UAE, France, India teaming up to fight off future pandemics


The UAE, France and India have signed an agreement to work together to develop projects in various areas, including energy, defence and combatting climate change.

In the statement, which came following a phone call between H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Catherine Colonna, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs; and Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, the three countries affirmed the trilateral initiative.

Its purpose will be to expand cooperation between the three countries’ development agencies on sustainable projects, as well as to organise a range of trilateral events in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP28 in 2023.

The full text of the joint statement is as follows:

"1. On September 19, 2022, on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Foreign Ministers of France, India, and the UAE met for the first time in a trilateral format. In acknowledgement of their shared desire to promote international stability and prosperity, and to further build upon the constructive and collaborative ties that exist between the three countries, the Foreign Ministers of France, India, and the UAE agreed to establish a formal trilateral cooperation initiative, with the aim of expanding cooperation in various fields of mutual interest. It is in this context that a phone call between the three Ministers was held today to adopt a roadmap for the implementation of this initiative.

2. During this call, the three sides agreed that the trilateral initiative will serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, as well as in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. For this purpose, the three countries will explore the possibility of working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to pursue concrete, actionable projects on clean energy, the environment, and biodiversity.

3. It was further noted that the trilateral initiative will serve as a platform to expand cooperation between the three countries’ development agencies on sustainable projects. Furthermore, it was agreed that the three countries will seek to ensure greater alignment of their respective economic, technological, and social policies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

4. In support of these endeavours, a range of trilateral events will be organised in the framework of the Indian Presidency of the G20 and the UAE’s hosting of COP-28 in 2023, respectively. The three countries also agreed to expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate led by the UAE and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France. It was agreed that the three countries should seek to focus on key issues such as single-use plastic pollution, desertification, and food security in the context of the International Year of Millets-2023. The three sides also underlined their keen desire to cooperate in the field of the circular economy under the aegis of India’s Mission LiFE.

5. It was acknowledged that defence is an area of close cooperation between the three countries. Therefore, efforts will be undertaken to further promote compatibility, and joint development and co-production, whilst seeking out avenues for further collaboration and training between the three countries’ defence forces.

6. The three countries will also seek to strengthen exchanges of views on emerging threats from infectious diseases, as well as on measures to fight against future pandemics. In this regard, cooperation in multilateral organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and Unitaid will be encouraged. Further, the three countries will attempt to identify tangible cooperation on implementing the “One Health” approach, and support the development of local capacities in biomedical innovation and production within developing countries.

7. As countries at the very forefront of technological innovation, the development of trilateral cooperation between relevant academic and research institutions and efforts to promote co-innovation projects, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship will be encouraged. In this context, trilateral conferences and meetings on the side-lines of high-level technology events such as Vivatech, Bengaluru Tech Summit, and GITEX will be arranged to support such cooperation.

8. Finally, in recognition of the critical role social and human bonds play in their constructive partnership, France, India, and the UAE will ensure that this trilateral initiative will be leveraged as a platform to promote cultural cooperation, through a range of joint projects, including heritage promotion and protection.

Made on 4 February 2023 in Delhi, Paris and Abu Dhabi.


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