Delivered by: Myan Tantawy, Third Secretary

Madam Chair,

Thank you for organizing this meeting to address the particular vulnerability of those forcibly displaced. We also thank Ms. Tan, Mr. Soda, and Ambassador Samaté for their briefings. We listened carefully to Ms. Nyachol and Mr. Kovalik.

The numbers are staggering. Worldwide, there is a record high of 108.4 million forcibly displaced people. More than half are fleeing from conflict, underscoring the need for global stability and sustainable peace.

People abruptly escape their homes and communities to seek a better alternative, but still, they continue to face insecurity and risks as they embark on their difficult journey and lack access to basic necessities. Women and children are disproportionately impacted, as they are further exposed to sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation, and abuse.

The international community’s approach must be rooted in the prevention of, rather than the response to, forced displacement. In this regard, the UAE would like to make two observations:

First, stability, inclusivity, and economic prosperity anchor people in their communities. To help prevent uprooting of whole communities from their homes, as well as to enable their safe and dignified return, there is a need to provide opportunities that offer sustainable futures. These should involve equal economic opportunities, as well as provision of necessary services, such as education and health care. 

Second, and as we have heard multiple times today, conflict is not the only driver of forced displacement. We must better recognise the nexus between climate change and forced displacement. In fact, the World Bank estimates that 143 million people will be displaced by the impact of climate change by 2050. Extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and food and water scarcity are contributing to an increase in competition for resources and human displacement, as well as exacerbating conflict, including in Haiti, in the DRC, and in Syria. We intend to utilize COP28 in the UAE later this year to further examine climate change as a driver of fragility, instability, and population displacement, and mobilize action to mitigate these effects.

To conclude, the UAE will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders to address the needs of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers and strengthen prevention and protection mechanisms, consistent with international law.

Prevention is our strongest tool and the Council must advance its work to achieve this goal.

I thank you, Madam Chair.