– Emirates News Agency (WAM))

ABU DHABI, 28th May, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE’s International Initiative for Climate Enforcement, I2LEC, pledged by the UAE Ministry of Interior has received support from more than 20 countries and civil society organizations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America.

The commitment was conceptualized by a global expert working group that brought together representatives of the Department of the Interior, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and their partners to provide strategic guidance to I2LEC, a body that coordinates the global law enforcement community’s response to climate change. platform.

His Excellency Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, said that in line with the vision of the country’s wise leadership, the UAE continues to launch international initiatives to promote coordination and international action.

He noted that the UAE’s hosting of COP28 provides an opportunity to find practical solutions to the various challenges facing the world today. Hosting such an event also highlights the UAE’s role in promoting international dialogue, cooperation and coordination. It requires all state institutions to work together to achieve the goals and directions set by the leadership, thereby maintaining the UAE’s level of development and its leading position in global competitiveness indicators.

In a statement after I2LEC won broad international support at a United Nations committee meeting in Vienna, Sheikh Saif said law enforcement agencies have always worked on two inseparable tracks: combating today’s criminal threats and proactively addressing tomorrow challenge. He added that there is no greater threat today than climate change. “This is indeed a reality that needs to be recognized globally in order to best manage rapidly changing climate change scenarios.”

Sheikh Saif expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the broad support for the initiative immediately after its announcement and its adoption during the 32nd session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

He added, “A step like this creates optimism about the success of working together to tackle this common challenge. It is hoped that this initiative will serve as a model framework for increasing the global law enforcement flexibility of the law enforcement community to combat climate change.”

The UAE Minister of the Interior further described this commitment as a unique opportunity to increase the role of law enforcement agencies in climate change mitigation ahead of COP28, which will be held in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

A side event organized during the 32nd session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was a panel discussion between senior officials from the UAE, UNODC, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Environmental Systems Institute, Inc. ( ESRI).

Panellists emphasized the importance of providing law enforcement agencies with the means to effectively respond to crimes that affect the environment, including supporting further research and analysis on the patterns, trends and impacts of such crimes.

They also emphasized the importance of engaging the international law enforcement community in the climate change dialogue to better anticipate and mitigate related challenges that could affect law enforcement action.

Commenting on the unveiling of the I2LEC pledge, Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, said, “Organized crime poses a major threat to our environment and organized crime groups around the world are involved in wildlife crime. Trafficking, this type of exploitation has a severe impact on our ecosystems and the lives of the millions of people who depend on these natural resources for their livelihoods. We hope that the I2LEC commitment announced by the UAE will be a call to action for the global law enforcement community to advance efforts in the fight against Enhanced cooperation on crimes that affect the environment. UNODC stands ready to support the efforts of law enforcement agencies by contributing its research capabilities and the wealth of experience and expertise available under its global programs that focus on crimes that affect the environment and international law framework, including the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and UN standards and norms relevant to law enforcement tasks and functions.”

The pledge is currently circulated by the UAE Ministry of Interior in order to gather the widest possible support for I2LEC. Among its main priorities, the initiative seeks to increase awareness and understanding of crime that affects the environment and its impacts in order to better inform law enforcement policies, strategies, practices and actions; strengthen the capacity of law enforcement agencies and inter-agency and International cooperation to prevent and combat such crimes and to effectively carry out their mandates and functions in the context of changing and emerging challenges posed by climate change; and encourage law enforcement agencies to adopt sustainable practices.

In addition to I2LEC, the Ministry of the Interior has partnered with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Joint Environment Unit (JEU) and the United Nations Environment Program to establish the Safe Communities Forum (SCF) (United Nations Environment Programme) to launch the world’s first training One of the projects dedicated to educating first responders and law enforcement about the impact of climate change on routine emergency and disaster scenarios. It provides much-needed universal training on the evolving challenge of climate change, drawing on international expertise in law enforcement, climate, public safety and humanitarian fields. Students will receive certificates issued by SCF and UN JEU.

I2LEC will be launched during the World Police Summit in Dubai in March 2023. The initiative fits into the UAE’s broader commitment to promoting cooperation in environmental causes around the world. The UAE was the first country in the region to ratify the historic Paris Agreement, which was signed during COP21 in 2015. 2023 is the UAE’s “Year of Sustainability” and aims to foster global collaboration to find innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.

I2LEC will benefit from the UAE’s long-standing strategic partnership with UNODC in support of the global fight against organized crime, as well as the wealth of expertise UNODC has accumulated through its global program to combat crime that affects the environment.

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