Delivered by: His Excellency Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

The United Arab Emirates welcomes today’s timely debate following the recent publication of the Secretary-General’s report on the Responsibility to Protect.

This provides an opportunity to take stock of the progress we have made collectively on upholding our commitment to the principle of R2P since the 2005 World Summit.

The UAE believes that a state’s sovereignty inherently comes with responsibilities towards its population. Every sovereign state has the obligation to safeguard its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

For today’s discussion, I would like to outline four ways to help ensure the effective implementation of R2P.

First, we underscore that the Security Council must have the capacity to effectively prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. This is critical to its mandate of maintaining international peace and security and ensuring that Member States fulfill their responsibility to protect.

However, we cannot ignore the glaring failure to uphold this commitment in several contexts, particularly in Gaza.

In light of this, the UAE supports the initiative led by France and Mexico to propose that permanent members of the Security Council pledge to voluntarily refrain from using the veto in cases involving mass atrocities. The UAE is also a signatory of the ACT Code of Conduct.

Second, R2P requires the development of robust early-warning mechanisms to enhance prevention and protection. It is imperative to identify and address the root causes of conflicts. This involves preventing and countering hate speech, extremism, related forms of intolerance, misinformation and disinformation, and promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence through comprehensive and whole-of-society approaches.

Security Council Resolution 2686, co-penned by the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, requests that UN peacekeeping and special political missions monitor and report on hate speech, racism and acts of extremism. These are often precursors to the outbreak of conflict.

Third, women play a unique role as agents of change in all aspects of peace and security. It is vital to include women in the implementation of R2P, from early warning and conflict prevention, to accountability, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Far more must also be done to protect civilians from sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence. It is utterly unacceptable that sexual violence continues to be used as a strategic weapon of war and terrorism, causing grave harm to individuals, particularly women and children, and breaking the social fabric of communities. In preventing and responding to such crimes, we must adopt a survivor-centered approach to ensure victims’ safety, health, and right to justice.

Lastly, we reiterate the importance of advancing R2P discussions at both the national and regional level. States have the primary responsibility to protect while regional frameworks offer solutions that are tailored to the specific context. National and regional-level initiatives on R2P can valuably inform international considerations, including through best practices and lessons learned.

I thank you, Mr. President.