Delivered by: Saod AlMazrouei, Alternate Political Coordinator
Let me begin by thanking Assistant-Secretary-General Martha Pobee and Special Envoy Hannah Tetteh for their informative briefings and tireless work in the Abyei Area. I also welcome the representatives of Sudan and South Sudan to this meeting.
Promoting dialogue and peaceful coexistence is a key pillar for building peaceful and prosperous societies. The UAE, therefore, continues to urge UNISFA to engage with communities in the Abyei Area to reduce current tensions. In this regard, we are encouraged by the recent initiatives and developments in the region, most notably the “Peace through Dialogue” Conference held in May, which brought together traditional leaders and included women and youth representatives. We believe these inclusive exchanges must continue regularly to take stock of the progress made regarding the implementation of the principles agreed upon in the conference. We also commend UNISFA’s leadership in delivering quick-impact projects and working jointly with United Nations Police to pilot a 24/7 gender desk for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Abyei.
We also commend the efforts made by the Community Protection Committees (CPCs) and the Joint Protection Committee (JPC) for their essential role in helping UNISFA to respond timely to incidents, including armed attacks and intercommunal violence. Yet, despite these positive developments, the UAE remains concerned about the continued inter-communal clashes and violence, including incidents that have hampered UNISFA’s operations and targeted its personnel. This further complicates the dire humanitarian situation in the Abyei Area, especially in light of the floods that have caused recent displacements and washed away farmlands, exacerbating food insecurity.
This highlights the crucial role played by UNISFA in facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need, including through the Abyei joint programme by the United Nations Resident Coordinators of Sudan and South Sudan, which is critical in supporting people’s livelihoods in the region. In addition, we know that seasonal movements may increase inter-communal tensions, and addressing these challenges with all relevant stakeholders is vital. To this end, convening a seasonal peace conference is an important step in that regard.
Regarding Sudan and South Sudan, we note here that the relations continued to improve, including through the “Joint Peace and Security Mechanism” meeting held in Khartoum in May, which led to the progress made on the opening of border crossing corridors in addition to the parties urging for the resumption of “the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee” meetings regularly. We stress here that only through dialogue can an agreement be reached on the final status of Abyei. We also encourage the continuation of diplomatic efforts to accelerate the implementation of the arrangements for the administration and security of the Abyei Area, as well as redoubling efforts to achieve a peaceful and mutually acceptable resolution of Abyei’s final status.
In conclusion, as we prepare to negotiate UNISFA’s mandate in the upcoming period, we look forward to having constructive discussions, and we take this opportunity to thank UNISFA, the troop contributing countries, as well as the African Union, for their tireless efforts to maintain peace and security in Abyei Area.
I thank you, Mr. President.