Pope's Dubai visit for COP28 touches on 'a topic close to his heart'
By Joseph Tulloch
At the upcoming COP28 climate conference in Dubai, Pope Francis will be in attendance, marking the first in-person papal presence at the UN Conference of the Parties.
During his visit to Dubai on 1-3 December, the Pope will address the COP28 conference, meet with world leaders, and attend the inauguration of the first COP Faith Pavilion.
Schedule of visit
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, presented journalists with the schedule for the trip.
He noted that Pope Francis will arrive in Dubai at 8:25 PM local time on Friday evening.
The next morning, he will travel to Dubai’s Expo City, a high-tech green district designed as a model for urban living. There, at around 9:15 AM Dubai time, he will address the COP28 assembly.
Following his address, for the rest of the day, he will meet privately with various world leaders for bilateral meetings.
On Sunday morning, he will attend the inauguration ceremony of the COP28 Faith Pavilion, which aims to serve as a global platform to promote faith engagement and interreligious dialogue concerning the climate crisis.
The Pope will then board a return flight for Rome, arriving at around 2:30 PM Rome time.
Speaking to journalists, Mr. Bruni noted that this would be Pope Francis' 45th Apostolic Journey abroad, and recalled that he has already once visited the United Arab Emirates, when he traveled to Abu Dhabi in February 2019.
He stressed the close relationship between this visit and the Pope’s recently-published Apostolic Exhortation on the climate crisis, Laudate Deum, inviting all those with an interest in the Pope’s upcoming journey to read that document.
He noted that the Pope will be speaking in Spanish for his addresses to COP28 and at the inauguration of the Faith Pavillion.
Mr. Bruni said Pope Francis will be accompanied by Cardinal Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and Cardinal Miguel Ayuso, Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.
He also explained that the Pope's bilateral meetings with world leaders will be “relatively brief” and dedicated above all to climate change.
Mr. Bruni did, however, suggest that, since climate change is a topic closely connected to many others, such as war and poverty, other issues might also be touched upon during those private encounters.
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