UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi underlined the UAE's commitment to sustainable development which shapes the country's domestic policy as well as international cooperation.
Addressing a session of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, which concluded in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, Sheikha Lubna said that the UAE had made great progress in diversifying the base of economy, with oil and gas production, while still very important, now accounts for only about a third of GDP. "In many ways, the Rio process has marked important milestones in the UAE’s development story. When the first Earth Summit was held in Rio in 1992 the UAE as a country was just 20 years old. Now, 20 years on, we have the opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made, and the challenges we still have ahead of us. I want to reflect on the UAE’s progress on each of the pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental," the Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted the UAE minister as saying. She said that the UAE has mad great progress in the economic development we have made great progress, noting that since the first Rio summit, the UAE’s economy has grown by over 400 percent. The UAE is now among the top 30 countries in the world as measured by the UNDP’s Human Development Index. Great advances in health, education and prosperity underpin this progress, the UAE minister said.