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UAE ratifies IRENA Headquarters Agreement


Agreement is final milestone in the formation of Permanent Missions for Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency

Under an agreement that goes into effect immediately, the United Arab Emirates has formally ratified the agreement granting Permanent Headquarters status to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The ratification marks the confirmation of the Permanent Headquarters of IRENA in Abu Dhabi and grants the agency all the legal protections necessary that enable it to function as an international organization. Effective immediately, IRENA will begin welcoming applications for the accreditation of Permanent Representatives and formation of Permanent Missions in Abu Dhabi representing its Member states. The ratification of the IRENA Headquarters Agreement is the final protocol needed to pave the way for the establishment of such diplomatic missions.

Headquartered in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, and founded to promote renewable energy worldwide, IRENA has expanded to encompass over 160 participating countries, including nearly 120 full members and over 40 countries in the accession process, which convene three times yearly to discuss the goals of this first-of-its-kind agency.

“The ratification of the IRENA Headquarters Agreement represents a major step forward for the Agency and proves, yet again, the UAE’s firm commitment to renewable energy. The ratification is another indicator of Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a key actor in global efforts to ensure a sustainable energy future,” said IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin.

Formally established in 2011 after a two-year preparatory phase, IRENA was the first major international agency to be set up in decades and is the first global intergovernmental organisation with its headquarters in the Middle East.

The establishment of Permanent Missions to IRENA will promote year-round collaboration between the Agency’s Member States and its Secretariat, on projects related to policy and technology development, as well as partnerships to support countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. Permanent Missions will also enable Member States to participate actively and continuously in IRENA activities.

"The UAE's emergence as a global renewable energy hub is reinforced by Masdar's successful projects and strengthened by IRENA's headquarters in Abu Dhabi," said HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and CEO of Masdar. "The IRENA missions agreement is unprecedented in the region and underscores the UAE government's commitment to a sound business and political environment for clean energy."

Upon ratification of the Headquarters Agreement this week, member countries are now being invited to appoint permanent representatives and open permanent missions to IRENA.

IRENA’s new global headquarters building is currently under construction in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City and is slated to be completed in the middle part of 2014.