Delivered by: His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
I would like to thank Special Representative Rugwabiza and Ambassador Adeoye for their comprehensive briefings. I would also like to thank Executive Director Bahous for highlighting the situation of women and girls in the Central African Republic, as well as Mr. Rhosyns Ngatondang for providing us with his firsthand insights. Additionally, I welcome the participation of Ms. Baipo-Temon, Foreign Minister of the Central African Republic, as well as the representatives of regional states in this meeting.
Today’s briefings remind us of the important gains achieved thus far, as well as the need to continue support for the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic in order to sustain disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation efforts and security sector reform programmes.
In this context, I would like to address three key points today:
First, we must ensure security for lasting peace and stability.
The security situation in the Central African Republic is of significant concern. The proliferation of armed groups, the use of explosive ordnance, and the illicit exploitation of natural resources all underline the need to redouble our efforts and strengthen existing regional arrangements to help de-escalate tensions, address instability, and secure peace.
Tackling the challenge of armed groups is a prerequisite for sustaining political efforts. We reiterate the importance of a ceasefire that is respected by all parties, as well as strengthening bilateral and multilateral mechanisms with neighboring countries – as demonstrated by the recent joint operation with Chad.
The recent visit of the 2127 Sanctions Committee to the Central African Republic provided Council members an opportunity to better understand progress made across disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation efforts; security sector reform; and other key areas. It also presented an opportunity to appreciate firsthand the commendable work of peacekeepers and other stakeholders on the ground.
Second, against this backdrop, there is an urgent need to address the ongoing humanitarian challenges in the country.
Nearly three quarters of the Central African population face daunting economic and humanitarian challenges, including food insecurity.
The situation of displaced persons remains a pressing concern, especially in light of recent developments in neighboring countries. We encourage the Central African Republic, the region, and all humanitarian stakeholders to coordinate collectively to facilitate humanitarian access and to ensure safety for humanitarian actors.
Likewise, the manifestations of climate and ecological changes, among other overlapping factors, also continue to aggravate the humanitarian and security situation and further fuel communal tensions. Throughout the region, the decrease in rainfall has resulted in changes in transhumance corridors, which in turn fuel tensions and exacerbate violence.
To address the impacts of these phenomena on security, we encourage integrating a climate sensitive approach within the context of the Central African Republic that enhances climate related data and information into risk mitigation and management strategies. Here, we commend MINUSCA’s efforts to increase its use of renewable energy. This Council would benefit from updates on the impact of climate change on peace and security in the Central African Republic.
Third, we must safeguard the gains made in cooperation with MINUSCA.
We are encouraged by the continued constructive cooperation between the Central African Republic and MINUSCA. The protection of civilians remains a fundamental priority, and we value the crucial role of SRSG Rugwabiza and MINUSCA in bolstering the country’s security capabilities. Furthermore, maintaining support for efforts to strengthen institutions and sustain the extension of state authority is key, including support for the preparation of inclusive elections.
We are also encouraged by the efforts to incorporate gender-responsive approaches and initiatives that include women in conflict management and the reduction of community violence. In line with our commitment to the Women, Peace and Security agenda, we believe there is a need to continue supporting women’s economic participation and leadership training to adequately address the plight of conflict-related sexual violence and to strengthen their participation in the peace process. We echo the Secretary-General in condemning any sexual exploitation and abuse and reaffirm our commitment to a zero-tolerance policy.
To conclude, the United Arab Emirates continues to support all steps aimed at assisting the Central African people achieve their aspirations for security, stability and prosperity. We must make every effort possible to bolster these initiatives as the country makes strides towards peace.