Delivered By: H.E. Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Thank you, Mr. President, and before I begin, I would like to join other colleagues in expressing the heartfelt condolences of the United Arab Emirates to the government and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Having celebrated the 70th Jubilee this past summer, Her Majesty’s reign spanned an intense period of our modern world, and there is a lot to be said that will be remembered about Her Majesty’s long, well-lived, and remarkable life, but at the moment, I shall limit myself to this: we stand together with the United Kingdom at this difficult time, and we want to express how truly inspired we have been by Queen Elizabeth’s duty to, and life in service of, her people. As we mourn Her Majesty’s passing, we must also celebrate an extraordinary life, and Her Majesty’s achievements and legacy, which lives on.
To the subject of today’s meeting, I’d like to thank High Representative Nakamitsu for her updates, and I also take note of the briefing of Ms. Trifković.
We have met, as others have said, countless times to discuss the war in Ukraine, its causes, and its consequences. We don’t forget that what is happening in Ukraine is a result of the war, but as I’ve emphasized before here in this chamber, while the past cannot be changed, we still can have an impact on the present and the future trajectory of this conflict. That is why this topic does deserve our attention in the correct forum and with the technical expertise required to fully discuss it.
The UAE has advocated over and over for a cessation of hostilities and peaceful settlement to the conflict. To get to a peaceful end to the conflict, any action taken by the parties or other stakeholders needs to be measured and deliberate. The war has been raging for over six months now and sadly risks settling into a protracted conflict with both sides intent on military victory. We should not resign ourselves to this reality and the countless lives at stake depend on that.
This war won’t end militarily. Sooner or later, and we hope it is sooner, there will have to be real dialogue and a political solution based on respect for sovereignty, international law, and the UN Charter. Let’s make sure that the strategic objective of peace is not undermined by the immediate military tactics of war.
The pursuit of the maintenance of international peace and security is rarely a simplistic equation. As long as armed conflicts remain a brutal part of our reality, we must recognize the importance of striving for the safe and secure transfer of weapons. It is crucial that the ultimate recipients of arms and ammunition be accounted for, so that down the line such weapons do not inadvertently end up in the hands of terrorists. History has taught us the danger of focusing on short-term objectives and of ignoring the longer-term implications of the flow of lethal weapons in the calculus of decisions about the supply, transfer, stockpiling, and safe storage of arms.
We note in this regard with concern the warnings expressed by Interpol’s Secretary-General back in June about the dangers of the availability of weapons and the real possibilities of criminal groups exploiting the proliferation of those weapons. This is especially dangerous in the case of smaller, easily portable light-weapons. We support Interpol’s calls for suppliers to track and trace the weapons entering Ukraine in order to minimize the risk of any potential increase in transnational crime and regional instability during and after the conflict.
The geopolitical tensions rising across the globe risk undermining the very mechanisms we have in place to manage conflict, promote stability, and ensure prosperity and development for all of our nations. For example, they’re having wider ramifications on global arms control, as demonstrated by the lack of an agreed outcome at the Tenth Review Conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is the cornerstone of the nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. The recent terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab in Somalia or heavy weaponry displays by the Houthi terrorists in Yemen serve as continuous reminders of the risks associated with the limited enforcement of the existing arms control mechanisms. Unless we do something, the proliferation of small and light weapons will continue to grow exponentially.
Let me end by noting that this is the third time that the Council has met in three days to discuss issues related to the conflict in Ukraine. It demonstrates the gravity of the situation and the multi-faceted nature of the challenges we face. At the same time, we must ensure that we are able to make headway on other important issues on the Council’s agenda, and that dynamics driven by this issue do not spill over or impact our ability to forge consensus on other crucial files. To do so, we must redouble our efforts to achieve tangible results in a range of unresolved issues which deserve our equal attention, from the Middle East, to Africa, and around the world.
The Council has a responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and we must seek to discharge that duty to the fullest possible extent.
Thank you, Mr. President.