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First Ladies Highlight Importance Of Energy And Water In Relation To Women

HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, in Her opening speech at the First Ladies Summit, highlighted the importance of building a sustainable future that promotes growth and preserves the environment.

The Summit, which is held under HRH Princess Haya’s patronage, took place on the sidelines of the World Energy Forum 2012.

Attending the Summit were a number of First Ladies from countries around the world, including Kenya, Sri Lanka, Belize, and the Republic of Maldives, to name a few. Also in attendance were HE Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State and Managing Director of Dubai Expo 2020 Executive Bid Committee, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, HE Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain and Dr. Harold Hyun-Suk Oh, President and Chairman of the World Energy Forum.

"The United Nations has designated 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All," emphasized HRH Princess Haya. "The challenge for world leaders today is how to promote economic growth and preserve our environment at the same time. The outcome of this challenge will have tremendous impact on families, women and children all over the globe."

"The United Arab Emirates’ Vision for 2021 has outlined and begun to create the foundations for a green economy - one that is sustainable yet focused on long term economic growth," added HRH Princess Haya. "The UAE is striving to develop and boost its rich resources and expertise in the international energy markets and enhance its leading role as a world center for renewable energy research and development. Our shared heritage of trade and interaction with other cultures tells us we can, in fact, have both economic growth and preserve resources for future generations."

Dr. Harold Hyun-Suk Oh and a number of First Ladies also spoke throughout the morning session, highlighting their views and perspectives on the importance of energy and water in relation to women.

The Summit consisted of two sessions, the first entitled ’Energy, Water and Women’ and explored and highlighted the centrality of woman’s issues revolving around how they connect with energy and water, in terms of how they directly affect the overall of quality of their lives. These issues included health, education and equal rights, with particular focus on developing countries.

The second session, entitled ’Women and Sustainable Development,’ focused on energy issues related to women, their empowerment, and discussed ways to crystallize the role of women in sustainable development; ensuring them a fair and equitable place in the process.

The speakers included Madam Odeta Nishani, First Lady of the Republic of Albania, Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa, First Lady of the Republic of Sri Lanka, Madam Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady of Belize, Hadidja Aboubakar Ikililou Dhoinine, First Lady of the Union of Comoros, Madam Ida Odinga, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, HRH Queen Ngangaza, First Lady of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Dr. Maryam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Republic of Maldives, HRH Princess Tsandzile, Minister of Energy, Kingdom of Swaziland, Dr. Sameera Al-Tuwaijri, Regional Director, Arab States - UN Women and UN Women Representative, HE Hessa Abdullah Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain,Carole Le Gall, Director General of Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), Dr. Leila Hoteit, Booz & Co, Ms. Elif Çomoglu Ülgen, Turkish Consul General, Clare Woodcraft, CEO of the Emirates Foundation for Youth, Dr. Maryam Matar, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the UAE Genetic Disease Association, and Khawla Al Mehairi, Coordinator General of the Higher Organizing Committee - WEF 2012 and Vice Chairperson of the Media and Marketing Committee - WEF 2012.

The attending first ladies also took part in the Dunyana Experience which provided them with further insight into the culture and hospitality of the UAE and Dubai and shed light on the significant role women have played and continue to play in the development of the UAE.

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