Delivered by: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
I’d like to also commend Japan for focusing our attention on this timely topic, and I’d like to thank the DSG, Amina Mohammed, Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith, as well as Diago Ndiaye, for their informative and insightful briefings.
Thirty-one years after the original Agenda for Peace, the UN system still struggles to find sustainable solutions to prevent, or even address, conflicts and growing instability. We also continue to grapple with providing adequate funding and resources for peacebuilding projects. The resolution on financing for peacebuilding, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly in September, is a step in the right direction, but unfortunately not enough to guarantee adequate, predictable, and sustained funding for the critical activities that prevent conflict and their occurrence.
For the UAE, at the heart of peacebuilding and its components lies the human element. We approach peacebuilding through a “people-centered” lens, enabled by an institutional framework that is, of course, inclusive, responsive, and adaptable to emerging needs. This adaptability is key to fostering durable peace and resilience.
With this in mind, I’d like to share the following three recommendations:
First, to sustain peace, we need comprehensive strategies. One of the problems we hear over and over is the impact of piecemeal, incoherent approaches that do not provide the kind of ambitious solutions that countries facing or emerging from conflict need. We do not have to reinvent the wheel, but we do need to mobilize the different tools at our disposal in the UN peacebuilding architecture. Institutions do not exist for the sake of existing; they are here to support communities.
If we are not optimizing how we use them, we are failing the people we are expected to serve. Specific examples of the coordination that we should use better include, as others have said, the written advice of the Peacebuilding Commission to the Council and the participation of the Chairs of Country-Specific Configurations in our discussions. We also support convening informal dialogues between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. Their contributions can enable this Council to improve its engagement and better support host governments.
Second, inclusivity is the cornerstone of peacebuilding. When local communities are empowered, they are able to de-escalate tensions and build resilience from the ground-up. This means investing in women and youth. We have reiterated to this Council that women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation makes peace last. As we all know, peace agreements are 64 percent less likely to fail when civil society representatives, including women’s organizations, participate in those peace processes.
Gender apartheid is a driver of conflict and instability. This morning, the Informal Experts Group on Women, Peace and Security that the UAE co-chairs met to discuss the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan. Women’s contribution to society should never be seen as an option, but instead as a prerequisite for security and prosperity. The evidence is clear: inclusive societies thrive.
Prevention, however, also means moving to conflict resolution quickly, rather than accepting frozen conflicts as the norm, and thinking that peace will prevail in that context. The alarming news this morning from the Occupied Palestinian Territory clearly demonstrates this point, and only civilians will pay the price in the absence of a comprehensive and sustainable peace strategy.
Third, as we discuss the contours of the New Agenda for Peace, we need to be able to respond effectively to evolving and complex challenges like climate change, extremism, and pandemics. Let me illustrate this on climate. Instability, scarcity of resources, driven by climate change, can indeed amplify tensions and conflict in fragile societies. The data does show this.
Between 2009 and 2019, weather-related events displaced an estimated 23 million people on average each year. Studies have shown that of the 25 countries most vulnerable to climate change, 14 are already facing conflict. We therefore need better data and analysis to better address the security implications of climate change. We have a window of opportunity to integrate climate action and peacebuilding. It is critical to seize this moment.
The New Agenda for Peace must provide a framework that is nimble and adaptable, and funding must match needs. Political attention does not fix the issue by itself. It needs to be fueled by catalytic and sustainable funding and capacity development programming to promote rapid recovery and build the resilience we’re all talking about.
And finally, peacebuilding, but also conflict resolution efforts, are now undertaken more than ever by a more diverse set of actors on the global stage. In a world marked by global fragmentation, it is important to leverage their facilitation efforts and ensure that local, national, and international initiatives complement each other.
In conclusion, I’d like to reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to ensuring greater resilience and sustainability in peacebuilding. The moral argument for avoiding conflict is clear, but it is also an economic argument. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, every dollar invested in peacebuilding could save $16 in the long run for humanitarian and development efforts. We look forward to working with all partners for an inclusive and invigorating “New Agenda for Peace,” in preparation for the “Summit of the Future” in 2024.
Thank you, Mr. President.