First meeting of Irena council concludes on 11 July
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, July 13 - 2011 at 09:39
- PRESS RELEASE
Irena's governing council concluded its inaugural meeting after two days of deliberations among 53 countries 10-11 July in Abu Dhabi, marking a milestone in the Agency's history. Irena was formally established as an intergovernmental organization by 148 member states and the European Union at the first session of the Assembly in April 2011.
The Director-General, Adnan Amin, provided members with an overview of activities implemented since the Assembly, including operational and programmatic progress. Irena has initiated a number of projects related to Innovation and Technology, Knowledge Management, Capacity Building and Policy Advice, involving collaboration with actors across the renewable energy sector.
During a round table discussion on the Work Programme of the Agency, members expressed their desire to further position the Agency at the centre of renewable energy worldwide through strategic partnerships and further staff recruitment, and to engage in fruitful exchanges of views with private sector and academia. Members also noted the work program priorities identified by the Africa High-Level Consultative Forum on Renewable Energy, a summit of 62 countries, including 27 African energy ministers, which the Agency hosted 8-9 July in Abu Dhabi.
The council additionally endorsed and approved the membership and terms of reference of three Committees: Policy and Strategy, Finance, and Governance and Legal. These committees will support the council and the secretariat through intensive support and review of matters assigned to them. Each Committee has a membership of eight countries, not including a Chair and Vice-Chair, but is open to full participation by observers. Antigua & Barbuda chairs the Finance Committee, Tonga the Governance and Legal Committee and the UK the Policy and Strategy Committee. A full list of the Committees and their members can be found on the Irena website, www.irena.org.
The council also approved the selection procedures for a $350m partnership between Irena and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Abu Dhabi's government leading development agency. The fund will launch at the second Assembly, 14-15 January 2012, and Irena will immediately call to receive applications for funding. The fund was established in 2009 to disburse concessional loans for renewable energy generation and transmission projects located in developing countries that are signatories of the Agency. As part of the operationalization of the fund, the Agency will begin later this year a call for experts, who will lead technical review of the applications.
The Director General concluded the meeting by expressing his appreciation of the interest and support of member countries, adding, "It has been an inspiring discussion, and it is impressive to see the strong commitment of countries in supporting Irena's work and way forward."
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