By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, (WAM) – Mexico shares many values with the United Arab Emirates and it has a specific interest in the UAE’s happiness agenda, a senior Mexican official told Emirates News Agency, WAM.
“We have an interesting exchange of values. Right now, we have a specific interest in Global Happiness Coalition, launched by the UAE,” Martha Delgado, vice-minister for multilateral affairs and human rights of Mexico, said in an interview during her recent visit to Abu Dhabi.
“We are learning a lot about what you are doing [about happiness] in the UAE. I am truly interested in following the leaders of the Emirates on this [happiness] agenda,” Delgado affirmed.
The Global Happiness Coalition was launched at the World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
The coalition comprises ministers of six countries, including the UAE, Portugal, Costa Rica, Mexico, Kazakhstan, and Slovenia.
Sheikh Mohammed said the world needs new form of coalitions that works for the wellbeing and happiness of people.
“The Global Happiness Coalition reflects the message where the UAE aspirations meet with ambitions of different nations around the world, towards creating a better future for everyone.
“It is time to join efforts as governments to come up with new approaches and mechanisms to achieve people’s happiness and improve their quality of life,” Sheikh Mohammed said on the occasion.
Talking about Mexico-UAE cooperation in the global arena, the Mexican minister said, “We have found that at the UN level we [Mexico and UAE] always think alike on several issues.
“We are partners in different international organisations, where we analyse together [several] international agendas,” she said.
Delgado is also chair of the advisory committee of the momentum for change initiative for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC) and a member of theaAdvisory committee of experts on Water and Human Settlements for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.
Mexico is very keen to strengthen commercial exchanges with the UAE, she said, adding that she had meetings with relevant UAE authorities in this regard during her visit.
Delgado has more than 25 years of experience in various civil society organisations dedicated to sustainable development and strengthening of citizenship. Young people are more committed to environmental causes and sustainable development, she pointed out.
“This gives hope. The future is safe in their [youngsters] hands,” the minister stressed.
As the secretary for the environment of Mexico City during 2006-2012, Delgado was instrumental in developing ambitious environmental policies such as Mexico City’s Green Plan, the first Climate Action Programme in Latin America; and the first bike-sharing system in the Americas named ‘ECO BICI’.
The bike-sharing system was a huge success, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on February 16, she said. Mexico City was able to improve its air quality considerably thanks to concerted efforts involving all stakeholders, said the city’s former secretary for environment until 2012.
“In 1991, we had good air quality on eight days only during the whole year. In 2012, it went up to 348 days. This is how we improved the air quality in 21 years. It was a matter of science, public policies and citizens’ participation in the efforts to improve the air quality,” Delgado explained.
The UN had declared Mexico City as the world’s most polluted city in 1992. However, according to IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, Mexico City is 856th among the most polluted cities across the world.