The Muslim Council of Elders, represented by Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, the Secretary-General of the Council, and the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change of the United Arab Emirates, represented by His Excellency Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, the Director-General and Special Representative for the COP28 conference, have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strong and ongoing partnership focused on promoting interfaith dialogue and environmental sustainability.
The memorandum of understanding outlines that the Muslim Council of Elders will actively work towards inviting religious organizations and leaders along with spiritual figures to participate in the Faith Pavilion at the upcoming COP28 conference. The pavilion will be the first of its kind in the history of COP conferences, serving as a global platform for fostering religious engagement and interfaith dialogue with the goal of raising necessary ambitions and implementing effective measures to address the climate change crisis. The agreement also emphasizes the importance of involving religious figures and leaders in developing strategies to address global challenges, including pursuing environmental justice.
The initiative will also be jointly undertaken by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, the United Nations Environment Programme, and relevant international partners. Efforts will focus on organizing events and activities that enhance the role of religious leaders in tackling the adverse impacts of climate change. The Muslim Council of Elders and the United Nations Environment Programme had previously extended an invitation to religious and civil society organizations, as well as religious and community leaders to participate in the Faith Pavilion at COP28.
The Muslim Council of Elders is an independent international organization chaired by His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. It is dedicated to promoting peace in various societies and features a group of esteemed and moderate scholars from a number of Islamic countries who are known for promoting the values of understanding, peace, mutual respect, and interfaith dialogue. The Council strives to fulfil its mission through meaningful partnerships with international institutions and entities sharing common goals and aspirations.
The United Arab Emirates will host the COP28 conference at Expo City Dubai, from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The conference is expected to attract over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industrial leaders, representatives from the private sector, academics, youth, civil society, indigenous peoples as well as various non-governmental actors. COP28’s grand objective is to foster coordination with active partners, facilitating a collective response and progress towards achieving significant and transformative actions in climate change efforts.