Delivered by Mrs. Ameirah Alhefeiti Deputy Permanent Representative
I thank Assistant Secretary-General Martha Pobee and Special Envoy Hannah Tetteh for their informative briefings. I also welcome the participation of the representatives of Sudan and South Sudan in this meeting.
Today’s meeting is taking place at a very critical time, where despite the extension of the declared ceasefire, we are witnessing continued clashes in Sudan, heavy loss of life, and worsening security, economic and humanitarian situations. The current situation may put the fragile stability UNISFA has supported in the Abyei Area at risk.
In view of the current situation in Sudan and cognizant of how closely related they are to the stability of the Abyei Area and the ability for UNISFA to carry its mandate, the UAE reiterates its call for the parties to commit to the ceasefire, ensuring the protection of civilians and rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access in Sudan. In this context, we appreciate the vigorous efforts of Saudi Arabia and the United States in facilitating the ongoing talks between the parties in Jeddah.
For its part, the UAE continues to provide daily assistance to the Sudanese people, as well as assist with evacuations of individuals from more than 20 countries and provide them with care throughout their stay in the UAE , until their return to their countries.
At the same time, we maintain our strong belief that there is no substitute for dialogue and constructive engagement to reach a solution that will return Sudan to its path to a peaceful transition. In this vein, the UAE continues to support the ongoing initiatives in that regard, such as those led by the AU, IGAD, and League of Arab States as well as other initiatives given the central role it plays in helping Sudan overcome this crisis.
With regards to the developments in the Abyei Area, we note the need to maintain cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan on the Abyei Area, including through high-level engagements, such as holding bilateral talks and meetings on Abyei Area, and the parties’ commitment to engage constructively and discuss the issue of the final status of Abyei Area in future talk rounds and agreement to resume meetings of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee. Again, we believe that regional organizations have an important role in supporting and consolidating these relationships to achieve the desired results, especially while recognizing the potential impact of the current situation in Sudan and continued tensions in South Sudan.
While efforts continue with regard to paving the way for discussion of the final status of the Abyei Area, we nevertheless remain concerned about the continued inter-communal clashes and violence, and incidents hindering UNISFA’s operations,which only serve to further exacerbate the already precarious security and humanitarian situation in the Abyei Area. The UAE calls for the cessation of violence, and we condemn the killings of civilians and aid workers, as well as acts of sexual and gender-based violence.
We also commend UNISFA’s leadership in advocating for the participation of women from different communities in Abyei peace and security processes, including establishing a Joint Female Peace Committee in the Amiet area. We reiterate the critical importance of women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation to ensure sustainable peace processes and prevent the spread of conflict.
Given the difficult living conditions in the Abyei Area and the challenges in the wider region, it is encouraging to see the concerted efforts of the Resident Coordinators in Sudan and South Sudan to implement the Abyei joint program which is critical to supporting the livelihoods of the people in the area.
As we have mentioned many times, peaceful coexistence, tolerance, and dialogue are essential pillars for building peaceful and prosperous societies. We commend in this context the continued engagement by UNISFA with all stakeholders, including traditional leaders, youth, and women, to promote dialogue between communities, especially before the period of transhumance. We call on all parties to abide by their obligations under existing agreements.
Finally, the UAE encourages UNISFA to continue strengthening its efforts in the Abyei Area and coordinating with UN agencies to reduce current tensions between communities.
I thank you, Madam President.