New York – As a member of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations expresses its support for the position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as stated by Ambassador Abdullah Al-Muallami at a press conference at the United Nations today, and confirms its strong reservations about the content of the report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict.

The Mission affirms that the UAE stands firmly aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Coalition in rejecting the inaccurate information and statistics in the Secretary-General’s report. The Coalition is committed to the protection of all civilians in armed conflict, particularly children. Fundamentally, every child lost or injured is one too many and must be avoided. As such, the Coalition remains committed to its obligations under international law in the conduct of its campaign. 

Regarding the press conference held this morning by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, the UAE Mission welcomes Ms. Gamba’s acknowledgement of the Coalition’s efforts, in particular the three positive steps the Coalition has taken. These measures include the Coalition revising its Rules of Engagement; establishing and starting to operationalise the Joint Incidents Assessment Team to review incidents and advise corrective action; and establishing a Child Protection Unit.

The UAE Mission welcomes Ms. Gamba’s emphasis on the close collaboration, constructive engagement, and dialogue between her office and the Coalition. In particular, she stressed that the Coalition is answering her questions and that there is goodwill, in contrast to the Houthis.

On the report, the UAE Mission emphasizes that it does not question the validity of the purpose of protecting children all around the world, a cause to which the UAE is strongly committed. Rather, the UAE Mission questions the effectiveness of the mechanism, its processes and its utilization of unreliable sources. The UAE believes that strengthening of the protection of children is best achieved through a mechanism that guarantees continuous engagement with states, so as to avoid misinformation.

The UAE Mission welcomes the cooperation and consultations that Ms. Gamba and her office have undertaken and encourages regular engagement with member states.