Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative
I thank Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares for his briefing to the Security Council today.
I would like to begin by addressing the most important element of this discussion for all of us today: the preservation of Article 100 of the UN Charter. It is stating the obvious that the independence of the Secretariat is necessary to the proper discharging of its duties. For that very reason, Article 100 includes the corollary obligation on the part of Member States to respect that independence. Perhaps less apparent is how this independence is also in the common interest of Member States.
Fundamentally, it’s quite simple. There cannot be sovereign equality of Member States if some – whether through power or influence – are able to instruct the Secretariat to act or refrain from acting in a certain manner. Smaller States are most acutely aware of the risk, but really it should worry all States who do not enjoy the privilege of a permanent Council seat.
It would be naive of us to pretend that member states have never attempted to exert influence over the Secretariat. We may talk about attempts and even erosion at times. This is why it is so important today that we reaffirm the fundamental nature of Article 100 for the proper functioning of the Secretariat, and the Organization as a whole.
Second, I would like to address prior practice in the context of resolution 2231. Because noncompliance with resolution 2231 has implications across the Middle East, impartial documentation of the resolution’s implementation is a matter of principle for the UAE. As is publicly known, we have welcomed the 2231 Team of the UN Secretariat to the United Arab Emirates to inspect the Houthis’ weapons, and their debris or remnants, including most recently following their terrorist attack on my country. On all occasions, the UN Secretariat conducted independent and impartial inspections which, we believe, were important to the findings and recommendations it then submitted to the Security Council.
Third, the discussion today is a reminder of why clarity in our decisions and documents is so important. As a member of the Security Council, we strive to establish clear mandates in the resolutions we negotiate. While constructive ambiguity can facilitate reaching agreement on difficult issues, language prone to multiple interpretations or even misinterpretation can hinder collective action.
Clear rules, applied equally, remain the cornerstone of the multilateral system.
Thank you, Mr. President.