Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Abushahab, Deputy Permanent Representative

Mr. President,

I thank Special Representative Ms. Caroline Ziadeh for her valuable briefing to the Council and for her tireless efforts alongside the Mission’s team. I also welcome the participation of Serbia and Kosovo in today’s meeting.

Mr. President,

The UAE stresses the importance of intensifying efforts to encourage dialogue and prevent the exacerbation of quarrels among the communities in Kosovo as well as between Kosovo and Serbia, especially considering the current turbulent situation in Europe.

However, the relations between Kosovo and Serbia have witnessed some positive improvements. We encourage both parties to build on these improvements to strengthen their relations to be more durable, including through completing their dialogue with the facilitation of the European Union while trying to avoid any unilateral measures that might lead to escalation. We look forward to seeing both parties exercise their flexibility and continue their efforts to return to the negotiating table in order to reach a comprehensive solution. We commend both parties’ efforts to resolve several issues, including on permitting citizens to move freely between Kosovo and Serbia through the use of identity cards issued by Belgrade or Pristina.

As for developments within Kosovo, we stress the need to continue working to reduce tensions in the northern region of the country to avoid any escalation. We commend the ongoing efforts to consolidate the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence among all segments of society in Kosovo. These efforts are particularly important considering the recent alarming incidents, such as the desecration of religious sites and cemeteries and the spread of extremism and hate speech on social media.

In this context, we continue to reaffirm our support for the efforts made by the UN Mission to advance the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, especially by focusing on youth as the future leaders who play a vital role in conflict prevention and resolution. These efforts include designing youth programs that are inclusive of all of society in Kosovo to express their opinions and concerns and to raise their awareness of different segments of society as well as the importance of strengthening communication with them. This will, in turn, contribute to strengthening social cohesion. In addition, the role of regional organizations and civil society institutions in this field has had positive repercussions in Kosovo, and we urge for continuing all efforts to strengthen the bonds of society.

The UAE stresses the importance of supporting women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in all ongoing dialogues aimed at resolving disagreements between Kosovo’s communities and in all dialogues between Serbia and Kosovo. We refer to the recommendations stemming from the ninth conference of the “United Nations Global Open Day on Women, Peace, and Security in Kosovo”, which includes supporting the role of women in building sustainable peace and creating a safe and inclusive environment that allows for women’s participation in state institutions. The President of Kosovo’s participation in this conference reflects the Government’s interest in these issues. We also commend the developments made in the area of women’s empowerment in Kosovo, including, for example, women’s representation of thirty-six percent of Parliament, and we hope to build on these achievements.

In conclusion, Mr. President, the UAE stresses the importance of promoting constructive dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia. This is the only way to resolve all outstanding issues and to achieve security and stability for the two countries and the region.

Thank you, Mr. President.