Delivered by: Sarah AlAwadhi, Second Secretary
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Thank you, Mr. President,
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Lacroix and Special Envoy Tetteh for their comprehensive briefings. I also welcome the representatives of the Sudan and South Sudan to this meeting.
The region is witnessing an escalation that threatens to complicate the efforts toward achieving tangible progress for the resolution of the final status of Abyei and the border issues. In this context, I would like to focus on three main points:
First, with the outbreak of violence in Sudan and the continued security and political tensions in South Sudan, we believe that our utmost priority is to enable the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) to continue its work, which requires the protection of its staff to continue their important tasks, especially in light of the security gaps along the border area as reported by the Secretary-General, which is not in line with the 2011 Agreement on maintaining Abyei Area demilitarized. We also see the importance of continued coordination of work and information-sharing between UNISFA, UNITAMS and UNMISS to enhance efforts in addressing issues of common concern, including border security and transhumance issues.
We further recall the need to focus on safeguarding the progress that was already made on Abyei and work towards the resumption of dialogue once conditions are in place, which also requires close cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations such as the African Union and IGAD.
Second, efforts to reduce tensions between communities must be coupled with efforts to improve livelihoods for the long-term security of Abyei. Recent efforts have resulted in reduced levels of violence and clashes between communities, but we note that the cycle of violence and clashes between communities continues. In this context, the UAE condemns the killings of civilians as well as sexual and gender-based violence.
These challenges require continued efforts to strengthen the capacity of “community protection committees” and “joint protection committees” to identify early warning signs, which is critical in strengthening the rule of law in the Abyei Area. The concerns of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence must also be addressed through the UNISFA’s gender desk. Furthermore, in line with resolution 2686 (2023), we encourage the mission to continue to promote dialogue and peaceful coexistence among communities by engaging with traditional leaders, local authorities, youth and women to defuse tensions, address intolerance and mobilize support for peace.
Third, it is important that the United Nations system continue to play its vital role in coordinating peace efforts and humanitarian activities in the Abyei Area. We believe that the efforts of troop-contributing countries are particularly commendable in terms of facilitating humanitarian access. In this context, the UAE condemns all attacks targeting peacekeepers and those preventing humanitarian access to reach those most in need. We also encourage UNISFA to continue to implement quick-impact projects to support communities throughout the area.
In conclusion, in the context of the upcoming negotiations on UNISFA’s mandate, we look forward to constructive discussions with our fellow Council members. The UAE remains committed to supporting all peace and stability efforts for the Abyei Area.
Thank Mr. President.