President Sheikh Mohamed and Bill Gates discuss Cop28 and climate change

They also spoke about the potential to enhance collaboration and initiatives to combat global epidemic diseases

President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed spoke with Bill Gates on the phone. Wam / AFP
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President Sheikh Mohamed received Eid greetings from Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

In a phone call, the billionaire philanthropist and co-president of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation congratulated Sheikh Mohamed on Eid Al Adha and wished the UAE and its people continued well-being and prosperity.

They discussed a wide range of topics, including the significance of the Cop28 summit the Emirates is hosting in November to December this year.

The event will mark the first comprehensive global evaluation of progress made in enforcing the goals of the historic Paris Agreement and in advancing co-ordinated climate action and hastening global efforts to address the consequences of climate change.

Cop28 will also complete the first global stock-take of pledges made by countries under the 2015 Paris Agreement and this is expected to feature prominently in Bonn.

Each stock-take is a two-year process that happens every five years. The first got under way at Cop26 in Glasgow and will conclude at Cop28.

Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates talked about how modern technology and innovation were important in the race to find effective and long-lasting solutions to environmental issues.

They recognised that innovation played a crucial role in tackling these challenges, protecting the environment and its natural resources, and achieving sustainable development.

The two sides also discussed ways that Cop28 and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation could work together on to address the impact of climate change on human health.

Eradicating epidemic diseases

UAE President and Mr Gates spoke about the potential to enhance collaboration and initiatives to combat global epidemic diseases such as polio.

Polio, a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, is close to being eliminated. The disease remains endemic in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where instability and resistance to vaccination programmes make it harder to control.

Both Sheikh Mohamed and Mr Gates have been strong supporters of efforts to eradicate the disease worldwide.

They acknowledged the significant advances made in this field in recent times, as well as the need to address “neglected tropical diseases”.

The two sides also reviewed the role of the “Reaching the Last Mile” forum in mobilising and hastening global efforts to support underdeveloped societies in eradicating life-threatening diseases that impede their social and economic development and progress.

They also discussed other humanitarian, developmental and health partnership initiatives that they support in an effort to improve humanitarian responses to the challenges faced by numerous societies and nations around the world.

Sheikh Mohammed thanked Mr Gates for his Eid greetings and emphasised the UAE's determination to contribute to advancing international co-operation in combating diseases that endanger people's lives and impede development, as well as the country's support for various initiatives and global efforts in this regard.

Mr Gates praised the UAE's humanitarian role in delivering relief to numerous countries and also lauded the country's charitable initiatives to tackle global diseases and epidemics around the world.

Updated: June 30, 2023, 8:32 AM