Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United Arab Emirates is delivering this statement in an explanation of vote before the vote on the draft resolution titled “International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica”.

In 2012, the remains of a baby girl were identified in Potočari. She was murdered in the Srebrenica Genocide in July 1995. Her mother, a survivor, gave her a name so that when she was buried next to her father, two uncles, and grandfather, her tombstone would not be empty.

Fatima Muhić was the youngest of the more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslims who were murdered during those dark days; she was just two days old.

What took place in Srebrenica was a genocide. This is a settled fact acknowledged by the highest international courts. Among the wars in the Balkans, the Srebrenica Genocide has been well-documented and serves as a reminder of horrors that no community should have to endure.

In word and deed, the UAE has consistently stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who faced unimaginable horrors in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We were among the first to respond with humanitarian assistance; our troops have served in the Balkans, and since then, we have supported all of our partners on the path to recovery and reconciliation.

Of course, we strongly endorse the content of this draft resolution. The victims, and how and why they were murdered, must never be forgotten. Their families deserve the utmost respect and closure on this matter.

The creation of educational initiatives, condemnation of the glorification of war crimes and their perpetrators, the identification and dignified burial of remaining victims of the genocide and prosecution of those perpetrators who have yet to face justice, are efforts all worthy of our full support.

We strongly condemn any and all attempts to deny or minimize the genocide in Srebrenica. With that in mind, we underscore our severe misgivings about the timing and process of this draft resolution.

We are deeply troubled that discussions surrounding this draft resolution have, regrettably, demonstrated significant politicization.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately, the peace in the Balkans is fragile. Efforts to resolve long-standing disputes have stalled, and in some cases, significant gains have been reversed. Actors in the region have failed to carry out their commitments, and as a result, inter-ethnic tensions are on the rise.

It is crucial that we all remain focused on promoting the unity and reconciliation that the region so desperately needs. The memory of Srebrenica must not be exploited for political gain or become a cause of deepening divides.

Diplomacy should have been given more time. The gravity of the crimes involved demand that we do not allow the urgency of politics to overshadow the importance of unity in our pursuit of justice and remembrance.

This is the reason the UAE intends to abstain on the draft resolution.

Our vote should be understood only in the context of the destabilizing impact that adopting this text could have in the Balkans.

Our abstention is intended to underscore the need to lower regional tensions and encourage de-escalation.

Long-festering, historic wounds cannot be healed without genuine efforts toward reconciliation.

We believe that fostering lasting peace and stability requires thoughtful and inclusive dialogue, especially to prevent the recurrence of similar crimes.

We also take this opportunity to strongly urge all of the region’s political and community leaders to consider the risks to peace and stability and to avoid incitement.

They must recommit to de-escalation following action on today’s draft resolution.

We encourage all parties to live up to their responsibility to preserve and build on the hard-won gains in the Balkans.

Today’s vote, and the lead-up to it, must be a reminder of the urgent need to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence, and to prevent the resurgence of hatred and intolerance.

Thank you, Mr. President.