Delivered by H.E. Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
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Excellencies, distinguished colleagues,
I would like to begin by thanking the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid, for convening this important meeting. I would also like to thank other participants for their contributions. Consolidating a culture peace is an urgently important task, especially as we have seen how emerging and systemic threats, like the pandemic, can exacerbate conflict and undermine peace.
However, mere talk of establishing a culture of peaceful coexistence means nothing if our words are not accompanied by concrete steps. In the UAE, we have experienced how building and maintaining a peaceful society requires a systematic, institutional approach that enshrines tolerance and co-existence as foundational social values. We also know that hate speech, including incitement to violence, can spread across borders, so we have cooperated with our regional and international partners to build-up resilience against it, and to combat disinformation and misinformation, particularly online. This commitment pervades the UAE’s work in the Security Council as we see the impact of hate speech, discrimination, and the incitement to violence in perpetuating cycles of conflict and undermining conflict resolution efforts. We believe that the maintenance of international peace and security cannot be achieved without spreading the values of tolerance and human fraternity among all peoples.
In this context, we would like to highlight three areas that we believe are indispensable for the establishment of a culture of peace:
First, emphasis should be placed on prevention as the best approach to create peaceful, secure, and resilient societies. To this end, the UAE firmly believes in protecting its people from the dangers of extremism and raising awareness on this issue, including through the use of social media and other media platforms to highlight moderate voices and expose misleading messages. Additionally, there needs to be a focus on developing educational curricula that promote peace, including by celebration religious and cultural diversity. This is one of the many reasons we look forward to the outcomes of the Secretary-General’s “Transforming Education Summit” set to take place later this month.
Second, we must recognize the importance of social justice, and its close link to peacebuilding, fostering a culture of peace, and restoring calm. As they are the primary institutions responsible for the security, safety, and stability of their communities, it is critical that the capacities of governmental bodies, especially in the judiciary, are developed with a view towards achieving, spreading, and preserving social justice.
Third, inclusive peacebuilding requires the empowerment and active involvement of actors across all segments of society, including at the grassroots level. For instance, the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in all phases of peace processes is essential for lasting peace. Empowering youth in decision-making and engaging their ideas is also critical for strengthening community resilience. Religious leaders can also play a key role if involved in dialogue and given training to combat the spread of extremist misinformation so that the vile exploitation of religion as a tool of hatred and violence is stopped.
In conclusion, the UAE is firmly committed to a holistic and coordinated approach to the promotion of a culture of peace, which is grounded in our national values and experiences, and highlights our commitment to cooperation towards the implementation of the UN “Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace”.