Delivered by H.E. Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative
At the outset, I would like to thank, Minister Xhacka, for your presence here today and for presiding over this important meeting. I would also like to thank High Representative Borrell for his comprehensive briefing.
By promoting regional cooperation and integration, the European Union has been instrumental in bringing peace and stability to the European continent. Over the years, the EU has grown from a regional player to a global one, and today its initiatives across the world bolster the efforts of the United Nations and of this Council in maintaining international peace and security.
Beyond its own borders, we recognize the European Union’s contributions to peace and stability in the wider European region. The EU’s efforts in facilitating the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, as well as its role in the implementation of the Dayton Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina through EUFOR-Althea are examples of how the EU is helping to lower tensions in the western Balkans.
The EU continues to show its capacity to be a major humanitarian actor as we have once again seen in its response to the humanitarian crisis resulting from the conflict in Ukraine. With more than a quarter of Ukraine’s population displaced and nearly five million refugees recorded across Europe, and the UAE commends the EU’s work in assisting countries hosting those fleeing their homes in search of safety. In the meantime, the EU’s support to humanitarian organizations in Ukraine and its support to civilians in need, with over 373 million Euros in assistance, has been a crucial lifeline for these civilians.
The EU also continues to make important contributions in response to food insecurity and in addressing global public health. This includes the European Union’s support to the World Food Program and its financial support for the WFP’s cash assistance program. That partnership is as important as ever as developing countries face new pressures due to increases in the price of basic foodstuffs, which puts people already in vulnerable situations at even greater risk.
In the context of the EU’s support in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome their donation of more than 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility as part of EU and EU Member States’ deliveries of more than 1.4 billion doses worldwide. While these are important contributions, we are continuously reminded that the pandemic is not over and that key donors, including the EU, must redouble efforts to ensure that vaccine equity is achieved across the globe.
Finally, in addition to the importance of enhancing cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations, we take this opportunity to highlight the value of enhancing cooperation amongst regional organizations on issues of common interests. We stress the importance, when considering involvement in other regions, of ensuring that regional actors take an active and leading role in any efforts at multilateral diplomacy. This is essential to finding sustainable solutions to regional and international challenges.
In conclusion, the UAE looks forward to the continued cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union, as well as enhanced cooperation between the European Union and other regional organizations in areas of mutual concern, all with the aim of ensuring the maintenance of regional and international peace and security.
Thank you, Madam President.