Delivered by His Excellency Mohamed Abushahab, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.
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I would like to begin by welcoming you, Minister Botchway, and thanking you for presiding over this important and timely meeting. I would also like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for his opening remarks, and Assistant Secretary-General Pobee, Commissioner Adeoye, Former President of Ireland and Chair of The Elders Ms. Robinson, and Executive Director Landgren for their briefings.
Given the multitude of varied threats to peace and security, and the rapid pace at which they evolve, peace operations must be multi-faceted and designed with a core objective of building resilience to short and long-term threats. The task before us is therefore a daunting but vital one. While it is idealistic to expect peace operations to comprehensively address every threat to peace, we know that strengthened resilience not only secures peace, but also prevents the eruption of and relapse into conflict.
Accordingly, I would like to share the following three recommendations on how peace operations can play a key role in building resilient societies and sustainable peace:
First, tailored, clear, and realistic transition strategies require thorough consideration of local and regional dynamics, as well as extensive coordination with a variety of local actors, including women, youth, religious and community leaders. Such efforts are particularly relevant to put an end to violence by armed groups and to design effective mechanisms for the disarmament, reintegration, and prevention of the re-recruitment of former combatants. Transition strategies can also help prevent a security vacuum, as well as effectively counter the narratives and drivers that fuel extremism and terrorism. Ensuring that the needs and priorities of local communities are taken into account creates a solid basis to sustain national ownership of peace and to build back resilient, stable, and inclusive societies. In the words of former Secretary General and peacebuilding champion, Kofi Annan, “we need to be closer to those whose peace it is, to make or to break”.
Second, peace operations can lead to improved, lasting, and positive outcomes, including by building reliable infrastructure that can benefit host communities after the drawdown of peace operations. This is particularly relevant as unprecedented droughts, heat waves, floods, and other extreme weather events continue to exponentially increase. We commend the efforts led by the Department of Operational Support to increase the use of renewable energy in peace operations and encourage the development of a comprehensive plan to scale up their deployment. Emission reduction will not only allow the UN to lead by example in mitigation efforts, but it will also leave behind the kind of energy infrastructure that strengthens the resilience of local communities. The UAE, along with Norway, has been at the forefront of advocacy for this increase in the use of renewables in UN peace operations.
Third, promoting sustainable and effective peacebuilding requires a coordinated and integrated multilateral response. This means coordination with all actors, including the Security Council, the Peace Building Commission, as well as regional and subregional organisations, to ensure targeted, rather than isolated, efforts. This can also help to develop adequate, sustainable, and innovative methods and funding mechanisms that collectively address traditional, as well as non-conventional, threats – from climate change and food insecurity to global health crises and terrorism and extremism.
Madam President, in conclusion, peace operations can be enablers of nationally and locally owned efforts to sustain peace. Their legacy is not only what is accomplished when they are present, but what they leave behind when they depart. The UAE remains committed to supporting local capabilities that can create the conditions for lasting peace.
I thank you, Madam President.