Delivered by Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and Chief of the International Affairs Office at the Presidential Court
Thank you, Mr. President.
I extend my gratitude to Secretary-General Guterres for his valuable briefing, and wish to acknowledge the Heads of State and Government, and other high-level representatives present today. I also welcome the participation of President Zelenskyy.
I commend Albania for convening this critical open debate. The UAE has long advocated for a peaceful resolution to the war in Ukraine that upholds the UN Charter.
The war has wrought a devastating toll on human life, including the displacement of almost two out of every three children in Ukraine. The country now bears the grim record for the highest concentration of landmines in the world, rendering nearly one third of the country no longer safe due to unexploded ordnance.
This conflict has further ravaged food and transport infrastructure. We stress, once again, the need for all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, and specifically, the protection of those objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population.
We are deeply concerned by the ramifications of the destruction of infrastructure on survivor services, healthcare, and other critical forms of support, especially on women and children, who already bear the brunt of armed conflict.
The UAE has pledged $100 million U.S. dollars to help address the humanitarian crisis. We have sent 11 airlifts of relief and medical supplies for children and the elderly, provided more than 2,500 generators, and sent 23 ambulances just this week. The UAE has also provided 4 million U.S. dollars in funding for First Lady Olena Zelenska’s foundation’s programming for orphans.
Beyond Ukraine, the war’s global ripple effects are evident, especially in the pronounced impact on food security, including in our own region. Let me re-state that the UAE remains steadfast in supporting the renewal of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the full implementation of the MoU on Russian fertilisers and food products, as well as any discussions that support these goals.
While crucial, these measures only alleviate – rather than end – suffering. World leaders, especially this week in the General Assembly, have made clear the global desire for a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine, one that upholds the UN Charter. A diverse set of countries is increasingly coming together around the common cause of peace in Ukraine. We welcome the role played by countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China, as well as the African Peace Initiative, in supporting all possible routes to a peaceful settlement.
In these calls, there is growing recognition of the urgency of the task, not just for Ukraine, but for all of us.
The war amplified the erosion of faith in multilateralism; achieving peace can begin its restoration. Of course, peace will only come out of diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine, and it will only be just and sustainable if it upholds the UN Charter.
The UN Security Council, and its members, have a vital role to play in this process. We can encourage and incentivize de-escalation, extend the urgency to uphold the UN Charter to every file before us, and expand the circle of peacemakers to reflect today’s global realities. We would welcome an increasingly representative Council and believe the discussions on Security Council reform should move forward with serious intention.
Though the path to peace in Ukraine may be arduous, it doesn’t license inaction. There is only one sustainable path to a just and lasting peace in Ukraine, in line with the UN Charter, and preserving its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and the UAE stands ready to support that objective.
Thank you, Mr. President.