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Second Assembly Solidifies IRENA’s Institutional Structure

15 January 2012: The second session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly brought together over 750 delegates from member States, signatories, non-member States and observers. IRENA's governing body adopted decisions on IRENA's work programme and budget for 2012, secondment of personnel, ethics and conflicts of interest.

The session, which took place from 14-15 January 2012, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), also included two ministerial roundtables on IRENA's proposed medium-term strategy and cooperation with the private sector.

Agenda items discussed included the annual report of IRENA's Director-General for 2011 and reports from events held, including the IRENA-Africa Consultative High-Level Forum and the Pacific Leaders Meeting. Delegates also heard addresses from Sha Zukang, Secretary-General, UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), Jeremy Rifkin, President, Foundation on Economic Trends, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Participants also discussed the three sub-programmes of IRENA, namely knowledge management and technology cooperation, policy advisory services and capacity building, and innovation and technology.

The Assembly adopted a number of decisions that formalized rules and procedures of the organization, including decisions on the rules of procedure for subsidiary organs, ethics and conflict of interest, amended staff regulations and the public disclosure of documents. Decisions on the draft agreement on privileges and immunities, provisional financial procedures and provisional staff rules were deferred to the next session of the Assembly. Decisions were also taken to initiate a funding cycle for projects applying for funding from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and to establish a Fund for Developing Country Representatives to facilitate their participation in future meetings.

As the Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary report on the meeting indicates, the decisions taken at the meeting, together with insights gained during the two ministerial roundtables, saw the solidification of IRENA's institutional structure, clear support for its work to date through an impressive expansion of its budget for 2012, and clear political signals from delegates on the direction the Agency should take. [Second IRENA Assembly Website] [IISD RS' Earth Negotiations Bulletin Coverage of the Second IRENA Assembly]