Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Arab Youth Center has launched the second edition of the Young Arab Diplomatic Leaders Program.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah said that the UAE will continue to invest in the potential of youth, fostering their capabilities and expertise to contribute to supporting development efforts in the Arab region, serving its stability and prosperity. His Highness Sheikh Abdullah emphasised the importance of equipping emerging young talent with advanced diplomatic skills and international representation through training by experts and practitioners from Arab and international institutes and academies.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah said this approach would enhance the image of Arab individuals in various international forums, strengthen human principles and promote values of convergence and coexistence among people worldwide.

The programme's activities will take place in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, Department of Government Enablement - Abu Dhabi, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and Harvard University in the United States.

A select group of youth from diplomatic institutions in nine Arab countries, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Oman, Morocco, and Kuwait, have been chosen for this year’s programme.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the Arab Youth Center, said this edition of the programme coincided with the UAE's hosting of the COP28 and showcased the centre's contribution to organising the Youth for Climate Conference (COY18). The programme will focus on empowering youth with climate negotiation skills and knowledge of green economics, encouraging young diplomats to engage in global climate change mitigation efforts and support the voices of youth in diplomatic fields.

His Highness Sheikh Theyab said: "Youth are most capable of changing the climate work landscape and addressing its consequences through innovative and creative solutions, adhering to human values, and encouraging institutions, individuals, and governments to devote more effort to protect the environment and ensure a better future for generations to come."

His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, President-Designate for COP28 and UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, praised the leadership's vision and support for investing in developing promising Emirati and Arab talent. His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber congratulated the Arab Youth Center on the launch of the second edition of its  programme and expressed that COP28 will focus on conveying the voices of youth and involving them in shaping their future and the future of climate action. His Excellency added that he hoped to integrate youth members into the conference's agenda and ensure their participation in its activities to provide a sustainable and comprehensive model for future COP summits.

Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and responsible for the food systems file at COP28, said that the UAE relies on the capability of young diplomatic generations to contribute to enhancing the efforts of the Arab region in global climate action. Her Excellency welcomed all efforts and partnerships aimed at empowering those working in international representation by providing them with skills, expertise and best practices. This would enhance their role in climate protection efforts through specialised conferences and events, increasing the significance and impact of strategic and developmental files related to climate within the priorities of young Arab diplomatic discussions.

The Arab Youth Center's team has enacted local and international initiatives to train Arab youth and diplomats in addressing climate change. It has established multiple partnerships with relevant international organisations to improve quality of life and environmental conditions while mitigating the impacts of climate change. The programme benefits from strategic partnerships with Arab and international diplomatic expertise to deliver specialised and advanced content that equips Arab youth with the skills required for professional climate diplomacy.

The Young Arab Diplomatic Leadership Program includes training sessions, workshops and meetings with prominent figures and experts in the field of diplomacy on topics such as future foresight, intercultural communication, climate change and governance. It also covers the art of negotiation and influence, comprehensive and distributive negotiation, a review of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, advanced concepts in climate negotiation, multilateral negotiation, finance, and advanced climate diplomacy.

The second edition of the programme aims to train young Arab talent aged from 25 to 35 years, who hold a bachelor's or diploma degree, are proficient in both Arabic and English, have one to three years of experience in diplomatic work, and are willing to participate in COP28. Participants are also required to present letter of recommendation from their Ministry of Foreign Affairs or a relevant authority in their home country.