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Abdulla Shahid will on Friday travel to the UAE on his first foreign trip since becoming president of the UN General Assembly in a push for climate action at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Mr Shahid will speak about climate change and biodiversity at four Expo events and meet UAE officials, local UN staff and representatives for youth and women's issues at the start of a foreign trip that also includes Serbia and the Maldives, his homeland.
His “engagements in the United Arab Emirates align with his priorities on delivering urgent climate action, addressing the needs of the planet, recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuilding sustainably,” his spokeswoman Monica Grayley said.
In his four-day stop in the Emirates, Mr Shahid will also meet officials from the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency and visit International Humanitarian City, a logistics hub for aid workers in Dubai.
The visit, funded by the UAE, comes before the Cop26 UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, where signatories to the 2015 Paris climate accord will announce their pledges to cut emissions of planet-heating gases.
Expo 2020 Dubai opens its doors to the public on Friday, with more than 190 country pavilions, 200 eateries and up to 60 shows a day, as well as themed exhibitions at the Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability pavilions.
The multibillion-dollar event will be the largest global gathering since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a projected 25 million visitors attending over six months, who must provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative PCR test.
Over the course of six months, the UN will host a series of events at Expo 2020 Dubai highlighting its work in the region and its anti-poverty, climate change and sustainability targets, called the Sustainable Development Goals.