Rome: The UAE Embassy in Italy hosted Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability, Founder of the NGO Circle of Hope, and Founder of the Women’s Empowerment and Equality Board, as a guest of honour to participate in an Emirati Women’s Day celebration, in recognition of her ongoing endeavours in sustainability, philanthropy and women’s empowerment.
In collaboration with the UAE Embassy in Italy, Sheikha Shamma met with global experts from a diverse range of sustainability fields to discuss solutions and collaborative opportunities behind global matters such as gender equality, humanitarianism, environmental sustainability, and social entrepreneurship.
During her visit, Sheikha Shamma was greeted by His Holiness Pope Francis.
Sheikha Shamma’s visit also included a one-to-one meeting with Virginia Raggi, the first female Mayor of Rome. As known advocates for women’s rights and environmental practices, the two discussed the Mayor’s decision to ban single-use plastics in the city and how she is implementing policies that will lead to equal opportunities for women.
As a philanthropic entrepreneur whose efforts often focus on children, Sheikha Shamma also spent time meeting young patients at the Bambino Gesù Paediatric Hospital, where she was privy to the medical advances that the hospital offers in its Nephrology, Rheumatology and Cystic Fibrosis departments.
Following this, Sheikha Shamma held talks with Emanuela Del Re, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Emanuela D’Alessandro, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the Italian Republic, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Sheikha Shamma shared her thoughts on the Emirati Women’s Day celebration by saying: “Celebrating Emirati Women’s Day here in Rome and sharing it with my Italian counterparts is an extremely proud moment and a sign of the positive direction that women’s empowerment is taking across the world. Today we’re seeing a true merging of cultures; this celebration represents what we seek to achieve through the ‘Year of Tolerance’ and highlights exactly what it means to be an Emirati Woman.”
Talking of her experiences during the various sustainability meetings, she added: “Researching sustainable solutions to change our world for the better is something that everyone, especially world leaders, should be advocating. I’ve had extraordinary discussions with Signora Virginia Raggi. Preaching the message of sustainability to the unconverted can be lonely, but when an eclectic range of minds come together with a common aim, encouraging ethical and sustainable practices, it gives me great hope that we will achieve, and perhaps even exceed, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
On this occasion, Omar Obaid Al-Shamsi, the UAE Ambassador to Italy, said that the celebration of Emirati Women’s Day is a badge of honour and a tribute to H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, who plays a pivotal role in the nation’s efforts to support and empower Emirati women.
Ambassador Al-Shamsi finally thanked Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan for her exceptional presence at such an important occasion and for her continuous support for initiatives in education, culture and the empowerment of women and youth towards a sustainable future globally.
Among the attendees at the UAE Embassy in Italy to celebrate Emirati Women’s Day were: Roberta Pinotti, Former Minister of Defence and President of the UAE-Italy Association, Elisabetta Belloni, Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Stefania Proietti, Mayor of the City of Assisi, Nicola Lener, Deputy Director-General for Internationalisation at the MOFA, Monica Maggionoi, CEO of Rai Com, Flavia Marzano, a member of Rome’s City Council for Innovation, Smart Cities and Gender Policies and creator of Wister Network, and Dr. Alexia Massacand, Climate Change scientist and Senior Manager of Strategy and Implementation at Global Earth Observation System of Systems.