The Arab Youth Center, in partnership with the European Union Delegation to the United Arab Emirates, launched the second edition of the “Negotiation Skills Bootcamp” - ‘Cohort52’ this Monday in Abu Dhabi, under the umbrella of the ‘Young Arab Diplomatic Leaders’ program. The camp is organised by the centre in collaboration with the COP28 Youth Climate Champion Team (YCC), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).
The Skills Bootcamp, spanning 3 days, aims to enhance the policy-making and negotiation skills of 52 young men and women working in the UAE government, specifically regarding the climate dossier. It prepares youth to participate in the Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY18), which will see the participation of 1000 young men and women from all over the world, as well as the Conference of the Parties for Climate Change (COP 28), slated to be hosted by the UAE at the end of 2023.
The camp has been named ‘Cohort52’ to support the whole hearted efforts and endeavours of the Year of Sustainability in the UAE and to emphasise the role of Emirati youth in achieving their aspirations and goals.
The program, which includes youth working in various ministries, authorities, and federal institutions in the country, features training and educational workshops. Additionally, the program runs a simulation of the COP 28 negotiations where participants will apply what they have learned in a practical setting.
The program was inaugurated with a speech delivered via video call by Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development and Vice Chairman of the Arab Youth Center, and COP28 Youth Climate Champion. In her speech, Her Excellency emphasised the guidance of the UAE’s leadership and their commitment to empowering and building the capacities of youth as an essential component of its host status of COP28.
Her Excellency further highlighted the need to increase youth contribution and collaboration to change the reality of climate action in support of global efforts and aspirations in the fields of sustainability and climate discussions.
Al Mazrui addressed Emirati youth participating in the program, saying: "Youth carry with them a significant responsibility to convey the aspirations of the leadership and people of the UAE in regards to climate action. The second edition of the “Negotiation Skills Bootcamp” targets Emirati youth nominated to participate in hosting the COY18 and COP28 conferences.”
“The aim of the training camp is to equip youth with the necessary skills allowing further contribution to Emirati and global efforts to address climate change challenges.” Al Mazrui continued.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency Emil Hother Paulsen, Deputy Ambassador of the EU Delegation to the UAE said:
“We are proud to have once again successfully brought together experts from the European Union to lead the Negotiation Skills Bootcamp. For the EU, climate action is not only an ambitious policy objective; it is a reality that is transforming forever the way in which we lead our lives. Beyond the ‘BIG POLICY’ objectives, climate action has already changed and will continue to change the ways we move around, the ways and what we eat, how we produce and consume goods, how we work, what we wear etc. And climate action can bring solutions to the current climate crisis.”
“Decisions taken by political leaders today will impact the generations to come and young people have the right to have a say on matters that concern them. Young people are ‘critical agents of change’ as they possess the energy, the creativity and the motivation to challenge current unsustainable models and to develop innovative solutions for the society as a whole,” Mr Paulsen added.
The Arab Youth Center team, in collaboration with the European Union Delegation to the UAE, worked to expand the beneficiary circle to include young officials and experts working in ministries, authorities, and government departments by organising specialised workshops to discuss climate change and enabling participants to enhance their skills and expertise, in addition to highlighting governmental efforts in confronting climate change.
Representatives from a number of institutions, such as the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Finance, the Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy, the Office of the Minister of State for Early Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the UAE Space Agency, the General Authority for Regulating the Telecommunications and Digital Government Sectors, Al Etihad Credit Bureau, the CSR UAE Fund, the Federal Youth Authority, and the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the Federal National Council, the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the National Counselling Centre, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, the Federal Tax Authority, the General Civil Aviation Authority, the General Pension and Social Security Authority, the United Arab Emirates University, the Emirates School Education Foundation, the Emirates Health Services, the Emirates Competitiveness Council, the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, and other institutions are participating in the camp.
The second edition of the “Negotiation Skills Bootcamp” coincides with the 52nd year of the establishment of the UAE union and the declaration of 2023 as the 'Year of Sustainability' under the slogan 'Today for Tomorrow'. It reinforces the UAE's efforts as host status of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The first edition of “Negotiation Skills Bootcamp” was also held in collaboration with the European Union Delegation to the UAE at the end of May 2022, witnessing the participation of 36 young men and women from various parts of the Arab world. It targeted youth who were not working in the diplomatic or governmental field to gain diverse experiences and knowledge to participate in international discussions and represent the Arab region in climate talks.